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Case Study of CavFanatic
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  If    you   build   it,   will   they   come?:   Acase   study   of    digital   spaces   and   brand   inthe   National   Basketball   Association MichaelE.Pfahl a, *,   AndrewKreutzer a ,MikeMaleski b ,JeffLillibridge b ,JeffRyznar b a Department    of    Sports    Administration,   College   of    Business,   Ohio   University,    Athens,   OH    45701,   USA b Phizzle,    2206    Superior    Viaduct,   Ste.   501,   Cleveland,   OH    44113,   USA  Teaching   note This   case   examines   the   marketing   strategy   for   the   social   media   community   developed   by   the   Cleveland   Cavaliers(Cavaliers)   at   www.cavafantic.com   (CavFanatic).   Students   are   able   to   explore   the   strategic   marketing   process   for   the   newcommunity   and   analyze   the   case   materials   through   course   discussions   and   assignments   in   order   to   develop   future   strategiesand   engagement   opportunities   for   fans   at   CavFanatic.   Over   the   course   of    the   case,   the   students   are   introduced   to   ideasregarding   strategic   marketing   and   brand   development   via   examination   of    a   fan   site   (e.g.,   brand,   brand   awareness,   and   brandextension).   The   case   narrative   is   based   upon   interview   information   from   three   members   of    the   Cavaliers   who   helped   createthe   srcinal   CavFanatic:   the   former   web   designer,   the   former   corporate   sales   representative,   and   the   former   marketingmanager   all   of    whom   were   with   the   team   until   October   2011.The   case   allows   students   to:    Develop   a   better   understanding   of    how   digital   spaces   can   be   utilized   by   sport   marketers   to   promote   their   brand,   to   engagetheir   fans,   and   to   develop   marketing   and   monetization   opportunities.    Identify,   to   explore,   and   to   enhance   strategic   marketing   processes   used   to   develop   a   brand.    Compare   and   to   contrast   the   merits   of    traditional   and   emerging   conceptualizations   of    brand   strategy.The   case   is   useful   in   either   undergraduate   or   graduate   courses   (online   and   offline)   with   an   emphasis   on   strategicmarketing,   brand,   and   customer   engagement.   This   section   includes   an   introduction   to   the   case,   background   information   on Sport   Management   Review   15   (2012)   518–537 A   R    T   I   C   L    E   I   N   F   O  Articlehistory: Received   28   March   2011 Receivedinrevisedform14February2012 Accepted   15   March   2012 Keywords: BrandDigital   spaceInternetVirtual   communityBrand   extension A   B   S   T   R    A   C   T Thiscaseaddressestherelationshipbetweensportanddigitalspacesbyintroducingstudentstostrategicmarketingprocessesrelatedtodevelopingateam-managedfanwebsite.ThecasewascreatedinconjunctionwiththreeformermembersoftheClevelandCavalierswhohelpedcreatewww.cavfanatic.com,theofficialfansiteoftheteam.   Keyareasaddressedwithinthecasestudyarebranddevelopment,brandcommunication,andbrandextension.Thecasefollowsanewhire,Natalie,asshejoinsthenewmediateamof www.cavfanatic.com.Thesportmarketerssheworkswithreviewthedevelopmentofthewebsiteandprovideinformationonthestrategicdevelopmentprocesstheywentthrough.Intheend,NatalieischargedwithlookingforwardanddevelopingfurtherstrategiestocontinuetoengagetheCavaliersfansandtodeveloptheCavFanaticbrand.  2012SportManagementAssociationofAustraliaandNewZealand.PublishedbyElsevierLtd.Allrightsreserved. *   Corresponding   author.   Tel.:   +1   740   597   3108;   fax:   +1   740   593   9342. E-mail   addresses:   pfahl@ohio.edu   (M.E.   Pfahl),   kreutzer@ohio.edu   (A.   Kreutzer). Contents   lists   available   at   SciVerse   ScienceDirect SportManagementReview jo   u   rn   al   h   omep   age:w   ww.elsevier.co   m/loc   ate/s   mr 1441-3523/$   –   see   front   matter      2012   Sport   Management   Association   of    Australia   and   New   Zealand.   Published   by   Elsevier   Ltd.   All   rights   reserved.doi:10.1016/j.smr.2012.03.004  the   Cavaliers   and   CavFanatic,   a   contextual   review   of    related   literature,   and   assorted   teaching   aids   to   assist   in   administeringthe   case   and   coursework   related   to   it. 1.   CavFanatic   case   study    introduction While   many   cases   have   been   created   to   explore   various   issues   related   to   sport   management,   few   cases   speak   to   thestrategic   use   of    digital   spaces   by   sport   organization   personnel   (Dittmore,   Stoldt,   &   Greenwell,   2008;   Foster,   Greyser,   &   Walsh,2006;   Friedman   &   Mason,   2007;   Todd,   Andrew,   &   Sowieta,   2009).   