Team Identity, Supporter Club Identity, and Fan Relationships: A Brand Community Network Analysis of a Soccer Supporters Club

in Journal of Sport Management
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In this brand community analysis, the authors utilized both the social identity approach and network theory to examine the multiple identities and patterns of interactions among members of an official soccer supporters club. Based on the Multiple In-Group Identity Framework and the brand community triad, the authors differentiated between team and supporter club identity to explore how each affects consumption behaviors. Furthermore, the authors explored the nature of fan relationships based on network principles of multiplexity and homophily as they relate to consumption and socializing ties among fan club members. They also explored the network structure of the brand community. Using both network theory and network methodologies, the authors examined how the multiple identities and many relationships within the brand community affect the consumption behaviors of fan club members. Theoretical and practical implications were considered as they relate to sport consumer behavior and sport marketing.

Katz is with the Mark. H McCormack Department of Sport Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Baker and Du are with the Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Katz (mkatz@isenberg.umass.edu) is corresponding author.
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