Sport Marketing on the Internet

 

An exploratory overview of Football team sites and features

 

By Edward J. Forrest, Nigel K. Ll. Pope & Jamie B. Murphy 

 

Ed Forrest, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Interactive Marketing at Griffith University, Queensland-Australia; Nigel Pope is a lecturer completing his Ph.D in Marketing at Griffith University; Jamie Murphy is a Ph.D. student studying interactive communication at Florida State University.

 

Author for contact:

 

Nigel Pope

Faculty of Commerce and Administration

Griffith University

Nathan             Qld 4111

AUSTRALIA

Phone   +61 7 3875 7719

Fax      +61 7 3875 7580

Email Nigelp@orgo.cad.gu.edu.au

 


Sport Marketing on the Internet

 

Abstract

Many fans and marketing managers are just beginning to explore and experiment with the internet and its worldwide web as an effective communication and marketing tool. An exploratory survey of  football sites in Australia, England and New Zealand found that a surprising number of  team sites were "unofficial" sites produced by fans. It was also found that team sites varied tremendously  with respect to the features and information services provided for the fans. Most noteworthy was the finding that very little effort was being expended in utilizing the World Wide Web for marketing and merchandising purposes. Initial exploratory studies such as this conclusivly demonstrate that the "success" of any commercial web site is contingent on the marketing manager addressing  five essential factors: defining the Mission, calculating the Margins, addressing the Mechanics, planning the Marketing, and performing the Maintenance.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

Every domain of marketing communication is being profoundly affected by advances in interactive communication. Accordingly, there is a pronounced need for marketing practitioners to acquire a new sensibility as to how to best blend these new technologies into the marketing mix. The most revolutionary of these new technologies is the World Wide Web (WWW). Herein, marketers are given a virtually free global information distribution system that presently provides tens and eventually millions of consumers with instantaneous, interactive, up-close & personal access to one's every marketing message. As it stands, many marketing managers are awaiting a greater level of penetration and consumer usage before "launching into cyberspace.” While this particular study focuses on Australian Rules and Rugby League football  teams’ presence on and use of the WWW, the lessons that can be learned remain universal in their applicability to effectively using the Internet as  sports marketing and management tool. In addition to evaluating the nature and features of team-sites on the web, we interviewed the webmasters responsible for  the sites’ development. Their responses provided some of the most valuable insights to be drawn from the study.

 

To date,  two similar surveys have been conducted and published which examined the hospitality industry's use of the WWW. These studies analyzed the nature, practicalities and interactive features of hotel (Murphy, Forrest & Wotring, 1996) and restaurant sites (Murphy, et.al., 1996), charting types of sites each business offered, and developed a picture of how specific hotels and restaurants use their WWW sites and which features work best. Apparent from the outset was the fact that a company’s "success" on the Internet depends on the amount of research it did before going on-line and its long-term financial commitment to maintaining a web site. As one experienced Internet consultant (Steve Franco of The Yankee Group)  observed: “Few businesses have based their Internet investment on little more than a back-of-the envelope calculation…18 percent have done no analysis at all, while only 12 percent have justified their investment plans under the scrutiny typically required within an organization.”

 

As with any element of one's marketing plan, using the Internet requires up-front    planning and thoughtful integration with the whole of one's total marketing efforts and activities. As one  commercial webmaster aptly noted: “Being on the internet requires a full marketing strategy. You must know your own personal goals.…For (my company) those goals are to increase worldwide visibility, upgrade public relations and publicity, develop sales, and include new technology in internal communication” (Bouquier, 1995).

 

In this paper we present some baseline data and methods that can help sports marketers make practical use of the WWW and may point to areas of future research. By analyzing the features of the existing WWW football team sites and questioning the web-masters for those sites, we provide both a synopsis of existing sites and a starting point for future research into how to use this efficient medium effectively.

