Employing a uses and gratifications paradigm, we expected that audience experience with televised sports would vary on the basis of fanship, with fans having a qualitatively different, deeper, and more textured set of expectations and responses than nonfans. Fans were expected to respond in similar ways, regardless of gender. Telephone interviews were completed with 707 adults residing in Los Angeles and Indianapolis. Fanship was operationalized using cognitive, affective, and behavioral bases. In this study, fanship made a difference, with fans clearly more invested in the viewing experience. Male and female sports fans reacted and responded in almost identical ways, although men generally were an insignificant shade more involved than women. However, since more males are fans, the televised sports viewing experience in many households may not be shared, even when husbands and wives watch the same TV sports program.
Walter Gantz and Lawrence A. Wenner
Justin Robert Keene, Collin Berke and Brandon H. Nutting
This study, based on previous work, investigated the interaction of camera angle, arousing content, and an individual’s general and school-specific fanship on the cognitive processing of and emotional reactions to sport communication from a top-down and bottom-up perspective. Cognitive processing was defined as the resources available for encoding and was indexed using secondary-task reaction times, and self-reported positivity, negativity, and arousal were also measured as an index of emotional reactions. Results indicate that general and school-specific fanship have differential effects on cognitive processing and emotional reactions. In addition, in a replication of previous work, it would appear that different camera angles do not have different effects on cognitive processing. The implications of the top-down and bottom-up approach for the sport communication experience are discussed for both sport researchers and sport communication practitioners.
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.
Lawrence A. Wenner
This paper considers how mediated sport’s promotional culture works to hail us in interlinked gender, fan, and consumer identities. The paper draws on findings from a recent series of studies to illustrate how an emergent dirt theory of narrative ethics helps move beyond Althusser’s notion of ideological hailing to understand the dynamics of power and contraints at play in strategic sporting narratives that stereotype men and women and their roles as fan and consumer. The discussion focuses on the dynamics of narrative hegemony and the prospects and limits of social change in the ethics that undergird sport-related narratives in consumer culture.
Charles H. Hillman, Bruce N. Cuthbert, Margaret M. Bradley and Peter J. Lang
Psychophysiological responses of two rival sport fan groups were assessed within the context of Lang’s biphasic theory of emotion. Twenty-four participants, placed in two groups based on their identification with local sport teams, viewed 6 pictures from 6 categories: team-relevant pleasant sport, team-irrelevant sport, team-relevant unpleasant sport, erotica, household objects, and mutilation. Fans rated appetitive sport pictures higher in pleasure and arousal compared to aversive sport pictures. Physiological measures (startle probe-P3, the startle eye-blink reflex, slow cortical potentials to picture onset, and skin conductance) differentiated both appetitive and aversive team-relevant categories from team-irrelevant pictures, and increased orbicularis oculi EMG was found only for team-relevant appetitive pictures. These results suggest there are differences between rival sport fans in response to the same pictorial stimuli, and further suggest that fans provide an ideal population in which to measure motivation toward appetitive stimuli.
Matthew Blaszka, Lauren M. Burch, Evan L. Frederick, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh
Sport organizations, teams, and athletes are growing constituencies that use socialmedia platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage in dialogue with their respective audiences. The purpose of this study was to examine Twitter hashtag use during a major sporting event. Specifically, this study analyzed #WorldSeries during the 2011 World Series. The study employed a content-analysis methodology to determine who was using the hashtag and how it was being used. Using systematic sampling, 1,450 tweets were analyzed. The results demonstrated that #WorldSeries was being used predominantly by laypersons to express fanship, as well as interactivity. When individuals were being interactive with this hashtag, they were doing so mainly with MLB/league officials and other laypersons. Most of these interactive tweets were also expressions of fanship. The implications of these findings are discussed further.
Sun J. Kang, Jae-Pil Ha and Marion E. Hambrick
The popularity of smartphones has led to the creation of sport-related mobile applications in the areas of games, fitness, information, and events for sport consumers. The main purpose of this study was to examine why college students use sport-related mobile applications and what benefits they received from their usage. The study employed the Motivation Scale for Sport Online Consumption and the Technology Acceptance Model to understand this usage in more detail. Using a mixed-method approach, the study revealed that college students identified fanship, convenience, and information as primary motives for using their sport-related mobile applications. For college students who are sport fans, supporting their fanship through these applications represents an important aspect of their lifestyle. Sport managers and sport application developers will benefit from understanding users’ intentions and motives as the market for sport-related applications continues to grow.
Donghun Lee and Galen Trail
This exploratory study examined the relationships among personal values, life goals, and individuals’ cognitive and behavioral involvement in sport. Multiple regression analyses revealed that personal values and goals explained a small to large amount of variance in General Sport Fanship (28%), Team Identification (28%), Televised Sports Viewership (19%), Game Attendance (13%), Internet Use specific to Sport (13%), Sport Listenership (12%), Sport Merchandise Purchasing (9%), and Sport Readership (8%). Comprehending the practical implications of identifying personal values, and in some cases personal goals, that influence cognitive loyalty and sport consumer behavior might improve sport marketers’ abilities to predict various types of sport involvement.
Evan L. Frederick, Choong Hoon Lim, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh
An Internet-based survey was posted on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of 1 predominantly social and 1 predominantly parasocial athlete to ascertain the similarities and differences between their follower sets in terms of parasocial interaction development and follower motivations. Analysis of the data revealed a sense of heightened interpersonal closeness based on the interaction style of the athlete. While followers of the social athlete were driven by interpersonal constructs, followers of the parasocial athlete relied more on media conventions in their interaction patterns. To understand follower motivations, exploratory factor analyses were conducted for both follower sets. For followers of the social athlete, most of the interactivity, information-gathering, personality, and entertainment items loaded together. Unlike followers of the social athlete, fanship and community items loaded alongside information-gathering items for followers of the parasocial athlete. The implications of these and other findings are discussed further.
Andrea N. Geurin-Eagleman
Masters sport participation is continually increasing, and although much research has uncovered masters participation motives, it has been noted that an understanding of community among masters athletes was also necessary. Online communities of sport participants have been examined only minimally, with research uncovering correlations between new-media use and sport-participation frequency. Using uses and gratifications theory, this study sought to examine masters gymnastics participants to develop a better understanding of athletes’ use of online communities in relation to their sport participation and examine differences in online community use based on demographics. Online survey results from 164 international participants revealed they used new media primarily for fanship, information, and technical knowledge, and online masters gymnastics communities were most often extensions of in-person training groups and communities. These findings and their implications are discussed in the article.