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Maintaining Fan Loyalty: An Examination of the Marketing Strategies Employed by League of Ireland Clubs

Maguire, Ross (2021) Maintaining Fan Loyalty: An Examination of the Marketing Strategies Employed by League of Ireland Clubs. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Many believe that player performances and financial profits are the foundations of a successful sporting institution, yet the history of the League of Ireland proves that the unwavering support of fans is the true pillar that protects this beloved domestic league. Although it is widely accepted that fans play a major role in the survival of the league, there is little research into fan loyalty in the context of the League of Ireland. While fan loyalty has been thoroughly covered in academia, it has focused on the more popular leagues across Europe, and fails to account for the unique structure and administration of the Irish league.

A review of literature was conducted into the areas of loyalty, sports marketing and the SSE Airtricity League (The League of Ireland). The literature revealed that building and maintaining a loyal fanbase is essential for sports organisations’ growth; sports marketing has been recognised as a crucial component in achieving this relationship between the club and the fan. Therefore, this research aims to identify which distinct marketing strategies are used by clubs in the Irish football league to create and maintain fan loyalty.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing officers across a variety of League of Ireland clubs. This was undertaken in order to identify which marketing strategies each club uses, allowing the researcher to compare these findings to those of the literature. The results outlined the most common marketing strategies that League of Ireland clubs are using to build and sustain fan loyalty, which revolve around using social media channels, securing sponsorships and working within the local community.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports > Soccer
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2022 11:50
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 11:28
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5469

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