Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Cole G. Armstrong


Facebook, Olympics, Social Media, USA Weightlifting

Subject Areas

Sports management


The current case study explored USA Weightlifting’s Facebook use during a world event. Research questions were developed to guide a study through which the author investigated how USA Weightlifting utilized Facebook for advertising purposes, to encourage fan engagement, and to encourage brand community amongst customers interested in weightlifting at the international level. I used qualitative content analysis and collected data from the organization’s Facebook page, utilizing the Facebook Insights tool. By examining Facebook posts by type (photo, video, link) and engagement (likes, shares, comments), I developed a hierarchical categorization of the types of Facebook actions taken by USA Weightlifting. Based on the results obtained, I discuss what types of posts garnered the most engagement from fans and discuss possible explanations for the post type popularity. I found that fans engaged in posts that featured athletes’ performance during the competition in the form of videos and photos. I discovered that fans engaged in event related posts that showed behind the scenes information. I also found that fans engaged in posts more when a mixture of topics that provided news and event updates were shared. The major implications of the study were to encourage non-profit sport organizations like USA Weightlifting to identify fans’ interest, share a mixture of content relevant to fans based on their interests, and to provide behind the scenes content that allows fans to feel as if they are part of the organization.