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About Dr Alex Fenton

Alex is Head of the Centre for Professional and Economic Development at the University of Chester. He is a senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was previously a Digital Business academic at Salford Business School. He completed his PhD in digital marketing in 2018 and has published a wide range of articles including world leading academic journals,  succeeded in bidding for internal and external research funding including KTP and primary investigator for the Nesta Healthier Lives Data Fund and he is a very experienced academic and postgraduate supervisor, including PhD supervisions. 

Professional roles and memberships

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic achievements

Alex holds a wide range of individual and team teaching and digital industry awards and funding awards

  • Nesta – Healthier Lives Data Fund (2019)
  • Big Chip Awards – Tech for Good (2018)
  • HEIF Knowledge Exchange – HydroX (2017)
  • 3X Winner of Vice Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Awards (2015, 2016, 2018)
  • Outstanding student support, Deans Awards (2017)
  • Finalist for Times Higher Awards – Outstanding Entrepreneurship (2017)
  • Awarded Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) (2017)
  • Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year (2015)
  • Big Chip Digital Industry Awards (2015, 2016)
  • Innovative Lecturer of the Year, SU Awards (2016)
  • European Search Awards Winner (2014)


Alex has extensive experience teaching web development, digital marketing, digital journalism, technology innovation, entrepreneurship and research methods. He is a highly experienced and award winning teacher blending industry practise with theory and experiential, real world blended learning experiences. 


Alex’s PhD was in social media, social capital and football and was completed in 2018.  He has published a wide range of work relating to digital marketing, digital transformation and entrepreneurship in world leading journals and books. He works closely with industry on research and impact research projects including Fan Fit. He has won and delivered various internal and external funded projects including HEIF, KTP and the prestigious Nesta Healthier Lives Data Fund with the Scottish Government. He has also published his work in the national press, top ranked international journals (including ABS3*), white papers and popular books (full list of publications). He is a journal reviewer for journals as well as a regular reviewer of book proposals.

Published Work

Fenton, A, Griffiths, M, Fletcher, G. 2020. Strategic Digital Transformation, Routledge – Book website

Fenton, A, Gilhooly, L, Vasilica, C, M (2021). Female Fans and Social Media, European Sport Management Quarterly

Crawford, G , Fenton, A , Chadwick, S and Lawrence, S. (2021). ‘‘All avatars aren’t we’: football and the experience of football-themed digital content during a global pandemic’ , International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Allen, E, Fenton, A, Parry, K (2021, forthcoming). Computerised gymnastics judging scoring system implementation – an exploration of stakeholders’ perceptions. Science of Gymnastics Journal.  

Chadwick, S, Fenton, A , Dron, RM  and Ahmed, W. (2021, forthcoming),‘Social media conversations about high engagement sports team brands’, IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review

Fenton, A, Keegan, B, Parry, K (2021) – Understanding sporting social media brand communities, place and social capital – a netnography of football fans – Communication and Sport

Fenton, A, Parry, K, Chadwick, S, Ahmed, W. (2021, forthcoming) – Understanding SMEs and entrepreneurship using netnography and social network analysis – International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation

Fenton, A, McLean,R, Quan-Haas, A,Procter, C (2021, forthcoming) – Social media, S-Commerce and social capital: A netnography of football fans and organizations – International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation

Ryan, WG, Fenton, A , Ahmed, W and Scarf, PA  2019, ‘Recognizing Events 4.0 : the digital maturity of events’ , International Journal of Event and Festival Management

Anagnostopoulos, C, Parganas, P, Fenton, A and Chadwick, SM 2018, ‘Branding in pictures : using Instagram as a brand management tool in professional team sport organisations’ , European Sport Management Quarterly (ABS 3*)

Fenton, A  and Procter, CT 2018, ‘Studying social media communities : blending methods with netnography‘ , SAGE Research Methods Cases

Heinze, A, Griffiths, M, Fenton, A and Fletcher, G 2018, ‘Knowledge exchange partnership leads to digital transformation at Hydro-X Water Treatment, Ltd’ , Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 37 (4) , pp. 6-13.