Social media has become the dominant tool for sports fans to receive news and messages. Many sports fans turns to the four main social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to receive marketing information, highlights, updates, and statistics while consuming sports content. Past studies indicated the greatest advantages for all levels of sports organizations using social media to promote the events and engage their fans. To fully understand the utilization of social media and its effectiveness for marketing intercollegiate athletic events, this study examined 203 athletic spectators’ (62% males and 38% females) preferable methods for obtaining athletic information and promotional message at a regional institution in Appalachia. The results showed the respondents relied on social media and word-of-mouth far more than the official athletic website to obtain information and game content. It was found that students’ preferable communication channels and pattern of use were different from the older community fans as compared to the past studies. Practical strategies for increasing certain types of video content and messages to enhance student event attendance and engagement were addressed based on the analyses of this data. The athletic department could also create additional employment or internship positions to mainly produce and monitor promotional and informational content in social media platforms.

Mentor Name

Dr. Steve Chen

Mentor Email