Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Cultural Variation, Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, Motivation-Emotion, Social Psychology, The Self.

Description: What makes people into fans of particular teams? Do the teams have to be good? Do the teams have to be local – the team or teams you grew up with? Do the teams have to be marketed well? And how do you recognize fans? At the games with painted faces? On team email notification lists? Think about what might be involved in generating the deep levels of loyalty and commitment many fans have for their teams and once you have your hypotheses in mind read the article linked below and find out about the life work of Rich Luker, a social psychologist who has studies fandom over his entire research career as a sports pollster (and it starts with the idea that being getting a tattoo of your team’s name is a way of demonstrating how big a part of your personal identity that team is.

Source: What Makes Someone a Fan? Ken Belson, The New York Times.

Date: September 19, 2019

Photo Credit: American Sports Network

Article Link:

My general take-away at the end of the linked article was that, other than learning about the importance of sport tattoos I did not learn much in the way of specific things relating to what makes people fans. BUT, …. the article raises a point that was also raised in my previous post on skill in fantasy sports leagues and that is that the increasing tendency to treat clicks and looks and likes as data (correlated with sales) does not help us understand what being a fan means to fans. If you are interested in THAT question have look through some of the articles linked in the reference section below. And what about cosplay?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is the big deal about the huge array of online material and fandom?
  2. What might the point of a team logo tattoo be in relation to fandom?
  3. What research might we do to try and develop a better understanding of fans and fandom and the importance of their teams to them?

References (Read Further):

Aden, R. C., Armfield, G. G., Beard, D. E., Berg, K., Billings, A. C., Boone, J., … & Fortunato, J. A. (2011). Sports fans, identity, and socialization: Exploring the fandemonium. Lexington Books.

Boyle, B. A., & Magnusson, P. (2007). Social identity and brand equity formation: A comparative study of collegiate sports fans. Journal of Sport Management, 21(4), 497-520.

Heere, B., & James, J. D. (2007). Sports teams and their communities: Examining the influence of external group identities on team identity. Journal of Sport Management, 21(3), 319-337.

Bernache-Assollant, I., Lacassagne, M. F., & Braddock, J. H. (2007). Basking in reflected glory and blasting: Differences in identity-management strategies between two groups of highly identified soccer fans. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 26(4), 381-388.

Gibbons, T. (2011). English national identity and the national football team: the view of contemporary English fans. Soccer & Society, 12(6), 865-879.

Lamerichs, N. (2011). Stranger than fiction: Fan identity in cosplay. Transformative Works and Cultures, 7(3), 56-72.

Laverie, D. A., & Arnett, D. B. (2000). Factors affecting fan attendance: The influence of identity salience and satisfaction. Journal of leisure Research, 32(2), 225-246.

Havard, C. T., Wann, D. L., & Ryan, T. D. (2018). I love to see them lose: Investigating fan perceptions and behaviors toward rival teams. In Exploring the rise of fandom in contemporary consumer culture (pp. 102-125). IGI Global.