This thesis analyses the management of the personal brand of the football superstar on social media. The forms of interaction between two of the most highly regarded players in the history of modern football such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and their fans on Facebook and Twitter are studied during the 2017/2018 season, together with the brands associated to their image. Computational processes based on big data techniques are used to that end. Through the content analysis of the 731 publications disseminated by these two athletes as well as the 225 million interactions made by fans and followers throughout the regular season, the important effects of engagement on Facebook and Twitter are revealed. This dissertation argues that being present in both platforms with official profiles, a more continuous and consistent activity, a greater emphasis on the brevity and intimate nature of the publications, and a self-conscious global projection made of Cristiano Ronaldo a stronger brand in general terms. Following the results obtained, a new approach for sport professionals based on a data-assisted, human-driven brand management is suggested. A review of the weak, actual commitment of both the players and the community to solidarity initiatives and content is also proposed, as well as the generalised uncritical and positive bias of their responses. Lastly, the power of influence accumulated by these footballers, followed by millions of fans on social networks, is examined along with the consequences that an unethical use of it could pose. The need for further attention and discussion around the education and responsibility that stem from these athletes is thus evidenced. This analysis is complemented with interviews of social media and sport personal brand professionals.
|Date of Award||17 Sept 2021|
- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
|Supervisor||Emilio Fernandez Peña (Director)|