 

Toward New Marketing Paradigms: Hypermarketing

Not since the advent of commercial television a half century ago have marketers had an opportunity to develop  techniques for using a new communication medium. Yet, the commercial tactics and aesthetic of TV marketing and advertising were readily adopted from its mass media predecessor. However, the unique character and interactive capabilities that the worldwide web offers are far more  revolutionary than evolutionary in its nature and effects. Accordingly, marketing  practitioners and theoreticians alike are now grasping for entirely new concepts and paradigms with which to define and explain the WWW phenomenon. To wit, Hoffman and Novak (1995) have introduced the concept of “hypermarketing” to help explain the peculiar aspects of conducting business in the new computer-mediated environments (CMEs). They argue that “the hypermedia CME presents a fundamentally different environment for marketing activities than traditional media and interactive multimedia” and that the “differences are so great that conventional marketing activities have become transformed and cannot be implemented in their present form.... Most important from a marketing perspective, however, is the manner in which the hypermedia CME transforms the marketing function…[and] turns traditional principles of mass media advertising…inside out, rendering application of advertising approaches which assume a passive, captive consumer impossible. Thus, marketers must reconstruct advertising models [because] …consumers actively choose whether or not to approach firms through their web sites, and [the consumers] exercise unprecedented control over the management of the content they interact with” (Hoffman and Novak, 1995).

 

The communication concept.

In our evaluation, the sites that are on the forefront of defining those new paradigms of electronic commerce on the WWW are those that give the consumer the easiest, most rewarding access to relevant and related information; take a personal approach; and facilitate the exchange of mutually beneficial information. In other words, they are the sites designed and developed in accordance with what we define as the communication concept: enabling, engaging, facilitating, sustaining, and rewarding interaction between (in the case of sport marketing) the team and the fan. In our marketing future, conversation with one’s customers/fans  will prove the key to conversion. Hoffman and Novak (1995) admonish those who do not have this enlightened perspective: “Marketers must focus on playing an active role in the construction of new organic paradigms for facilitating commerce in the emerging electronic society underlying the Web, rather than infiltrating the existing primitive mechanical structures.”

 

The WWW offers the sport marketing manager a revolutionary marketing tool. As the web evolves, it will offer enhanced features, an expanding base of users, and better site-development tools. While it will not entirely replace traditional means of management and marketing, it is the wave of the future and brings with it new rules of communication. Most of our respondents indicated positive experiences with their web sites and a commitment to this new means of commerce. They realize, however, that successful WWW marketing requires not just the initial creation and steady maintenance of their site but also the willingness to adapt to this evolving environment.

 

Methodology

On August 23,1996, we used the keywords "Australia" and "football" with four separate search engines (a search engine is a WWW site that looks for keywords in a stored database of millions of WWW sites). The search engines were Excite, Yahoo, Webcrawler and AltaVista. Three follow up searches were made after the initial run. These were "Australian" and "Rules" and "Football", "Rugby" and "League", and "Rugby" and "Union". These were selected to refine the search, as they are the most popular football codes in Australasia (Sweeney and Associates, 1992; Pope and Voges, 1995). We then visited each web site identified (by directing our computers to the appropriate URLs). We started from the top of each returned search list and worked our way down. While it is not a random sample, working from the top down on a returned list is the process many WWW surfers use. We followed the same procedure on August 26th and 27th to check the search engine’s consistency and to determine the stability of the web sites, with the same results. A number of  sites (the majority) were unable to be accessed, and/or were still under construction.

 

 In all, twenty sites were analyzed to see what features they contained (see Exhibit 1 for addresses of the sites). We recorded the features displayed on those twenty sites. The different features were then placed into four broad categories based on our previous WWW site reset. These categories are: user interaction, information, marketing/ promotion and management. We analyzed all sites twice to determine consistency, and the results for each coding were very similar. There was, unfortunately, one site which had ceased to exist within two days of the initial contact.

<<Exhibit 1 about here>>

<<Exhibit 2 about here>>

 

Findings

It will be recalled that we used four different search engines to identify the football teams of interest. Results of those searches are presented at Exhibit 3. We note that different search engines produce different measures and provide different returns. We attribute this to the different interpretations placed by these engines on our request. Some measure each key word appearance in a document, others the key word’s appearance in the title, and others list results in terms of sites.

