& Hayashi, 1995 ). However, independent of youth sport participation, how much impact can children have on their parents’ sport fandom, a phenomenon often associated with strong identification and loyalty, through reverse socialization? Based on suggestions from previous research, can we surmise that a
Craig Hyatt, Shannon Kerwin, Larena Hoeber and Katherine Sveinson
Aaron C. Mansfield
of parenthood and sport fandom (e.g., Hyatt & Foster, 2015 ; Hyatt, Kerwin, Hoeber, & Sveinson, 2018 ; Tinson, Sinclair, & Kolyperas, 2017 ). Such work, however, has not reflected the distinct stages of parenthood ( Galinsky, 1981 ); new parenthood, for example, bears little resemblance to the
Michael Kirkwood, Sheau-Fen Yap and Yingzi Xu
coproducing in the online environment and how this is shaping online sport fandom and the way fans are socially identifying with other fans. Sport fans are avid consumers who are heavily consumption driven ( Bodet & Bernache-Assollant, 2011 ). They contribute to the financial success of sport organizations in
The purpose of this study was to examine how fans of professional sports use mobile content to develop fan support. Mobile-content dimensions were evaluated and their relationships with attitudinal and behavioral loyalty, team identification, and sport fandom were tested. A total of 665 young professional sport fans were surveyed in the southwest region of the United States. Three mobile-content dimensions—information, service, and interaction—were identified. The results indicate that the information dimension was positively associated with attitudinal loyalty, team identification, and sport fandom. The service dimension was positively linked to behavioral loyalty. The findings suggest that young professional sports fans’ selective use of mobile content accounts for different types of fan support.
John Hughson and Marcus Free
In sociology of sport, a considerable amount of scholarship concentrates on sport as an arena of social resistance. Fundamental to understanding resistance within practices of sport following and fandom is an underlying knowledge of the nature of sport as a cultural commodity in which fandom and following are invested. This article draws on Paul Willis’s theoretical work as a means of examining contemporary cultural commodities and the commodity nature of sport in particular. The theoretical discussion is illustrated by an empirical study of developments within English soccer involving collective supporters’ resistance to heightened corporate intrusion into the control of professional clubs.
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.
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.
John S.W. Spinda, Daniel L. Wann and Michael Sollitto
In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.
Lana L. Huberty, Timothy B. Kellison and Mike Mondello
As state- and local-government subsidies to professional sport organizations have increased over the past 3 decades, economic arguments have been crafted to justify these subsidies, such as Crompton’s claims of increased community visibility, enhanced community image, stimulation of other development, and psychic income. The purpose of this study was to examine the public relations strategy of a professional sport organization campaigning to secure public funding for a new stadium. Specifically, the authors focused on the use of press releases by the Minnesota Vikings, a National Football League team, over the 3 seasons preceding the completion of their successful sport-stadium campaign. This study was timely in that these press releases were from 2010, 2011, and 2012 and the new Vikings stadium grand opening is set for 2016. Through a qualitative analysis, the authors identified the arguments made by the team to garner support for the stadium plan during the Vikings’ campaign. In all, 71 press releases were collected, examined, and coded by investigators. Findings are discussed to provide insight into these 4 alternative justification arguments.
Fantasy football participation is an extremely-popular, yet unique online activity that combines traditional sport fandom with interactive components to enhance a fan’s overall sport experience. The player-specific concentration of the game, however, has the potential to alter traditional team-focused loyalties that have driven sport consumer behavior inquiry for decades. Due to this intriguing circumstance, this study investigated the relationship between fantasy football involvement and traditional NFL fan loyalty. In addition, given the varying levels of fantasy participation, this study examined factors that predict differing levels of involvement among fantasy owners. The results suggest a positive relationship between involvement and attitudinal loyalty and a nonstandard relationship between a highly-involved fantasy football participant’s attitudes and behaviors, especially with regard to team loyalty. Discussed are the theoretical repercussions of this conceptual disconnect, the potential for future research, and practical implications for the future marketing of individual teams, leagues, and fantasy-related applications.