The   digital   world   is   an   important   strategic   element   forsport   marketers   because   it   is   an   ever-changing   platform   for   developing   and   executing   offline   and   online   efforts   to   achieve   anumber   of    organizational   goals   (Dixon,   2008).The   increased   use   of    digital   platforms   across   many   aspects   of    life,   the   sport   industry   included,   attest   to   its   significance   tosport   marketers.   Online   advertising   spending   stood   somewhere   in   the   region   of    US$68.4   billion   in   2010,   was   projected   toreach   US$80.2   billion   in   2011,   and   more   than   US$100   billion   around   2012   (Marshall,   2011;   Oser,   2011).The   offline–onlinelinkages   afforded   by   the   digital   world   are   increasingly   important   to   marketing   and   sales   strategies   due   to   the   trend   towardsexperiential   and   inclusive   opportunities   intended   to   foster   community   and   to   monetize   digital   spaces   (Grant,   2006;   Nufer   &Bu¨hler,   2010;   Santomeir,   2008).   While   integrated   marketing   efforts   might   not   completely   disappear,   they   are   beingaugmented   with   a   more   flexible   strategic   framework   that   encompasses   engagement   and   relational   strategies   andopportunities   as   opposed   to   transactional   ones   (Grant,   2006;   Nufer   &   Bu¨hler,   2010).In   class,   this   case   can   be   used   as   part   of    an   overall   offline/online   strategy   discussion.   It   can   be   used   as   the   basis   for   a   classdiscussion   or   an   analytical   assignment   related   to   the   impact   of    the   digital   world   on   sport   marketing   (Bostrom,   Olfman,   &Sein,   1990;   Caskey   &   Delpy,   1999;   Davis   &   Bostrom,   1993;   Zhang   &   von   Dran,   2000).   Given   the   malleable   nature   of    digitalspaces,   the   case   study   information   can   be   examined   against   future   iterations   of    CavFanatic.The   key   driver   of    this   case   is   how   the   digital   space   can   be   utilized   by   sport   marketers   to   promote   theirbrand   and   to   engagewith   theirfans.   Brand   is   a   foundational   element   of    competitive   advantage   via   the   establishment   of    a   relationship   withcustomers   across   a   range   of    cognitive   and   emotional   levels   (Aaker,   1991;   Hankinson,   2007;   Lee,   Miloch,   Kraft,   &   Tatum,   2008;Shank,   2005).   However,   traditional   elements   of    brand   arebeingreviewed   in   light   of    the   opportunities   presented   by   the   digitalworld   (Grant,   2006).   The   next   section   provides   a   brief    history   of    the   Cavaliers   and   CavFanatic   to   contextualize   the   case   materials. 2.   Cleveland   Cavaliers   and   CavFanatic This   section   provides   information   on   the   Cleveland   Cavaliers   and   CavFanatic.   The   Cleveland   Cavaliers   are   a   professionalbasketball   franchise   in   the   National   Basketball   Association   (NBA).   Their   proactive   decision   to   build   and   to   manage   their   ownfan   site   is   part   of    a   growing   trend   within   the   NBA   (e.g.,   Phoenix   Suns,   Portland   Trailblazers,   New   Orleans   Hornets).Information   from   former   team   personnel   provides   insight   into   planning   processes   and   choices   made   given   the   secrecyprofessional   franchises   have   regarding   their   operations.CavFanatic   is   a   website   managed   by   the   Cavaliers   for   the   fans   of    the   Cavaliers.   The   website   is   the   primary   platform   forrelationship   development,   blending   news,   information,   and   content   from   the   team   with   user   generated   content,   communityengagement   opportunities,   and   social   media   platforms.   The   site   is   also   an   opportunity   for   the   team   personnel   to   diversifysponsorship   opportunities   and   to   engage   directly   with   their   fans.   CavFanatic   was   launched   in   2008   and   has   been   popularwith   fans   since   then.   The   CavFanatic   platform   offers   exclusive   photograph   and   video   content   from   the   Cavaliers   and   spacesfor   fans   to   upload   their   own   photographs   and   videos,   to   create   blogs,   and   to   engage   in   dialogue   with   each   other   via   forumareas.   In   order   to   better   understand   the   nature   of    CavFanatic,   is   important   to   review   key   contextual   elements   of    the   digitalworld:   virtual   communities   and   social   media. 3.   Contextual   literature   review While   students   are   immersed   in   the   digital   world   each   day,   they   need   to   be   able   to   analyze   the   implications   of    this   worldin   relation   to   sport   marketing.   