<<Exhibit 3 about here>>

Analysis of Features

Overall, the football sites we analyzed provide a wide array of features. In total, we observed twenty-four separate features on the 20 team sites we analyzed (see Exhibit 4).

<<Exhibit 4 about here>>

 

Typically, the opening screen of a web site displays the features available at that site (see Exhibits 5 and 6). E-mail, team logo, links to other clubs and news and gossip were the most common features. Surprisingly, only about a third of the sites provided a chat forum for more direct interaction between the fans. The majority of sites analyzed offered web users the means to access team results and news over the internet, less than a quarter  had a selling function (e.g., ticketing and merchandise) attached to their web sites. This is perhaps to be expected, given that only six of the sites were officially operated by the teams.

 

There is a difference between offering information and conducting commerce using the web. Those sites which were run by the clubs themselves (the official sites), each had some form of commercial activity involved, either merchandise or ticketing, but not both. No links were provided to these sites through supporter unofficial sites. Samples of sites appear at Exhibits 5 and 6.

<<Exhibit 5 about here>>

<<Exhibit 6 about here>>

 

Few sites experimented with new internet technologies. Only two offered the opportunity to complete an electronic suggestion form; while one offered contests; another betting; and another a fantasy football game. One webmaster stated his attention to “have video clips - no more than a few seconds of the major incidents in a match - sendings off, tries scored, contentious decisions et al.”

 

Web-site Statistics & Web-Masters' Experiences.

In essence, one could categorize the information we got from the webmasters who responded to our survey as either (1) predictable, (2) interesting or (3) surprising.

 

Within the “predictable” subset one would place the finding that for the most part all the sites are relatively new. With the exception of  one club, all sites are less than a year old; and half have been up and running for less than six months. Also predictable was the fact that there was a wide range of variability in the cost and time spent constructing and maintaining the sites. The reported cost of creating a site ranged from essentially nothing (other than volunteered time and regular monthly "connect charges") to £250, and the maintenance costs ranged from none to about $80. As it was,  no  official sites would provide any  financial figures for maintenance. Time spent on site construction varied from thirty minutes to 160 person-hours. Time spent on site maintenance  ranged from 20 minutes to 15 person-hours per week. In a similar predictable vain, webmasters reported a wide range in the amount of traffic that they received on their sites. with some reporting less than 30 to others reporting better than  2000 “hits" per week. Of  course it should be  acknowledged that the number of hits is a compound function of  the design and contents of one's site AND  the number of individuals visiting, it remains a defacto "quick and dirty measure of site popularity (Murphy and Forrest, 1996). 

 

Within the "interesting" realm of findings we would place the fact that the majority (14 of 20) of the webmasters that responded to our e-mail survey were running "unofficial" sites. That is, the decision to create the site, its character, content, maintenance and marketing are all determined solely by the webmasters themselves. In almost every instance, the sites are the product of  superfans who have an interest in HTML  as well as ARL and AFL. As one web-master aptly put it "I'm just a mad footy fan who wanted to pay homage to the Essendon Football Club." In a similar vain, another responded," that he was a loyal Port-Adelaide supporter unable to find a PAFC page" so he created his own. Most representative of this phenomenon is the comment from Damian Smith, the "unofficial web-master of the South Melbourne Soccer Club: "I'm an Info Tech student...through my access to the WWW I fell in love with the net....I'm also an avid fan of the club. It seemed logical to me that I should combine my two loves...computing and soccer."

