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Everyone has a story to tell. Marketing nowadays is less about what is being made and more about how it is being told. Integrate an exciting or interesting story with sports and that is the ultimate storytelling experience. Social media has completely changed the game for professional teams when it comes to how teams are telling their digital stories and engaging with fans. Entire social media teams exist in these organizations, which is something that did not exist not too long ago. The rise in fans experiencing and viewing social media platforms is altering how teams engage, connect, and communicate with fans.
When it comes to my story, I wanted to make sure I told one that was interesting, relevant and worthwhile. I felt lost for quite some time in regards to what direction I wanted to take with my thesis. After meeting with Dan Moriarty and Kevin Brilliant of the Chicago Bulls during an outreach trip with the Sports Business Association, I knew I wanted to gain more insight into how teams are telling their digital stories and connecting with their fans. I wanted to learn more about how teams across the country are playing the game of social media and what strategies they put into place to be impactful and successful. I wanted to learn the value teams found in social media and how social media impacts the organizations as a whole, specifically in revenue generation. Most importantly, I wanted to learn how teams are engaging with fans and how social media has changed the world of sports. This research includes insights from various individuals in the industry as well as survey data from W. P. Carey students. The accumulation of this thesis has resulted in a closer look into social media in the sports industry and how teams are measuring success in the digital space.