Female sport fan research has been gaining momentum in recent years (e.g., Farrell, Fink, & Fields, 2011; Osborne & Coombs, 2013; Pope, 2011, 2013; Sveinson & Hoeber, 2015). Much of this research focuses on the marginalization that these sport fans experience (e.g., Crawford & Gosling, 2004; Jones, 2008; Sherlock & Elsden, 2000), with little attention given to experiences of empowerment. Therefore, this study sought to explore if female sport fans’ experiences involve marginalization, empowerment, or both and what contributes to these experiences. Multiple individual interviews were conducted with seven highly identified, displaced female sport fans. The data were analyzed through a three-step process involving open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The findings demonstrated that the participants experience marginalization based on assumptions that women are inauthentic sport fans. They also felt empowered when they were able to demonstrate legitimacy and authenticity in their fanship.
Katherine Sveinson and Larena Hoeber
Nadège Levallet, Norm O’Reilly, Elizabeth Wanless, Michael Naraine, Ethan Alkon and Wade Longmire
with an aging fan base, facilities constructed in the 1960s, and teams struggling to compete for championships, what innovative tactics to improve the fan experience could she consider? Mary knew that she was not alone, as she had just read that collective FBS football game attendance dropped during
Susan Tyler Eastman and Karen E. Riggs
Examination of idiosyncratic sports rituals engaged in by viewers of televised sports revealed complex patterns of negotiation and participation in the televised events. In addition to being well-recognized tools for defining group membership, personal rituals revealed the creation of multistranded connections between fans and teams or players, despite separation by an electronic wall. Personal rituals revealed a balancing of the need for suspense with a need for reassurance, and extended to superstitions and part-play/part-serious efforts to influence game outcome. Exploration of private sports-viewer rituals illuminates the ways individuals alter their experiences of televised sports in order to gain social and cultural empowerment.
Jun Woo Kim, Marshall Magnusen and Hyun-Woo Lee
Investigating the existence of mixed emotions within a sport consumer behavior context is the purpose of this study. Two experimental studies with a 4 (game outcome) × 2 (response format) mixed model analysis of covariance were implemented. The authors tested concurrence of two opposite emotions in Study 1 by asking subjects to complete an online continuous measure of happiness/sadness. Subjects reported more mixed emotions while watching a conflicting game outcome, such as a disappointing win and relieving loss, than during a straight game outcome. In Study 2, real-time-based measures of sport consumer emotions appear to have greater validity than recall-based measures of sport consumer emotions. Subjects with real-time-based measures were less likely to report a straight loss as positive and a straight win as negative than those with the retrospective measure. This study provides evidence of mixed emotions; specifically, happiness and sadness can co-occur during sports consumption.
Brandi Watkins and Regina Lewis
In this case study, the authors take a first look at how professional sports teams are using mobile apps as part of their branding and marketing strategies, as well as to enhance fan experience. Through the use of quantitative content-analysis methodology, professional sports teams’ mobile apps (N = 72) are analyzed to assess branding and marketing strategies and opportunities for fan engagement. The branding strategies most prevalent on the mobile apps include information about the teams and their performance. In terms of marketing strategies, 32 of the mobile apps provide an opportunity for fans to purchase team merchandise, and 75% provide an opportunity for fans to purchase tickets. Fan-engagement features that were most prevalent in mobile apps include check-in features (40%) and fantasy-league information (33%). Nearly 90% of mobile apps in the sample integrated Twitter, while 65% provided fans with access to Facebook.
Although deviance on and off the field have become popular topics of sociological investigation, sociologists have not studied the criminal or otherwise “deviant” roles ticket scalpers play in the cultural spectacle that is professional sport. In many ways, ticket scalpers have become a mainstay part of the backdrop upon which fans experience sporting events. As a first step in developing a sociological portrait of the social processes involved in ticket scalping, it is essential to examine how scalping is accomplished and experienced by its practitioners. This paper is intended to introduce sociologists of sport to die subculture of ticket scalpers by attending to the in-group perspectives and understandings ticket scalpers share toward their practices. Specifically, using ethnographic data collected on 54 ticket scalpers in a central Canadian city, I address how scalpers develop recipes of knowledge for their trade and how ticket scalping is accomplished as a social practice.
Michael R. Real and Robert A. Mechikoff
The relationship between the media sports fan and the sporting event closely parallels the position of the ritual participant acting out a mythic celebration. Such identification between the viewer/participant and the event has been characterized as “deep play” by Geertz (1973). However, this fan experience in the modem era is shaped not just by human face-to-face interaction, as was Geertz’s famous Balinese cockfight; instead, a specific media technology and commercial advertising provide the structure through which the public accesses media sports. This study examines grounded data on audience size and composition, advertising, commercial infrastructure and incentives, and other institutional aspects of the political economy of mass-mediated sport. What do cultural and ritual theory contribute to our understanding of the mass-mediated sports experience of today’s “deep fan”?
Lindsey Conlin, Dylan M. McLemore and Richard A. Rush
Female sport fans account for over 45% of the fan base in some major professional sport leagues. This study analyzes every verified Pinterest account from teams in the 4 major North American sport leagues to investigate how teams use a social network consisting largely of female users to reach this growing target audience. The study finds that sport teams use Pinterest to promote purchasable items, share information about the team, highlight the fan experience, and share creative content—although to a lesser extent than the typical Pinterest user. Differences between leagues and details of content frames are discussed. Future directives for understanding how sport teams use Pinterest are presented, and the utility of visual framing for investigating new media is discussed.
Sebastian Uhrich and Martin Benkenstein
This article reports the findings of an investigation into the atmosphere in stadiums during live team sports. Experiencing this special atmosphere represents an essential part of the total service provided by the organizers of sport events. However, existing research into the concept of atmosphere focuses on the retail environment. Our first step was therefore to define sport stadium atmosphere as a theoretical construct, drawing on theories from environmental psychology. We then developed a mimic (multiple indicator-multiple cause) model to measure the construct. To specify the mimic model, we generated and selected formative measures by means of a delphi study (N = 20), qualitative expert interviews (N = 44), and an indicator sort task (N = 34). The results indicate that various physical and social aspects of the stadium environment are causal indicators of sport stadium atmosphere. Following this, we conducted phenomenological interviews with spectators at sport events (N = 5) to identify typical affective responses to stadium environment (representing the reflective indicators of the mimic model). These interviews revealed that fans’ experience of stadium environment is characterized by high levels of arousal and pleasure. In addition to our findings, the mimic model developed in this study represents a useful tool for future research into sport stadium atmosphere.
a way the reader can appreciate. Hockey cards and the like are not often the fodder for academic discourse and Cobb shows us that the omission is lamentable as many fans experience increased connection and find meaning with hockey through this activity. The focus of Greig’s first essay is the role