Many types of businesses today are increasingly engaging in new media with the aim of delivering their products and services competitively, including sports organization. New media gives opportunities for creative viral marketing campaign for building awareness about companies and brands. It seems that companies such as Coca-Cola, Apple or Google very well understood possibilities what new media constantly offers. Social-networking sites represent a unique and engaging communication tool that can be used by companies to disseminate unfiltered messages to mass audiences and specific target markets. To establish, maintain, and enhance relationships with its customers, any business needs to communicate and engage in a dialogue with them, including sport organizations.
Researchers defined social media as web-based application that enables users to create and easily transmit content in different forms (words, pictures, videos, audios). The concept of social media is to foster participation, collaboration and community engagement. Social media enable sports organizations to foster closeness with fans through interactive marketing and promotional activities.
Bearing in mind above, it is important to consider relation marketing theories. Grönroos defines relationship marketing as a process of identifying and establishing, maintaining and enhancing and when necessary also terminating relationships with customers and other stakeholders, at a profit, so that the objectives of all parties are met; and this is done by a mutual exchange and fulfillment of promises. There had not been many studies regarding relationship marketing in sport sector, but one that are existing have showed that sports organizations could benefit from relationship marketing. Sport participants (organizations, athletes, companies, viewers) have relationships with one another that depend on successful management of those relationships. Web 2.0 existing technologies for sport stakeholders provides more effective ways to implement strategies, where social media provide one way to meet relationship marketing goals. Social media made possible for sport stakeholders to get and stay in touch with users (read: customers) in a direct way and to engage in dialogue, forcing them to look/think outside the box. Having in mind whole range of benefits, the sport movement is seeking to profit from linking their goals with social media.
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