 

When going on to examine the site objectives and benefits, "predictably" one finds a consistent difference between those sites created by fans and those underwritten by the teams themselves.  For the "cyber-fan" the objectives are demonstrating their computer skills and socialization:

eg. The objectives of the site are to "get a report of the previous week’s game to the fans... and give my ego and vanity a good workout"

eg. The objectives of the site are to " provide info about Parra Rugby, teach myself about web publishing"

eg. What benefits? "Financially nothing, but that's not what I expected...I was never doing it for money... I have met other Souths fans though the net, which can be interesting"

For the club-managed sites the objectives are clearly more formal and “marketing” oriented.

eg. "The objectives of the site are to promote the club to a wider audience (naturally) but our main aim is to let people see the facilities other than the Rugby League such as conferences and dinners etc." ( Andrew Farrow, Chairman of the Dewsbury R.L.F.C.)

eg. For the London Broncos the site objective  is to provide a "resource for existing fans, recruit new fans"

eg. For the Brisbane Bears the objective is to "provide an accurate and informative medium for the benefit of Qld. fans."

 

With respect to promotion of the sites, an "interesting" finding was that the "cyber-fans" were as adept, if not more so, as the "professionals" in promoting their sites. Nearly all webmasters who responded, reported the registry of their sites on standard search engines. But it was only the cyber-fans who noted the use of news groups and the IRLWWW ( wherein webmasters reciprocate advertising on each others sites). Once more, the only “hotlink” to a sponsor’s page was found on an unofficial site. With respect to the  promotional efforts made by the official sites, respondents showed only perfunctory attempts to communicate the existence of their sites. One professional club only advertised their site’s existence through matchday programs, and others appeared not to have taken a systematic approach to the available mechanisms:

 

eg. We register with all the usual search engines…we have had some articles in the local press

eg. Through all forms of media as the opportunity arises.

 

Finally, the most “surprising” aspect of our research is that some teams have exhibited not just apathy toward unofficial sites, but near hostility. For instance, one respondent stated:

 

“I think the hardest thing that we have to deal with is the administrations of both the clubs and the governing bodies. We do more for the promotion of the game (especially internationally) than what most clubs/bodies do in a lifetime. Most of us don't ask for much except maybe for permission to use logos, etc. We don’t charge and we don’t exclude anyone…yet we always seem to get the cold shoulder. I have faxed and phoned Soccer Australia and South Melbourne, many times to tell them about my site….I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED A REPLY AT ALL! You will find that I’m not the only one who gets shafted!”

 

and another:

“About three months after setup we got a message passed on to us that the

[club] management were a bit annoyed with some of our comments. Upon

contacting them it became obvious that they had not read the pages themselves but were relying on hearsay. Although we parted amicably they have failed to keep in touch or show any interest in further contacts. Other experiences I have heard from other unofficial fan sites range from lawyers letters to invites to the directors box!”

 

By contrast, in the case of one respondent, the St Helen’s Rugby League Football Club’s webmaster, the site had become described as the official site with the team’s blessing. This may be little more than lip service as the webmaster is not paid, and does not work on a full time basis. This site did not have any commercial activity offered, but was the only one we found which ran a fantasy competition. It seems that the team is taking insufficient advantage of the existence of the (un)official site.

 

Discussion: From the 4 P's to the 5 M's:

 Just as the 4'Ps-- product, price, place and promotion-- have served to define the basics of mass marketing, the 5 M's--mission, margins, mechanics, marketing and maintenance-- can serve as the essential considerations for effective interactive marketing on the WWW.

 

1. Define the mission- the web site’s objectives and constituencies:

Set objectives with your team’s owners, corporate office, and executive committee. What do you want to accomplish by going on-line? Is the site going to be used primarily for external marketing functions such as promotion, customer service & relations, research and or product/service delivery? Is the site's primary objective to provide internal management functions such employee scheduling, communications and /or electronic data interchange?

With respect to sport marketing- here are some possible marketing objectives:

           To improve team loyalty by increasing communication with fans ; use on-line membership drives and “guest book” registration to create an on-line fan database.

           To expand public relations and publicity--  literally around the world.

           To offer special promotions to seasonal ticket holders, families, special groups or organizations; increase season ticket sales with special promotions to single game purchasers.

           To make available on-line a fan newsletter, posters, merchandise, contests, competitions and on-line forum for fan chats and debates.

