Scholars have begun exploring how parenthood impacts individuals’ sport fandom. Limited work to date, however, has considered such a question in light of new parenthood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine how new parent sport fans negotiate their multiple identities. To this end, I completed semi-structured long interviews with 27 sport fans with young children (i.e., individuals presently raising children of age 0–6 years). Drawing on the social–psychological foundations of identity theory, I examined these new parents’ salience hierarchy negotiation. I identified and analyzed two consumer groups: Maintainers (who have sustained the centrality of their fan identity despite a change in life circumstances) and Modifiers (who have “de-escalated” their fandom). These new parents’ voices are used to guide the findings. This study advances the theoretical understanding of how parenthood impacts fandom and illuminates how the sport industry can optimally serve new parent sport fans.
Aaron C. Mansfield
Matthew Katz, Aaron C. Mansfield and B. David Tyler
Sport management researchers have increasingly noted a relationship between sport spectatorship and well-being, with the line of inquiry predicated on transformative sport service research. In this study, the authors contribute to transformative sport service research by utilizing multilevel egocentric network analysis to examine the consumption networks of National Football League fans over the course of one season. The authors utilized a network theory approach to explore how emotional support is created and embedded within sport fans’ networks of interpersonal ties and social relationships. Through multilevel modeling, the authors highlighted how attributes of both the ego (i.e., focal actor) and alter (i.e., individual with whom ego shares a tie) affect emotional support. Previous studies of transformative sport service research and the link between well-being outcomes and sport spectatorship have implicitly examined only ego-level attributes (i.e., team identification), yet the present work suggests that emotional support depends on the interpersonal ties and network structures within which sport fans are embedded.