An Examination of Online Relationship Building of Professional Sport Leagues through Their Websites. (Sport Management/Administration)

Article excerpt

Although the relationships with sports fans is one of the most important distinctions between professional sports and other businesses, the concept of relationship building has not heavily emphasized in the sport industry. Bovinet (1999) indicated the potential problems happening in professional sports management and marketing were maintaining customer relationships, building customer databases, and developing customer services. He suggested the current professional sport organization needed to communicate more effectively with customers. In addition, the advent of the Internet has created a direct link between customers and companies that help customers speak directly to marketers about their needs and wants. Therefore, customer relationship management combined with Internet technology has become an important marketing approach for sport organizations that want to be successful in this highly competitive sport industry. The purpose of this study was to examine online relationship building of the selected 13 professional sports leagues through a content analysis. In this research, there were 5 key steps involved in the process of conducting content analysis: (a) formulating research questions or hypotheses; (b) selecting a sample; (c) defining categories; (d) developing coding content, training coders, and checking coding reliability; (e) collecting, analyzing and interpreting research data (Budd, Thorp, & Donohew, 1967; Krippendorff, 1981). …