Studies   of    digital   media   that   do   not   question   important   social   and   cultural   elements   related   toit   are   not   complete   (Flew,   2002).   The   convergence   of    social,   economic,   political,   cultural,   and   technological   changes   rippleback   into   individual   lives   and   communities   (Flew,   2002).Thus,   as   technologies   emerge   and   fade   and   enable   and   constrainstrategic   choices,   current   and   future   sport   marketers   must   work   to   establish   a   strategic   view   of    technology.   In   doing   so,   theywill   avoid   the   trap   of    trying   to   chase   each   new   technology   without   an   understanding   of    what   use   and   value   it   can   be   to   them.This   section   explores   issues   related   to   the   digital   world   including   virtual   communities,   social   media   opportunities,   and   howthese   technologies   can   be   leveraged   to   help   to   achieve   organizational   goals.  3.1.   Virtual   communities This   case   involves   a   virtual   community,   which   is   described   as   an   information   source   and   place   of    social   interaction(Mason,   1999;   Rheingold,   1991,   1993).   Drawing   parallels   with   tribes   developed   in   relation   to   materiality,   community,   andbrand   (Maffesoli,   1996),   virtual   communities   are   networks   of    individuals   built   around   a   common   interest   (e.g.,   a   sport   team,a   chocolate   bar)   (Acosta   &   Devasagayam,   2010;   Green,   2001;   Maffesoli,   1996).   The   communities   can   have   different   sizes, M.E.   Pfahl   et    al.    /    Sport    Management    Review   15   (2012)   518–537    519  scopes,   and   purposes   (Dholakia,   Bagozzi,   &   Pearo,   2004;   Ellis   Porter,   2006;   Garton,   Haythornthwaite,   &   Wellman,   1997;Rheingold,   1991,   1993;   Walther,   1996;   Wellman   &   Gulia,   1999).   While   virtual   communities   remain   important   to   digital   life,social   media   platforms   have   had   a   meteoric   rise   in   importance   over   the   past   several   years.  3.2.   Social   media In   the   past   ten   to   fifteen   years,   social   media   opportunities   emerged   and   now   augment   traditional   websites.   They   provide   aplatform   for   interactivity   via   strategic   marketing   and   brand   activities   (Grant,   2006;   Mangold   &   Faulds,   2009).   Social   mediaare   platforms   individuals   use   to   seek   out   connections   and   relationships   with   others   through   various   technologies   intended   tofacilitate   their   development   (e.g.,   FaceBook,   Twitter)   (Safko,   2010).In   many   ways,   the   use   of    these   technologies   signals   a   shiftin   power   and   communication   opportunities   between   sport   organization   personnel   and   fans   (and   between   fans).   Two-waycommunication   is   facilitated   by   the   social   media   platforms   rather   than   relying   solely   on   unilateral   messages   from   anorganization   (e.g.,   television   advertisements)   (Safko,   2010).Today,   sports   marketers   are   paying   more   attention   to   social   media   opportunities   and   options.   For   example,   the   ClevelandIndians   offer   an   entire   suite   dedicated   to   social   media   usage   that   can   be   rented   for   each   game   and   the   Boston   Red   Soxpersonnel   have   used   Twitter   and   FaceBook   to   consult   fans   about   a   potential   time   change   for   a   game   due   to   a   playoff    gameconflict   involving   the   Boston   Bruins   (Fisher,   2011).At   the   league   level,   Major   League   Baseball   personnel   successfully   usedTwitter   as   part   of    their   All-Star   Game   information   and   marketing   efforts   (Fisher,   2011).Sports   marketers   at   Octagonembraced   Twackle   as   a   platform   to   engage   and   to   develop   key   analytical   metrics   for   a   variety   of    issues   related   to   social   media(e.g.,   content   impact)   (Fisher,   2011).Finally,   athletes   and   coaches   at   all   levels   of    sport,   including   high   school,   are   now   usingTwitter   ( Joe,   2011;   Holmes,   2011).Social   media   represents   an   evolution   of    the   World   Wide   Weband   one   that   allows   individuals   to   develop   and   to   share   user  generated   content    (UGC)   and   to   exercise   control   over   their   self    representation   in   the   digital   and   terrestrial   worlds   (Kaplan   &Haenlein,   2010).   Examples   of    commonly   used   social   media   include   FaceBook,   Wikipedia,   and   FourSquare   (Tapscott   &Williams,   2008).   