DCIM Capstone Proposal

Research question/argument

My Capstone project will focus on the impact social media and the Internet are having on the growth of the MLS (Major League Soccer) in the United States. A decade ago, MLS was seen as the “beginners” league, struggling to simply survive. Today, all the statistics show that the MLS has clearly established itself as one of the five major sports in the United States. As we all know, in todays age, social media is an important resource being used by businesses to better connect with fans and customers. The MLS is no exception, as the league and its 22 clubs are becoming less personal and interacting more with their fans on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, to name a few, are some of the social media portals that the MLS appears in, in order to
interact with their fanbase and . I want to look into the social media strategies employed by the league and/or some of their teams to better understand the connection between social media and the continued growth of the sport in this country. My intentions are to examine the effects social media is having on the MLS and how it’s effects are evolving the league into a top sport in the country.

–What are your data and how are you collecting it?
In order to get a better sense of the impact social media is having on the MLS, it is important to collect data straight from the sources. In this case, I will be focusing more exclusively on Twitter and Facebook by monitoring the activity, interaction and content shared. Furthermore, I would also gather data from other clubs around the world and compare them to the MLS in an effort to understand where the league stands when it comes to their use of social media websites. As a follow-up, I would like to break down the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube among teams in MLS. I think this technique will allow me to understand which teams best understand social media and which do not. This will also allow me to compare the teams that have the most significant roles in social media. These are generally the so-called “big clubs” or the teams that have the highest profile players on their rosters (New York Red Bulls or Los Angeles Galaxy to name a few) and the ones with the most success on the field (New England Revs). With this in mind, I will be able to understand the social media impact the “big clubs” have on the league and how this brings in attention and allow the MLS to market itself as a brand and grow.

–Project presentation details
I plan on writing a detailed research paper on my topic while incorporating sufficient data, analysis and multimedia content straight from the MLS social media accounts. I might also consider adding graphs or tables that will clearly portray the leagues use of social media and any impact on the number of followers on Twitter, Facebook or hits on Youtube. I will also monitor discussions and fan interactions that occur after recent posts or uploads which can also become important sources to add to the research paper.

2 Questions:
Are there any other ways to collect data for a project that aims to analyze the impact of social media?
Any important keywords I can search for on Google Scholar or other portals that can spark rich content for this project?

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