 

And some possible management objectives:

            Improve internal communications with management team  and the corporate office (could include internal memos and follow-ups to personal conversations)

            Transfer data, for example, financial reports and purchasing information, in a timely and inexpensive way

           Notify the management team and others of security-related issues

            Broadcast human-resource issues and announce the employee of the month and other quality-team members

            Increase the speed and accuracy of purchasing and working with suppliers

 

A team or franchise may want to start with only a few objectives. A prudent approach may be to consider objectives that best fit the needs of your team at this time. Gradually increase the number of functions your system is capable of as your management team acquires the skills and knowledge to use them.

 

2. Calculate the Margins- the web site’s return on investment or costs and benefits:

 A site on the WWW should be treated like any other allocation of resources. What are the expected fixed and variable costs for setting up and maintaining a site? What are the expected cost savings or increased sales (or both) that will result from a site? Is a WWW site a good investment of time and money?  It is impotent to note that a web site can often prove more valuable for the time & money it saves an organization as opposed to the additional revenue is generates.  For example, "Sun Microsystems sells more than $1 million over the Internet a month . But- in addition, Sun used the Internet to cut customer support costs by more than $1 million per year while increasing customer satisfaction." (Emery, '95).

 

Moreover, there is another cost factor which while difficult to estimate, could prove "considerable" in the long run. That is, the cost of delaying entry onto and experimentation with the WWW.  The WWW is a medium that is growing so fast that at any given moment no one really knows how big it is, nor is there any consensus on  how big it is going to get in the near future. As recently reported in the on-line edition of the New York Times -  CyberTimes: "Two years ago, most of the Web was made up of static text  documents and a few pictures....Life was  easy... The Web had a size... That's not so today. Many Web sites are now in constant flux, generating an arbitrary number of customized ever-changing pages, depending on the user, browser and time of day.... the number of users -- current estimates are about 16 million -- and  its growth rate, at least doubling every year.....In terms of raw pages, Lycos has cataloged over 55 million of an estimated 80 million Web pages available for free to the public...This number has grown by an annual factor of 10 since 1994, so next year we can expect to pass the 1 billion Web-page mark.....As for growth...  the Web is amassing the collective cognitive output of humans faster than any other technological or industrial or social or business phenomenon ever....  (and some predict)... Half the people in the world will have Web pages in the next 10 years. They will be as common as telephones today and will serve as the prime vessel for mail and transactions" (Murphy and Lacher, 1996).

 

3. Study the mechanics- its design, features, and content:

 Look at the costs associated with designing the system you need to accomplish your objectives. Do you have someone on staff who can design a system for your team and train the marketing manager  to use it? If not, hire a consultant, but not one that simply is a programming guru. Herein one might heed the advice of the London Broncos’ site manager who respond to our e-mail survey question regarding what else he would like to share with other sport site webmasters “Use consultants who understand about building relationships first and Internet technologies second.”  

 

4) Plan the marketing- both internally through related web sites and externally: through traditional media advertising.   

The internet and the WWW, should be fully integrated into a teams’  overall marketing plan. Indeed, one finding of our exploratory study suggests that with respect to the “official’ team sites little “special” effort was being made to promote the sites. This research also suggests to us that official sites are not taking sufficient advantage of the existence of the unofficial sites. It would seem reasonable to expect the official sites and unofficial sites to be linked and to work in conjunction with one another. Indeed, on the basis of our research, official site masters have much to learn from the unofficial sites.

 

5. Schedule maintenance- the ongoing construction and improvement of the site:

Every good sport marketing manager has a preventive-maintenance plan. Technology also needs maintenance. Every system has glitches and requires improvements to enhance its efficiency, and better options become available every day. A team will not want to change its site every day, of course, but it is important to stay abreast of ways to improve it and to maintain the easiest, most personal, and relevant access possible.—

 

Future Research

Since little research has been done on the sports-entertainment industry’s use of the new internet technologies, there are a multitude of research possibilities.

