Graph showing Salfords international fans

Social Media, Digital tech and football in the modern age

As part of my research into football and digital culture, through articles,blogs, comments online and interviews, these various phrases arose to describe lesser connected football fans: bandwagon jumpers, plastic fans, armchair supporters, glory hunters, not a real fan, fair weather fans, flaneurs, part-timers, light attenders, casuals, followers and many others that I am Read more…

Social capital, brand and football: tales from the digital field

Class of 92 take over Salford City FC, Guardian ArticleThis research focuses on a new era for Salford City Football Club (SCFC). In the 2014/15 season, when SCFC were in the 8th tier of English football, they were taken over by ex-Manchester United players the Class of 92. The new era heralds an unusual case of a non-league football team having such high profile owners with reported ambitions to turn SCFC into a ‘digital football club’ (Conn, 2014). (more…)

The future of digital fitness for well-being and engagement

Nike FuelBand The digital fitness sector is growing. The market for apps is expected to grow 10 times from  $2.4 billion in 2013 to £26 billion by 2017 and this is just the start. All the major manufacturers of hardware and software such as Intel and Apple and some of the major social media platforms like Facebook are furiously working away to get ahead in rise of the business of digital fitness or ‘mHealth’.

But why is this business so lucrative and what does the future hold? With the massive explosion of smartphones and apps, people are not only becoming more connected, but also, more conscious about their own health and well-being. This is coupled with the growth of people using social media to connect with each other locally and globally. (more…)

Football clubs and brands in the digital age

Class of ’92 and Salford City FC agree unique partnership with University of SalfordI’ve been reading a number of papers about football brands, digital and social capital recently. A great study I hadn’t previously seen is called Football Supporters and Football Team Brands: A study in consumer brand loyalty (Richardson and O’Dwyer, 2003). This focuses on Irish football fan support for English football clubs. It’s a topic that I’m particularly interested in and in particular the role that digital media plays in maintaining relationships with fans who may be local, or in this case, further afield. (more…)