Predicting NFL Ticket Sales with Social Media Data: An Abstract

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Three billion people access their social media accounts every month (Tariq 2019). Social media had transformed marketing as managers focus on interacting with customers on this real-time channel rather than giving out brand messages and waiting for the customer response. Social media facilitates customer relationship management by enabling real-time interactions with a wider demographic of customers, which often trigger positive Word of Mouth and user-generated brand contents, maximizing brand marketing potentials (Kapoor et al. 2018). Thus, how managers exploit this online communication channel and engage customers on new media increasingly determine future business success (Shahzad et al. 2019). In this study, we utilize social capital theory and long-tail theory to rationalize how the followers on brand social media influence brand performances, and how the follower effect is varied by brand characteristics. We examined 31 National Football League (NFL) teams on the number of followers on their social media and ticket sales. Consumer motives for attending sports events are as heterogeneous as their motives for product adoption, where social influence, experiential, or hedonic benefits all influence new purchases of sports tickets (James and Ross 2004). We utilized panel data models to investigate the effect and K-mean clustering to classify team characteristics. The findings of this study suggest that one unit increase in the number of social media followers can contribute to 3.43 USD in ticket revenues. However, the marginal effect of followers is negative. The early followers make more substantial contributions to brand performances compared to followers who inflowed as a team gains popularity. The follower effect on ticket sales is also varied by social media channels and team types between niche and mass teams. One unit increase in the number of followers for niche teams increased.47 USD more in ticket revenues compared to mass teams. We suggest that the managers (1) identify the target audience, and (2) select the right social media channel to maximize potential brand support activities of the followers. Future research might explore content strategy about which type of brand-customer interaction on social media leads to increased brand support activities of followers and a greater contribution of social media marketing to sales performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


  • Clustering
  • Digital marketing
  • Social capital
  • Social media
  • Social media marketing
  • Social media metrics


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