Dr.Phua's article entitled, "Use of Social Networking Sites by Sports Fans: Implications for the Creation and Maintenance of Social Capital" was accepted for publication in the academic publication Journal of Sports Media.
His study examined the use of Facebook by fans of the football team at a major southwestern university, and its relation to sports fan identification, collective self-esteem, satisfaction with life and bridging and bonding social capital. Dr. Phua sought to discover if Social networking sites (SNSs) act as a communication channel to connect sports fans with others in their existing offline social networks, meet new friends who also support the same team, and engage with the larger community of fans.
Survey results (N=395) indicated that intensity of SNS usage had a stronger effect on bridging than bonding social capital. SNS usage also interacted with identification, collective self esteem and satisfaction with life to influence bridging social capital. SNS usage thereby enhanced fans' online experience, allowing them to connect to fans of their favorite teams, while also helping to maintain their existing offline relationships.