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New Book Chapter: COVID-19 and the Bundesliga – A Study of Digital Fan Engagement Strategies

In late 2022, a Research Handbook on Sport and Covid-19 was published by Paul Pedersen, Professor of Sport Management at Indiana University (USA). About a year earlier he consulted the international sport management community about studies focusing on the impact of Covid-19 on sport organizations. We had just finished one on digital fan engagement strategies in the German Bundesliga. A book chapter with Laura Matz, a graduate from Munich Business School, now at Brands and Emotions, an agency, and Gashaw Abeza, Associate Professor at Towson University (USA) as well as a Research Fellow at Munich Business School, made it into the Research Handbook. Please find the abstract and the links to the full version of the chapter below.

Abstract: This chapter examines how the German Bundesliga clubs have responded to the COVID-19 challenges in terms of engaging fans digitally. Expert interviews were conducted with 13 representatives from three stakeholder groups of the league: club senior managers, consulting managers, and fan representatives. Findings outline six digital engagement principles learned from the clubs’ response to the challenges. These include fan centricity at the core, creating a 360-degree view of the fan, turning physical into virtual encounters, the rise and adaptation of social media use, converting tactic into strategic solutions, and the need for flexible and innovative environment. Theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research are provided.


Matz, L., Abeza, G., & Wagner, D. 2022. Covid-19 and the Bundesliga: A study of digital fan engagement strategies in professional soccer. In P. M. Pedersen (Ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19: 301-312. Cheltenham, Northhampton: Edward Elgar. [DraftChapterBook]

Published by

David Wagner

Management Professor, Academic Director (DBA) and Vice Dean, Research at Munich Business School

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