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Robert F. Potter and Justin Robert Keene

An experiment investigates the impact of fan identification on the cognitive and emotional processing of sports-related news media. Two coaches were featured; one conceptualized as negatively valenced the other positively. Participants completed a fan identification scale before stimuli presentation. While watching the press conferences, heart rate, skin conductance, and corrugator muscle activity were recorded as indices of cognitive resource allocation, emotional arousal, and aversive motivation activation respectively. Self-report measures were collected after each stimulus. Results show that highly identified fans process sports-related news content differently than moderate fans, allocating more cognitive resources and exhibiting greater aversive reactions to the negatively valenced coach. Comparisons between the self-report and psychophysiology data suggest that the latter may be less susceptible to social desirability response bias when emotional reaction to sports messages are concerned.

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Katharine W. Jones

By Kim Toffoletti. Routledge , 2017, New York and London. Dr. Kim Toffoletti’s book, Women Sport Fans: Identification, Participation, Representation , is the first monograph to examine women sport fans with a global focus. Unlike other studies of women fans ( Dunn, 2014 ; Esmonde, Cooky

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Joe J. Phua

Research on sports fans has demonstrated a positive relationship between fan identification and self-esteem. The current investigation extended previous research by testing media use as a moderator. The author hypothesized that media use would be positively associated with measures of fan identification and collective self-esteem and also moderate the relationship between these 2 variables. This is because media use enhances positive distinctiveness for fans of sports teams, leading to higher collective self-esteem levels because of the ability to get up-to-date information about the team or player they support. Data gathered from student fans (N = 203) of a major U.S. west coast university football team confirmed the author’s expectations that sports fans’ use of 4 types of media—print, broadcast, online, and mobile phones—moderated the relationship between fan identification and collective self-esteem, with online media having the greatest impact on this relationship.

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Sean R. Sadri

The current study examined how article source, medium, and fan identification can all affect the credibility of sports articles. An online experiment was conducted, and participants read an article that was indicated to have originated from a mainstream sports Web site, a sports blog, a social-networking site, or a wire service. Analysis revealed that fan-identification level was an important factor in credibility ratings in which highly identified fans found sports articles to be significantly more credible than fans with low identification. Highly identified fans also rated the article as equally credible on all 3 Web sites. However, low-identification fans rated the mainstream sports Web site article as significantly more credible than the other 2. Article medium was not shown to have a significant influence on perceived credibility for either identification group. The implications of fan-identification level on the discrepancies in ratings of perceived credibility are explored.

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Natalie A. Brown, Michael B. Devlin, and Andrew C. Billings

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.

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Bridget Rubenking and Nicky Lewis

Sports viewers use online platforms to engage with sports content and other fans, and some of this engagement occurs as a secondary task while viewing sporting events in real time. Multitasking while viewing can both help and hinder enjoyment, depending on the context and time devoted to secondary tasks. A field experiment (N = 215) explored how socializing with others (physically and virtually) and how time spent with social, event-related, and non-event-related secondary activities were related to enjoyment of a university football game and fan identification. Results demonstrate that both posting to Facebook and viewing in more social settings are related to greater enjoyment. However, more time spent on social media and looking up non-event-related content were negatively related to enjoyment and fan identification. This suggests that a short window of time spent on secondary tasks while viewing a sports event may be the sweet spot for maximizing enjoyment.

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Aaron C. Mansfield

believe de-escalating one’s fan identification is necessary for one to be a “good” parent. In fact, they believe sustaining fandom makes one a better parent, as it serves to benefit one’s social–psychological well-being. These individuals extolled the social benefits of fandom, both in terms of

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Craig Hyatt, Shannon Kerwin, Larena Hoeber, and Katherine Sveinson

sport or team, whereby a persistent psychological bond is formed. At the highest level of fan identification, an allegiant fan will have a psychological bond that is so strong, it has an impact on the fan’s cognition ( Funk & James, 2001 ). When it comes to the initial two stages that eventually lead to

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Nicolas Pontes, Vivian Pontes, Hyun Seung Jin, and Chris Mahar

with low team identification. Table 1 Study 1—Treatment Means and Cell Counts High team identification Low team identification Commercial Noncommercial Commercial Noncommercial Variable M SD M SD M SD M SD Sponsor fit 3.51*** 1.43 4.46*** 1.50 3.44 1.54 3.63 1.53 Fan identification 5.52 0.81 5.29 0

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Richard J. Martinez and Jay J. Janney

Although sports sponsorships build brand awareness, they also can highlight concerns about the congruence between a fan’s identity and the sponsor. While sponsoring venues (e.g., Clark, Cornwell, & Pruitt, 2002) feature positive market reactions, we find negative market reactions for sponsors of European football team kits. We suggest that the negative findings are related to concerns for rival fan backlash, as well as a perceived lack of congruence between the sponsor identity and the team identity. In addition, market reactions are more severe for sponsors that are both North American and technology-based firms.