Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles
Chapter 10: Social media and prosumerism: implications for sport marketing research
The future envisioned by Alvin Toffler in his trilogy Future Shock (1970), The Third Wave (1980) and Powershift (1990) is a testament to Toffler’s prescience. His predictions of monumental social, cultural and economic change wrought by new information technologies and a shift to a prosumer economy have become reality (Siegel, 2008). Toffler foretold that an increase in knowledge (owing to new, more effective ways to communicate information) will lead to de-massification, where mass marketing gives way to niche and micro-marketing, where mass production is replaced by increasingly customized production and where knowledge (that is, the ability to apply information to the solving of problems or to the creation of opportunity) is power. The pressure to de-massify, Toffler suggested, is being driven by the increasing awareness of better-informed and empowered individuals and is becoming practiced through the unstoppable development of information technology (Chartered Management Institute, 2001). These better-informed and empowered individuals were termed ‘prosumers’ (Toffler, 1980), networked individuals who simultaneously can produce, distribute and consume their own goods or services, usually outside the monetary economy (Ferguson, 2009).
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