This study explores the implications of the sports communication theory of fan identification and the divisions often developed between identifying with a single athlete and the bonds developed for a sport as a whole. Using the fastest growing North American sport, mixed martial arts (MMA)—more specifically, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)—differences in levels of fan identification were examined in relationship to attitudes toward individual athletes and attitudes toward the UFC organization. An online survey of 911 respondents produced a highly representative sample of the UFC’s current audience demographics. Results showed significant differences in fan identify between gender, age, and sensationseeking behaviors, suggesting that distinct demographic variables may influence the role that fan identity has not only in sports media consumption but also in future event consumption. Implications and ramifications for future theoretical sports communication research and sports marketing are postulated.
Natalie A. Brown, Michael B. Devlin and Andrew C. Billings
Tan Leng Goh and Kerrie J. Kauer
This article is a feminist cultural-studies analysis of Singapore’s first all-female mountaineering team to successfully summit Mount Everest. A feminist cultural-studies approach was used to explore the highly male hegemonic domain of mountaineering and the ways in which the Singapore Women’s Everest Team (SWET) was situated within the sport and their local Singapore culture. Qualitative, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with six elite-level Singaporean female mountaineers (ages 25 to 39) were conducted by the first author in January 2009, before their attempt to summit Mount Everest. Using inductive analysis and feminist deconstruction, several salient themes emerged from the data: (a) disrupting norms, (b) sexism in extreme sports, and (c) women-centered spaces. The interviewees demonstrated unity as an all-women team as they overcame challenges in their pursuit of climbing Mount Everest. This study attempts to expand the sport studies literature with multicultural and gendered perspectives of female mountaineers.
Robert Rinehart and Chris Grenfell
The relatively recent growth of so-called Extreme Sports has created an opportunity for scholars to examine sport, games, and play once again—but as the concepts are played out in emerging sport forms. In this ethnography of BMX bikers, we examine one group of youth within two different venues: the grass-roots, child-driven activity of setting up ramps, courses, and jumps locally, and the corporate, adult-driven activity where skateparks have become “safe zones” for children to practice their skills. Where does the grass-roots, pick-up, play activity of BMX [d]evolve into the for-profit multinational corporation business concern, and what are similarities and/or differences between BMX culture and other youth-oriented forms of sport? We attempt to understand BMX Sport as an emergent form of extreme sport and to unravel the complex connections between grass roots activity and for-profit, commodified activity, and what these activities mean to these participants.
Maylon T. Hanold
This article examines the ways in which high-performance female ultrarunning bodies are created by and understood through the discourses of the normative running body, the ideal female body and pain. Using a Foucauldian framework, this paper shows how the ultrarunning body becomes a desired body beyond the marathon and how these same desires produce multiple and complex subjectivities for female ultrarunners. In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 high performance female ultrarunners. Findings suggest that ultrarunning is a sporting space which gives rise to more diverse subjectivities than previously found in distance running literature. Simultaneously, this discourse produces disciplined bodies through the mode of desire and “unquestioned” social norms, paralleling the constructs of extreme sports and (re)producing middle-classness.
Gregg Bennett, Robin K. Henson and James Zhang
The rise in consumer and corporate interest in action sports, also known as extreme sports, has been phenomenal. The apparent popularity of action sports, when combined with the sponsorships, endorsements, and advertising dollars they have quickly garnered, lends itself to scientific inquiry regarding the level and nature of public interest. The purpose of this study was to examine Generation Y's perceptions of action sports, with a specific focus on the expressed popularity of action sports and the relationship between action sports interest and use of the media. The 39-item Action Sports Questionnaire (ESQ) was constructed to examine Generation Y perceptions of action sports, sports related viewing preferences, and sports related media usage among middle and high school aged students. The present findings suggested that these members of the Generation Y (n = 367) niche market preferred action sports over the traditional sports of basketball and baseball. Respondents also indicated stronger preference for soccer, but would prefer to watch the X-Games over the World Cup. There is an indication that soccer and action sports are more popular among the younger generation than some traditional team sports. Males were slightly more supportive that action sports would become more popular in the future, and the male respondents were likewise more familiar with action sports. More members of Generation Y watch action sports than their predecessors, and they likewise tend to be optimistic about the future of action sports if they watch events on television.
Matthew R. Hodler
, while also focusing on particular sporting structures like NASCAR and extreme sports, as well as longstanding archetypes like the American Football Quarterback. His ability to link the media coverage of these seemingly disparate athletes across a variety of themes, such as Armstrong’s redemption or
Lin Yu, Hanhan Xue and Joshua I. Newman
”—each district has developed distinct sporting events with significant social and tourism impacts and formed its own brand of sporting events. For example, the Yangpu District would be actively engaged in developing and promoting extreme sports events while Jinshan District focused on beach volleyball events and
Matthew Lamont and Sheranne Fairley
factor in the group’s production of the Beer Mile. Beer Mile events are an increasingly prevalent though unconventional athletic challenge. The global repository of Beer Mile events www.beermile.com introduce these events this way: In the vast world of extreme sports, there exists a sub-culture at its
Ken Payne and Curtis Edge
really good example. He has taken steps to make sure he has the public image to make him a big star. He is one who is known more in the U.S. than in Europe. Interviewer : Extreme-sports categories such as half-pipe, slopestyle, and big air. What kind of difference did the inclusion of those events make
measurements at a “short” 64-km race revealed that the runners burned far more than the 10,000-kilocalorie daily limit previously considered possible from observations of human endurance in “civilized” extreme sports such as skiing, mountaineering, and bicycle racing. Balke and Snow contended that observations