David against Goliath: Diagnosis and Strategies for a Niche Sport to Develop a Sustainable Fan Community

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2021
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Abstract
Pilota, played using the hands, is a niche sport with origins dating back to Greco-Roman times. In the Valencian region of Spain, an indigenous version of the sport is played with healthy participation rates despite having to compete with the major global sports. This study is aimed at understanding the current situation of this sport in terms of knowledge, transmission channels, fan experience and media consumption, as well as the brand strategy challenges it faces for building a stable and sustainable fan community. The methodology consists of a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques. Nearly 1500questionnaires completed across three study universes, four focus groups and 33 in-depth interviews with stakeholder representatives have served to check the data obtained and discuss the challenges facing the sport in a process of dialogue. The main finding lies in the management proposals that can be applied to most of the world’s surviving traditional sports. On a theoretical level, the study presents an analysis of niche sports in Europe from the point of view of branding and sustainability.
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traditional sport
niche sport
branding
sustainability
valencian pilota
Bibliographic reference
Sanahuja-Peris, G.; Agulló-Calatayud, V.; Blay-Arráez, R. David against Goliath: Diagnosis and Strategies for a Niche Sport to Develop a Sustainable Fan Community. Sustainability 2021, 13, 13594.
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