However,   social   media   encompasses   more   than   these   popular   platforms   (Table   1).Social   media   spending   in   relation   to   advertising   is   expected   to   surpass   US$2   billion   in   the   United   States   and   nearly   thesame   amount   internationally   in   2011   (Table   2).   While   this   data   highlights   an   overall   trend   towards   increased   spending,simply   spending   money   is   not   a   good   strategy.   The   digital   world   offers   targeted   opportunities   to   connect   with   individuals.Thus,   marketing   and   advertising   efforts   must   be   grounded   in   different   elements   found   in   the   digital   world   (e.g.,   Table   1elements).   Key   points   about   social   media   and   its   use   in   marketing   efforts   concern   individual   choice,   identity,   identification,intimacy,   collaboration,   and   self-presentation   (Berger   &   Luckmann,   1966;   Kaplan   &   Haenlein,   2010;   Tapscott   &   Williams,2008;   The   Economist,   2011).Social   media   and   other   digital   platforms   offer   opportunities   to   address   these   issues   by   creatingmore   personalized   messaging   for   their   customers   and   potential   customers   (eMarketer,   2011a).However,   value   is   difficult   to   develop   and   to   measure   in   social   media   realms.   Table   3   provides   a   summary   of    opinions   bymarketers   related   to   the   importance   of    select   methods   to   measure   social   media   sponsorship   success   (eMarketer,   2011b).Table   3   shows   a   few   of    the   basic   ways   data   can   be   gathered,   but   technology   allows   for   many   types   of    metrics   to   bedeveloped   and   utilized   in   order   to   achieve   return   on   investment   and   other   objectives.   Metrics   are   the   keys   to   success   forsport   marketing   efforts   in   digital   spaces   because   they   are   able   to   capture   important   data,   which   can   then   be   used   to   developbetter   and   stronger   relationships   with   fans.   Further,   in   the   same   study,   the   respondents   noted   certain   social   media   platformswere   more   valuable   per   use   than   others,   at   least   in   terms   of    sponsorship   (Table   4).   However,   this   situation   is   contextual   giventhe   variable   nature   of    activating   a   particular   sponsorship.Table   4   provides   examples   of    the   different   platforms   that   can   be   mixed   together   to   formulate   sport   marketing   strategiesin   the   digital   space.   The   price   information   provided   is   an   estimation   of    the   value,   per   click   and   view,   of    a   social   media   type.  Table   1 Social   media   platform   categories   (Safko,   2010a,b).Telephony   programs   (e.g.,   Skype)   Social   network   platforms   (e.g.,   MySpace,   FaceBook)Photograph   sharing   (e.g.   Flikr)   User   generated   publishingAudio   VideoMicroblogging/blogging   Live   castingVirtual   worlds   (e.g.,   gaming,   Second   Life)   Productivity   applications   (e.g.,   telecommunications   aids)Aggregating   websites   Search   engines   (e.g.,   Google)Really   Simple   Syndication   feeds   (RSS)   Mobile   marketing  Table   2 Social   media   advertising   spending   2009–2011   (eMarketer,   2010).Year   United   States   (percent   share)   Non-United   States   (percent   share)2009   US$1.4   billion   (55.4   percent)   US$1.13   billion   (44.6   percent)2010   US$1.68   billion   (51   percent)   US$1.62   billion   (49   percent)2011   US$2.09   billion   (49.1   percent)   US$2.17   billion   (50.9   percent) M.E.   Pfahl   et    al.    /    Sport    Management    Review   15   (2012)   518–537  520  For   example,   if    a   video   was   sponsored   by   a   partner,   the   price   would   be   $112.46   per   view.   However,   it   is   important   to   note   thatthese   are   examples.   Team   personnel   can   charge   more   or   less   depending   upon   the   complexity   of    their   activities   and   theirabilities   to   establish   solid   return   on   investment   metrics.   The   FaceBook   Like   button   is   increasingly   important   as   a   revenuegeneration   and   activity   tracking   platform.   It   is   monetized   when   it   is   used   as   a   reference   point   for   customer   browsingactivities   and   as   a   way   to   refer   others   to   the   product   or   service   via   the   interaction   of    a   website   and   FaceBook,   for   example.Measurement   occurs   when   the   button   is   clicked   and   next   actions   are   followed   (e.g.,   to   a   purchase)   (Adobe,   2011).Specificdetails   related   to   social   media   in   the   sport   industry   are   provided   in   the   case   materials.   