WHAT HAS BEEN THE INFLUENCE AND IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE PROMOTIONAL PROCESS AT PROFESSIONAL RUGBY CLUBS, USING LONDON WASPS RFC AS A CASE STUDY?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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In this study, the author examines how the introduction of social media has influenced and impacted the promotional process at professional rugby clubs, using London Wasps RFC as a case study. The results are based on an interview conducted with the head of media at London Wasps RFC, Participant X, who was questioned on the clubs current use of social media applications for promotional activity. Key findings from the interview were combined with past research in order to highlight any common trends or new findings. The results demonstrated that the club value social media highly in terms of a promotional tool and are currently in the process of fully integrating social media into their promotional strategy. However despite the belief that social media is increasing the effectiveness of the clubs promotional process London Wasps identified, at present, there is no way of providing statistical evidence of this. The study concludes that whist there is currently no evidence to prove that the use of social media is providing financial benefits to Wasps, other benefits experienced from the use of social networks, such as increased fan engagement, are likely to be profiting the club as a whole. Finally the author suggests that this study may have been conducted slightly prematurely, as whilst social media is definitely affecting the way that sports organisations are promoting, at present social media usage at professional rugby clubs is still in its infancy.
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