 

Future research could address: how much does a fully featured site cost to establish, manage, and maintain? What are the fixed and variable cots associated with such a site? How much money can a WWW site save through reduced telephone inquiries or information dissemination (e.g., brochures)? How much merchandise and how many tickets can be sold through a web site? Financial ratios such as return-on-investment or payback-period should be applied to WWW sites.

 

 Questions about the nature of the site owners and the cost and benefits of the sites need to be discussed. Log files are the recorded behavior of site visitors. Unlike questionnaires about usage, log files show exactly how long a visitor stays on each page of a site. They also indicate the visitor’s country and domain. In addition to a statistical analysis of the visitor, controlled experiments with page design (layout, graphics, color, interactive features, and so on) would aid in future site design.

 

Ours was a rudimentary, exploratory content analysis. Sophisticated content analysis and random-sampling techniques should be applied to  team sites on this revolutionary new medium. The various features on a WWW site and their subsequent functions should be studied. Some features (file size, e-mail, video, audio) can be objectively measured, while others (flow, navigability, graphics) are more difficult to assess. As base-line data are established, trend analysis becomes possible. 

 

Lastly, it would be interesting to conduct a more detailed and thorough research project across all continents to compare different approaches and different sports.

Of Final Note:

 The internet will affect the way the sports-entertainment industry operates in the future and, as such, sports marketing managers would do well to join the 21st century now, go on-line, and see for themselves. They must keep in mind, however, that the five M's of internet management—mission, margins, mechanics, marketing, and maintenance—must guide the WWW site strategy. Also, while there are benefits to using the internet, electronic communication will not supplant tried-and-true marketing & management principles.

 

A sports marketing manager may not have the time or the inclination to personally take the team on-line. The speed of change in the technology and the seemingly endless possibilities can be overwhelming. However, it is important to be aware of new developments and to have a working knowledge of the technology. It is here to stay. If you do not keep pace, the added success the WWW can offer will pass your team by.

 

References

Clark, T. “Peering Into the Web’s Tangled Future,” Inter@ctive Week, Dec.18, 1995.
URL: http://www.zdnet.com/~intweek/print/951218/webguide/col2.html

 

Emery, V. How to Grow Your Business on the Internet, (Coriolis Group Books, 1995) p.2.

 

Gates, B. " Unrolls Microsoft’s Internet Map,” PC Magazine, Trends Online, December 8, 1995.

 

Hoffman, D.  Novak, T. “Marketing in Hypermedia Computer-Mediated Environments” (working paper, Vanderbilt University, December 15, 1994. (URL=http://www2000.ogsm.vanderbilt.edu/cmepaper/section5.html#trans_market_act)

 

Murphy, J. Forrest,. E. “Hits, Views, Clicks and Visits: Web Advertisers Face Data Jungle” The New York Times - CyberTimes Extra , May 26,1996 (URL= http://www.nytimes.com/cyber/week/0526measure-side1.html)

 

 

Murphy, J. Forrest, E. Wotring, C. "Hotel Management and Marketing on the Internet," Cornell Quarterly, Vol.37, No.3, 1996, pp.70-82.

 

Murphy, J. Forrest, E. Wotring, C. "Restaurant Marketing on the Worldwide Web," Cornell Quarterly, Vol.37, No.1, 1996  pp.61-67.

 

 Murphy, J. Lacher, C. " 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi: How to Measure the Web,"

New York Times-CyberTimes,  (URL=http://www.nytimes.com/library /cyber/week/0810websize.html),   August 10-11, 1996

 

Pope, N. K. Ll. and Voges, K. E. (1995) “Sporting Queensland”, Brisbane: Rationale.

 

Steinart-Threlkeld, T. “Internet Growth in 1995 Unrelenting, Lycos and Zona Find,” Inter@ctive Week, December 11, 1995.

Sweeney and Associates (1992) “Australians and Sport,” Melbourne: the author.


