A new book launched last night at MediaCity, with academics from the University of Salford playing a part in its creation.
The Routledge Handbook of Football Business and Management was officially launched at a glitzy ceremony featuring a guest speech from BBC Sport Editor, Dan Roan.
Dr Alex Fenton, a Lecturer in Digital Business at the university, co-wrote one of the chapters, ‘Digital and Social Media’, with his French contemporary Boris Helleu, a subject from which he had previously attained a PhD.
Many other aspects of the business of football from across the world are covered in the book, from the increasing need for Corporate Social Responsibility for football clubs, to the emergence and marketing of women’s football, and everything in between.
Dr. Fenton spoke about how he researched and co-wrote the section.
“I was able to interview fans from all over the world, social media managers of Premier League clubs and other clubs, and gather data from experts”, he said.
“I’ve used some of that knowledge, with the reading I did around for my PhD and some of the interviews that I did as well, I’ve been able to feed that into the book chapter.
“Between myself and Boris, with Boris coming from a French perspective and me from a UK perspective, we’ve tried to give an overarching thing about what we consider to be the important aspects of social media and football from a management perspective.”
Dr Fenton then went on to reveal what he had learned from co-creating the chapter, and how he believed football clubs should use social media.
“I think that an important finding is that it’s really important to keep [social media] content coming and making sure that you’re thinking about your audiences at different levels, whether its those core fans or fans from further afield, nationally or internationally, and looking at content that’s going to engage them.
“We got to see some really interesting examples recently, such as Salford Red Devils picking up on a young fan that decided to invest his Christmas money in their season ticket scheme, and they then come back, and its not a cynical thing, and make a big deal about it on social media and it gets an incredible number of views because they’re doing something positive.
“My advice (to clubs) is to devote more resources to creating that media, beating the algorithms, being relevant, creating that social capital at all levels.”
Another Salford name in the list of editors is Professor Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise and Co-Director of the Centre for Sports Business.
Thanks @Prof_Chadwick @parnell_daniel @Fire_and_Skill @chrisanagno very much enjoyed being part of the football book & launch @UoSMediaCity. Look forward to working with you again soon @bhelleu @drjdlord pic.twitter.com/HVAsKuxhA4
— Dr. Alex Fenton (@alexfenton) December 12, 2018
The Handbook is now available to be bought, and can be found online.