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Katherine Sveinson and Larena Hoeber

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.

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Yann Abdourazakou, Xuefei (Nancy) Deng, and Gashaw Abeza

The popularity and acceptance of social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram) by athletes, coaches, managers, teams, leagues, fans, events, and sport governing bodies is widespread today ( Abeza, O’Reilly, Finch, Séguin, & Nadeau, 2020 ). The expansive reach of social

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Heath McDonald, Rui Biscaia, Masayuki Yoshida, Jodie Conduit, and Jason P. Doyle

sport. At the heart of sport marketing activities is the activation, enhancement, and leverage of customer/fan interactions to cultivate relationships with sport organizations, making customer/fan engagement an important concept both theoretically and managerially ( Funk & James, 2006 ). With the

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Jason Daniels, Thilo Kunkel, and Adam Karg

have challenges, they have established levels of interest and brand traits to align with. However, unlike established leagues and teams, new sport teams entering new or start-up leagues—the focus of this research—face significant challenges in that they do not have history or existing loyal fan bases

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Akira Asada, Yong Jae Ko, and Wonseok (Eric) Jang

In the field of sport management, researchers have examined the process of becoming a sports fan within the realm of sport socialization research ( Funk & James, 2001 , 2004 ; James, 2001 ; McPherson, 1976 ; Melnick & Wann, 2004 , 2011 ). Sport socialization refers to the process by which

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Rachel Allison and Chris Knoester

Self-reported sports fan identification among U.S. adults is high. In 2015, Gallup reported that 60% of American adults identified as sports fans, and a 2016 survey of U.S. adults found that 73% reported themselves to be fans or that they “closely followed a sport” ( Jones, 2015 ; Thorson

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Daniel Weimar, Brian P. Soebbing, and Pamela Wicker

analysis. Finally, Morgulev et al. ( 2018 ) commented that the “use of social media analytics is a practice at the frontier of measuring fan engagement” (p. 217). The present study has two purposes, one thematical and one methodological in nature. The first purpose is to examine the effects of game

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Jessica L. David, Matthew D. Powless, Jacqueline E. Hyman, DeJon M. Purnell, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, and Shelbi Fisher

capitalized on the popularity of the platform to build closer relationships with fans and enhance the consumer experience ( Browning & Sanderson, 2012 ). Teams and organizations can promote their brand and strengthen their fan base by engaging with followers through interactive marketing and promotional

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Laramie D. Taylor and Irena Acic

Notions of magic and the supernatural are not alien to sports fans. The U.S. men’s hockey team’s defeat of the Soviet Union team during the 1980 Winter Olympics playoffs is widely known as “The Miracle on Ice” ( Mifflin, 1980 ). The National Basketball Association team based in Orlando is called

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Aaron C. Mansfield, E. Nicole Melton, and Matthew Katz

surge has shaken sport sponsorship ( Evans, 2020 ). The Bud Light commercial, and growth of hard seltzer more broadly, reflects a societal development: Fans are becoming more health-conscious. Crawford ( 1980 ) noted health consciousness became pronounced in the 1970s, following the advent of diet