The   information   found   in   Tables   3   and4   augments   information   found   in   Section   3.9   Monetizing    the   Brand:   Corporate   Relationships   Through   CavFanatic    of    the   case.With   virtual   communities   and   social   media   changing   fan   engagement   within   sport,   it   is   important   for   sport   marketers   toleverage   these   platforms   to   achieve   organizational   goals.Connecting   virtual   communities   and   social   media   platforms   means   sport   marketers,   like   theircounterparts   in   otherindustries,   must   seek   ways   to   leverage   the   digital   world   for   more   than   passive   advertising   (Ellis   Porter,   2006).   However,   theymust   critically   examine   the   strategic   and   marketing   challenges   in   the   digital   world   in   order   to   learnhow   individuality   and   sport community   aredeveloped   (Burnett,   1999;   Herring,   2004;   Fisher,   2011;   Schneider   &   Foote,   2004;   Wakeford,   2004;   Walther,1996).   Doing   so   will   help   sport   marketers   develop   and   implement   strategiesto   engage   fans   and   to   monetizedigital   spaces.Strategic   and   critical   examinations   of    digital   spaces   and   community   development   revealed   a   tension   between   anindividual’s   experience   in   sport   and   the   ways   individuals   within   communities   experience   it   (Broughton,   2011).For   example,a   Pew   Internet   and   American   Life   Project   (2010)   study   found   that,   while   email   usage   among   older   adults   is   still   important,social   media   and   social   network   platforms   (e.g.,   FaceBook)   allow   them   to   share   news   and   information,   photographs,   and   tostay   in   contact   with   their   social   sphere.   In   a   sport   specific   study   conducted   by   Catalyst   Public   Relations   researchers,   fortypercent   of    fans   surveyed   (2111   adult   sport   fans)   believed   their   use   of    social   media   enhanced   their   fandom   by,   for   example,using   digital   and   social   media   to   check   highlights   (Broughton,   2011).   In   another   study,   personnel   at   McKinsey   &   Companyexamined   personal   habits   related   to   digital   technology   and   found   nearly   fifty   percent   of    people   studied   used   smarttelephones   and   other   advanced   devices   to   access   the   World   Wide   Web   and   social   media   platforms   (Chappuis,   Gaffey,   &Parvizi,   2011).   These   studies   reflect   a   shared   experience   that   is   simultaneously   an   individual’s   experience   (Grant,   2006;Lampel   &   Bhalla,   2007;   Pentzold,   2010;   Utz,   2009).   Studies   such   as   these   reflect   the   impact   of    social   media   on   sport   and   theways   individual   freedom   and   choice   can   cultivate   a   web   of    communities.   They   also   act   as   a   departure   point   for   sportmarketers   to   develop,   to   implement,   and   to   evaluate   digital   marketing   opportunities.  3.3.   Strategic    marketing    in   digital   spaces Marketing   strategies   related   to   brand   are   often   contested   and   complicated   in   terms   of    what   a   brand   is,   how   it   is   created,and   how   individual   customers   interact   with   it   (Aaker,   1996,   Stern,   2006).   In   strategic   terms,   a   quality   brand   is   often   thoughtto   be   the   foundation   for   competitive   advantage   for   products   and   services   (Aaker,   1991).   Oftentimes,   a   lifestyle   or   personalityis   developed   for   a   brand   in   order   to   facilitate   a   set   of    affective   and   cognitive   connections   in   hopes   of    developing   an   engagingrelationships   with   and   lifestyle   adoption   by   a   fan/customer   (e.g.,   loyalty)   (Aaker,   1997;   Fournier,   1998).   However,   in   the  Table   3 Social   media   sponsorship   success   metrics   (eMarketer,   2011b).Metric   Very   important(percent)Important(percent)Somewhat   important(percent)Not   important(percent)Quality   of    Content   42.1   37.9   14.1   5.9Shares   35.6   35.8   22.5   6.1Clickthrough   rate   35.1   39.8   20.9   4.3Cost   per   acquisition   35   34.5   23.9   6.5Cost   per   Click   30.5   38.1   25.6   5.8Comments   28.5   39.5   26.5   5.6Sentiment   of    content   27   41   26.1   5.9Cost   per   impression   24.3   37.8   28.6   9.2  Table   4 Social   media   sponsorship   values   (eMarketer,   2011b).Social   media   type   ValueBlog   Post   US$114.71Video   US$112.46Tweet   US$63.64FaceBook   update   US$55.16Photograph   US$54.58Twitter   Follower   US$46.53FaceBook   Like   US$45.63Check-in   US$40.15 M.E.   Pfahl   et    al.    /    Sport    Management    Review   15   (2012)   518–537    521
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