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Follower and Likes paired with Goals and Tackles : Social Media Brand Value on Football Player Markets

Title data

Buck, Christoph ; Ifland, Sebastian ; Renz, Michael:
Follower and Likes paired with Goals and Tackles : Social Media Brand Value on Football Player Markets.
Event: 27th European Sport Management Conference (EASM) , 03.-06.09.2019 , Seville, Spain.
(Conference item: Conference , Speech )

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
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Projektgruppe WI Digital Society
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Abstract in another language

Aim and Research Question
Professional football is a billion-dollar market that produces world stars and global companies and brands that shine in every country. Through social media (SM) platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the players put themselves in the limelight and generate economic value. As a result, the value of a player for a club becomes more complex and is influenced by many factors beyond its sporting value (Müller et al., 2017).
Our study will address the question whether there is a significant influence of a player`s social media activities on his transfer market value. Furthermore, by assessing the transfer activities, the study will also examine if football clubs take the social media brand value and range of players into appropriate account.
Theoretical Background
The market value of a professional athlete represents the monetary amount a club is willing to pay in order to contractually bind this athlete (Herm, et al. 2014). From an economical perspective, the market value of a player expresses the sum of the discounted marginal revenue product (MRP) over the length of the player`s contract. The MRP on the other hand imply the player`s ability to increase club`s revenue streams, that is to say the marginal productivity of the player’s labour effort in relation to the revenue the club can generate from that marginal product (Rosen & Sanderson 2001). Besides actual on-pitch performance, a players related revenue for a professional football team could also be generated because of his image and brand value (Gerrard, 2014). Hence, the MRP in a single period results from the player`s win contribution, his addition to club`s sporting success, the marginal win revenue the club can generate out of this marginal gain in sporting success and the player`s brand related revenues which can be made out of the additional media and spectator attraction. The effect of generating additional and often disproportionate revenues merely due to the player brand value is often related to super star effects (Nüesch 2007). On condition that clubs act with economic rationality, transfer fees should not exceed the MRPs and reflect the market value. In addition to this theoretical propositions, several empirical work has already validated the influence of player´s popularity and media coverage on his market value (Müller et al., 2017). Nevertheless, to date, a research gap regarding the empirical analysis of the social media induced brand value has to be diagnosed.
Research Design and Data Analysis
In order to examine this social media induced brand value, a differences-in-differences regression estimator was applied on matched player data of the German Bundesliga. All Bundesliga players (n=453) during the season 2018/19 were taken into account and grouped based on the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method (Heckman et al. 1998). Basically, a group of players without significant SM accounts is compared with players of similar performance measures but significant SM accounts. The performance measures include 18 statistical key figures allowing a precise matching regarding a player´s pitch and club related market value. The market value of each player was collected from the platform A player's success on social media sites is being measured through the total count of followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Subsequently, the differences-in-differences estimator (DID) is used to estimate the impact of social media success on the player´s market value and transfer fees.
We expect SM to be an attribute that adds value to a player´s market value. Hence, we expect that players of the same sports quality have higher market values and are paid higher transfer fees, if they have substantial SM success. As we still collect the data we use for our model the final results are not yet available. We guarantee that we have the results by the time of the conference.
Contribution and Implication
If SM is a worthy attribute for players, that would indicate a change in the business model of sports clubs. In this context a club would be merely interested in the monetary potential of a player´s social brand. Therefore, the clubs buy SM followers through players instead of the player´s sporting skills. The results will show the extent to which social media values are already taken into account in the transfer activities of the clubs and in the crowd judgements of the platform

Further data

Item Type: Conference item (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Social Media; Sport Analytics; Sport Management; Digital Sports
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration > Chair Business Administration VII - Information Systems Management
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration > Chair Business Administration VII - Information Systems Management > Chair Business Administration VII - Information Systems Management - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Torsten Eymann
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes > Fraunhofer Project Group Business and Information Systems Engineering
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes > FIM Research Center Finance & Information Management
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 000 Computer Science, information, general works > 004 Computer science
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 11:25
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 07:46