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By Carli Setchell and Mikaela Wagner
In July 2010, the first ever Digital Sport Summit (DSS) was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Summit brought together some of the best and brightest minds across the Australian sport and digital media industry. The DSS covered a variety of sports with guests such as Ed Wyatt (Journalist; SEN), Jeramie McPeek (Vice-President of Digital Operations; Phoenix Suns), Darren Rowse (Pro Blogger), Jonathan Simpson (Digital Marketing Manager; Essendon Football Club), Finn Bradshaw (Chief Online Editor Sport and Racing; Herald Sun), Alana Fisher (Manager, Digital and Social Media; Football Federation Australia), Anthony Harrison (Digital Marketing Manager; Cricket Victoria), Peter Jankulovski (Managing Director; AFL Dreamteam) and Nick Marvin (Chief Executive Officer; Perth Wildcats).
The DSS presented case studies of sporting clubs and teams, and how they use social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) to benefit their organisations. We learnt that through the use of social media, clubs can increase the amount of connection points between the organisation and their supporters, as well as increasing the depth of club databases. The Essendon Football Club is a perfect example having over 80,000 followers on Facebook. This large number of followers doesn’t directly reflect on profits, however it does represent a considerable amount of people who the club otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Now that there is an ability to communicate with supporters directly from the club, all content can be controlled and monitored, and enable the club to make followers aware of and competitions.
The emerging term ‘fan development’ and the relationship between digital marketing and fan engagement was also highlighted. Once again, there were case studies where organisations that had a high level of involvement and engagement between the club and their supporters showed higher levels of brand awareness and identity, especially on a community level.
The DSS was a very valuable experience for us as students studying Sports Management, showing firsthand how the world of sport is constantly changing with emerging trends and that we, as future professionals need to keep updated with these enhancements and use them effectively.
For more information on Digital Sport Summits and Socials go to www.digitalsport.com.au or follow them on Twitter @digisportau
Carli Setchell and Mikaela Wagner are undergraduate students in the Sport Management Program at Deakin University.