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Content Analysis


Subject Media Pages 4 Style APA


of MVFC Facebook Page from 7 Aug to 14 Aug 2020

The increased penetration and affordability of the internet, together with ease of access to devices and information technology infrastructure has promoted the rapid growth and adoption of social media platforms. The sporting industry has been a major beneficiary of this emerging trend as it has helped in cost-effectively connecting the different stakeholders. The use of social networking platforms in sports has allowed for higher engagement levels, thus increased fan bases locally and internationally (McClung et al, 2012). These sentiments are evident with the Melbourne Victory Football Club, abbreviated as MVFC, which is using social media sites such as Facebook not only to engage its fans, but also maintain and recruit new followers (Smith, Stavros & Westberg, 2017). This way, the fans have a new platform to interact with sporting activities. It is based on this understanding that this paper presents a content analysis of MVFC’s Facebook page from 7th to 14th August, 2020.

History and Content Analysis of Melbourne Victory Football Club

The club was founded in Australia in 2004. It specializes in professional football and plays in the Australian Hyundai A- League. The club is currently based in Melbourne, Victoria (MVFC, 2020). Since its inception, the club has been quite successful as it has attracted the largest attendance and membership. It has further won three Premierships and four championships. The club has maintained a good reputation of wins, thus attracting thousands of loyal fans locally and internationally. For instance, in 2015, MVFC reputed as the first club in the history of Australian football to hold three major league trophies, namely Westfield FFA Cup, Championship and Premiership in the same year. The club has a history of attracting crowds since its days at the Olympic Park Stadium. In 2006, MVFC attracted a crowd of 39,739 in the 56,000 capacity Marvel Stadium (MVFC, 2020). Since 2007, MVFC moved to AAMI Park as its permanent home. In the 2017/2018 grand final of the A-League Club championship, the club cemented its history as the most successful in the league.

Melbourne Victory Football Club maintains active presence on a range of social media sites, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The club has its dedicated TV channel and website which further provides additional information on the contacts, events, and fixtures, while providing the fans and other stakeholders an opportunity to engage in forum discussions (McClung et al. 2012). For this content analysis paper, Facebook is the chosen social media platform. First, it is the most interactive and most used platform compared to the other social media pages. For instance, the page is updated with all the current information on the MVFC activities. Secondly, unlike other social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook has better community policies and more interactive communications, unlike Instagram which focuses more on imagery while Twitter is most preferred by professionals. As a result, the more than 224,000 followers maintain closer interactions compared to the other social media sites (Facebook). Most content uploaded during the period of analysis included sponsorship promotions, mostly for Hyundai, Metricon and TCL.

The post on MVFC 4-0 win against PGFC attracted the highest number of likes amounting to 2.3k, 252 comments, and 156 shares. Another post that attracted a high number of comments and likes was “a thank you message” from the club to its loyal supporters. The post attracted a total of 1.3k reactions from supporters (Facebook). Other posts that attracted high traffic include birthday wishes to the favorite club players such as Carl Valeri. Additional details are summarized in the table below.


Source (MVFC Facebook page)






Engagements (total of reactions, comments, and shares)











Thank You










Table 1: Post Engagement





Totals (total of link, video, photo)










Thank You








Table 2: Type of Post Frequency


These figures are based on observation of MVFC’s Facebook page from 7th to 14th August, 2020. The content analysis will focus on posts about wins, losses or normal club activities, promotions, and ‘thank you’ messages shared by the team. The intensity of interactions such as comments, shares, and reactions evidence instance of fans engaging in CORFing and BIRGing online. Based on the findings summarized in table 1 and table 2, the MVFC club has 224,000 followers, yet only a small fraction is actively engaged in the club’s affairs on its Facebook page. The second assumption is that the posts made on Facebook do not stimulate the followers to engage in constructive conversations, but rather, they are framed as informative.

Findings and Analysis

The data collected shows extensive variation in the number of people following the club on Facebook versus the number of active engagements. These findings are evident in table 1 where in spite of having 224,000 followers, only 2,708 are active on the Facebook page (Facebook). MVFC reported one win during the period under study. The win attracted the highest engagement levels among the fans. This means interactions across MVFC’s Facebook page is varied depending on the outcome of the game, and also, the type of content being shared. Wins attracted the highest engagement levels, followed by “thank you” messages, and promotions. Updates on upcoming events attracted an average engagement of 200 to 500 comments with isolated cases of shares (MVFC Facebook). The high number of engagement after wins affirms Basking in Glory (BIRGing) and Cutting off failure (CORFing). According to Posten (2020), fans want to associate with wins and shun loses. This is the reason why most fans emerge after victories, thus increasing the engagement levels but disappear when the team loses. Others become excited of the win while others want to reaffirm their support to the winning side while dissociating with the losing team.

The second category is the activities shared on the MVFC’s Facebook page. An analysis of the findings is summarized in table 2 whereby, during the period of study, the page posted 12 times about the win. There was a “thank you” message to the fans and 14 promotions. The most promoted brands included TCL, KFC, Metricon, and Hyundai.




Total Engagements (reactions, comments and shares)







Match recap



Birthday celebrations



Thank you notes



Victory TV



Training and updates



Total posts



Table 3: Topics of Engagement


Apart from these key activities, the Facebook page also posted about pre-game and post-games, match recaps, birthday celebrations, thank you notes, Victory TV, and training & updates. A general observation is that the Facebook page is quite updated with 45 posts made within the 7 days of study. The page administrator tries to keep the fans updated on every event at the club. Nonetheless, there is less content that directly boosts the participation and engagement of the fans. Macnamara (2005) recommends the need for engaging posts that steer the emotions of the fans and encourage them to contribute. Unfortunately, the content posted by MVFC attracted low engagement levels. The second recommendation is that given the high number of views on Victory TV, the club should consider using it more as a channel to engage and communicate with the fans.


Macnamara, J. R. (2005). Media content analysis: Its uses, benefits and best practice methodology. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 6(1), 1.

McClung, S., Eveland, V., Sweeney, D., & James, J. D. (2012). Role of the Internet site in the promotion management of sports teams and franchise brands. Journal of Promotion Management, 18(2), 169-188.

MVFC Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/gomvfc/

MVFC. (2020). UR Victory. Retrieved from: https://www.melbournevictory.com.au/melbourne-victory-fc

Posten, M. (2020). Basking in Glory and Cutting off Failure. Retrieved from: https://www.units.miamioh.edu/psybersite/fans/bc.shtml

Smith, A. C., Stavros, C., & Westberg, K. (2017). Dynamic Data: Branding the Digital Drive. In Brand Fans (pp. 161-189). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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