|dc.description.abstract||Social media puts football clubs in an ideal position to reach fans, and to establish and foster interactive, long-term relationships with them. Also, the large number of followers indicates that fans appreciate sport organizations presence on social media in general. As online fan engagement is shown to create several types of value for the fan, research has yet to examine how football clubs can create engagement. The purpose of this thesis was therefore to examine how Norwegian elite football clubs create fan engagement through social media.
By combining the theoretical framework of relationship marketing, value co-creation, customer engagement, and networks and engagement platforms, four research propositions were made. The research propositions were used to discuss the findings.
A case study approach was applied, for which three clubs were selected. First, a quantitative netnographic method was used to collect data from the football clubs’ social media platforms. Second, a qualitative interview method was used to get a detailed explanation of how the managers engage with their fans through social media.
The findings show that football clubs in Eliteserien strive for fan engagement and relationship creation through their social media platforms. This is mainly achieved by using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The content published to improve fan engagement and relationships are mainly videos, match-related information, and content with a sense of humor. As new social media channels develop constantly, further research should investigate how football clubs follow up new trends and how the clubs establish social media platforms to reach out to their online target groups.||en_US