عنوان مقاله [English]
The purpose of this study was to identify the barriers and strategies for using network marketing in sport industry in Iran. The study was qualitative research in which Thematic analysis was used to analyze data in three stages of open coding, the main and selective categories. The participants were selected based on Triangulation technique and included of experienced experts in network marketing, sports management experts who had related scientific works and researches. Participants were selected using purposive sampling method and thus the interviews started with 5 people and continued until reaching the theoretical saturation (N=25). The reliability of Crippen Dorf alpha (α) coefficient was 0.84, which indicates the desired reliability. Today, with the industrialization of sports, earning capital and generating income for sports organizations is accompanied by processes such as ticket sales, television broadcast rights, attracting financial sponsors and other similar cases, and taking advantage of marketing opportunities in sports creates the necessary platforms for interaction between Industry, trade and sports and have become a strategic bridge for the development of sports and its economic prosperity. The producers of sports products and services turn the competitive environment into an opportunity to gain the most profit by producing, creating and exchanging products and values with others and using the network marketing method, and in the production and sale of sports products and services, on the one hand, it creates employment and causes economic and social prosperity.
Network marketing, which is also known as multi-layer marketing or matrix, is a type of business in which consumers of a manufacturing company can be marketers of the products they consume and lead to employment in sports businesses, advertising sports products, healthy competition increases competitive sports brands and customer satisfaction from electronic sales. In the following research, after conducting the interviews and converting them into text, the data obtained from the interviews were examined and the main items were identified, and then the similar items were converted into concepts, and in the next step, the concepts aligned in the classes. A unit was placed and codes were assigned to them, and finally the codes became central and main categories. In the open coding phase, there were 104 primary codes (raw concepts), in the central coding phase, there were 26 categories, and in the coding phase, finally 12 themes were selected, identified and extracted.
In fact, network marketing in the country's sports industry is a young system that has faced many challenges and ups and downs since its emergence due to its similarity with pyramid networks, however, accepting this as an effective commercial tool is inevitable. and in Iran due to high liquidity among the people and the lack of safe and profitable investment, it has many fans and due to the sanctions, it is struggling with, the use of network marketing in the production of sports goods and services and providing international markets, in addition to the national currency, it helps to maintain or improve the income level of citizens in the long term. Therefore, network marketing has its own rules and you cannot succeed in it with the principles and solutions of traditional business. In this business, the intellectual frameworks must be corrected; because the main core in this profession is training with the aim of identifying and educating people who are at a high level in terms of knowledge, work and motivation, and its basis is compatibility with technology and innovation, perhaps this is why organizations with multi-level marketing are preferred. They use flat structures similar to organic organizations.
The findings of the research showed that the obstacles to the use of network marketing in sports in the country include five main categories of managerial obstacles (they are human resource management, product quality and managers' expertise), economic (increasing intermediation and unsuccessful marketing), legal (injustice and lack of legal permissions), psychological (psychological effects and damage of intellectual resources and opportunities) and cultural (lack of jurisprudential permission, social prejudice and media content). The solutions to use this network marketing require the removal of information barriers (education, information and media awareness), legal (removal of legal barriers and revision of laws), technology (use of technology) and social (removal of discrimination and fan organizations) and the result of the application of network marketing in Iranian sports is obtaining economic benefits (increasing liquidity, economic savings, improving the quality of services and empowering human resources), improving the quality of services (improving the production process and customer satisfaction) and empowering human resources (improving the ability of human resources and optimal utilization of facilities) in the sport of the country.