Exhibit 1:WWW Addresses of the Sport Sites Analyzed

Australian Rules Football

Brisbane Bears (Official)                  www.redinet.com.au:80/bears/

Brisbane Bears (Unofficial)                  www. ozemail.com.au/~megano/

Essendon Bombers (Unofficial)                  vicnet.net.au/~brad/bombers.htm

Port Adelaide Magpies(Unofficial)                  www. ozemail.com.au/~jduthie/pafc/pafc.htm

Carlton Blues (Unofficial)                  netspace.net.au/~gavinb/carlton

Collingwood Magpies (Official)                  www.collingwoodfc.com.au

Fremantle Dockers (Official)                  www.dockers.com.au

Geelong Football Club (Official)                  netra.catnet.com.au/gfc

Hawthorn Hawks(Unofficial)                  netspace.net.au/~wizard/hawks.htm

North Melbourne (Unofficial)                  www.acslink.net.au/~ikatz

St Kilda (Unofficial)                  www.ozemail.com.au?~dzalcman/stkilda

Sydney Swans (Unofficial)                  www.ozemail.com.au/~mcwhirtc/sydney

Adelaide Crows (Unofficial)                  www.cyntax.com.au/crows

 

Rugby League 

South Sydney (Unofficial)                        www. cooee.com.au/~msivis/sthsyd.html

St. Helen’s (Official)                  members.aol.com/ngribben/saints/saints.htm

Keighley Cougars (Unofficial)                  ourworld.compuserve.com/homepage/ddcouga

London Broncos (Official)                  www.kopparnet.com/broncos

Dewsbury (Official)                  www.poptel/org.uk/polkaville/drlfc

Auckland Warriors                  softcopy.com/chris/warriors.htm

Soccer

South Melbourne                  www.ozemail.com.au/~dtsbaby?welcome.html

Rugby Union

Parramatta                  www.acay.com.au/~pdunne

Source : Researchers


Exhibit 2: E-Mail Questions

(1)        What was the position of the person who made the decision to establish the site?

(2)        What are the objectives of the site?

(3)        When was the site established?

(4)        How much time and money were spent in establishing the site?

(5)        How much time and money were spent maintaining the site?

(6)        How is the site promoted?

(7)        What benefits have been derived from having the site?

(8)        What is the level of traffic on the site?

(9)        Is there anything else you would like to share with us and/or other interactive sport site web-masters?

Source: Researchers

 

Exhibit 3: Hits for each search engine

Keyword          AltaVista    WebCrawler               Excite              Yahoo                       

Aust Rules Football  26259                  161               13520                      4                       

Rugby League              13197                  308                                        6651                    37

Rugby Union              28576                  222                                        6054                    24

Australia Football             168744                  444                                      20364                    16

Source: Researchers

 


Exhibit 4: Features of WWW football team sites

                                        Feature                    Official                    Unofficial                    Total

                                            N=6                    N=14                    N=20                

                    Fan Interaction

E-mail            6                    14                    20                                                                                               

Chat forum     2                      3                      5                                               

Fantasy games                      1                      0                      1                                               

Contests         0                      1                      1

Links to other team sites       3                      9                    12

Betting           0                      1                      1

 

                    Team Information

Game schedule                      3                      4                      7                                               

Player profile  2                      6                      8                                               

Player of the year/week      1                      4                      5                                                                       

Great games   0                      1                      1                                               

Club Vitae      3                      2                      5                                               

Team/player photos            2                      5                      7                                               

Team Logo    4                      9                    13                                               

Results           3                    12                    15                                               

Match Reports                      1                      4                      5                                               

News/gossip  5                      9                    14                                               

 

                    Marketing/Promotion

Facilities         1                      0                      1

Guest Book    0                      1                      1

Merchandise  4                      0                      4                                               

Sponsor Logos                      4                      1                      5

Tickets offered                      1                      0                      1                                               

Membership application      2                      1                      3

                                               

 

                    Management

Suggestions    1                      1                      2                                               

Visitor count   6                      3                      9                                                                                               

Source: Analysis of data