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Emotional Gridiron: Psychology of Sports Fan Identification

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Emotional Gridiron: Psychology of Sports Fan Identification

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Fandom is not a new concept. How fandom is expressed today however has evolved. This is due to the integration of social and digital media int sports media and marketing. This presentation explores the emotional and digital gridirons of how contemporary fandom are experienced and expressed.

Fandom is not a new concept. How fandom is expressed today however has evolved. This is due to the integration of social and digital media int sports media and marketing. This presentation explores the emotional and digital gridirons of how contemporary fandom are experienced and expressed.

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Emotional Gridiron: Psychology of Sports Fan Identification

  1. 1. EMOTIONAL GRIDIRON Psychology of Sports Fan Identification and the Digital Experience Tunisha Singleton, Ph.D. © 2016
  2. 2. Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only Despair. --Nelson Mandela, 2006
  3. 3. Mental Market in Sports - Emotional Context • Belonging • Connection • Purchase patterns • Goals • Values - Digital Context • Consumption patterns • Devices • Multiple screens • Expectations • Media behaviors
  4. 4. Fandom is not new. How we express fandom however, is changing. “Sports have drawn people together to cheer for their heroes for as long as there has been a record of human activity.” – Jeremy M. Jacobs, Owner of Boston Bruins
  5. 5. Components of Commitment • Foundation of organizational psychology applied to the vertical of sport fan identification and media technology.
  6. 6. Affective Attachment: (Want) • "...the emotional attachment to the organization such that the strongly committed [person] identifies with, is involved in, & enjoys membership in." (Allen & Meyer, 1990) • "I want to watch the game.” • “I want to tailgate to be around other fans and share the experience.”
  7. 7. Continuance: (Need) • ..."commitment is viewed as a tendency to 'engage in consistent lines of activity based on a person's recognition of the 'costs' associated with discontinuing the activity" (Allen & Meyer, 1990) • "I need to watch the game because my team is playing.” • I need to go toTimmy Nolan’s bar to be around other Boston Celtics fans.”
  8. 8. Normative: (Ought or Should) • ..."feelings of obligations that an employee or member has to an organization...individuals [who] exhibit behaviors solely because they believe it is the 'right' and moral thing to do" (Allen & Meyer, 1990) • "I should watch the game because I feel obligated to my team.” • I ought to attend at least 1 home game live.
  9. 9. DIGITAL MEDIATION Social and digital media have changed everything – including the way we identify with sport and show commitment.
  10. 10. New Forms of Affective Attachment: • NBA OFFICIAL LEAGUE ANDTEAM TWITTER FOLLOWERS  38,800,000 • “Social media has increased my ability to find other fans, share my passion, and recruit others into watching my favorite team or player.”  NBA Official Game Ball w/Twitter Handle embroidered
  11. 11. New forms of Continuance: • “I know that if I miss watching a game live, I can use social media to see what happened.” FoMO (Fear of Missing Out): “...FoMO could serve as a mediator linking deficits in psychological needs to social media engagement. FoMO plays an essential role in the explanation of social media engagement over and above several individual factors, such as levels of need satisfaction” (Alt, 2015)
  12. 12. New Forms of Normative: • “I make an effort to support and promote my favorite team or player in social media spaces (e.g. post team/player related content, take sport related selfies, use sport related snapchat filters, etc.)” • Possession-Self Link (Ferraro, Escalas, & Bettman, 2011) When a person gives an object meaning, possession become a symbol of the content and values essential to their identity. Belongings   Self-worth
  13. 13. External Group Identities Culture Ethnicity Location Vocation Status Sexuality  Multiple extensions of self afforded through sport’s narrative EMOTIONAL GRIDIRON
  14. 14. DIGITAL GRIDIRON Evolution of sport media consumption Trace the patterns between media consumption and human behavior.
  15. 15. BEFORE 1911Western UnionTelegrams • Kansas vs Missouri • Mechanical reproduction broadcast 1921 Radio Broadcast • “The largest audience in history” • 1st radio broadcast of special event, Jack Dempsey vs GeorgesCarpentier 1936 Summer Olympics • 1st tv coverage of a sporting event • 72 hours total of live transmission 2000s – Live Streaming • Internet of things • Online streaming of sports & entertainment 2010s – Multiscreen Experiences • Second and third screen enabled 2016 –Virtual Reality • NextVR,VOKE, EON, etc. NOW
  16. 16. Virtual Fandomonium VR/AR represents a turning point in media consumption. The sport experience is no longer storytelling; it’s STORY LIVING.
  17. 17. Are fans willing to useVR to watch live sports? Average of 6.63 shows a leaning towardsVR! PREFERRED VIEWING EXPERIENCE Augment the experience with immersive-based features beyond premium seating or traditional home viewing
  18. 18. SELF-SPORT CONNECTION Augmented by social and digital media application
  19. 19. Sport Selfies Enhancing identity & extending experiences w/digital media. Digital validation of fan affiliation.
  20. 20. 3 Keys to Sports Mental Market 1. Emotion • Use technology to build emotionally-binding content. 2. Engagement • Ignite your media landscape with activity 3. Experience • A great experience has no expiration date.

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