The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore male and female sports fandom through examining the prototype of a loyal National Football League (NFL) fan.
Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted with male and female participants who self-identified as NFL fans from the Midwest and Northeast regions of the US. Data were analyzed using open coding.
Both female and male participants identified three common criteria for being a prototypical NFL fan: loyalty, knowledge and wearing of team apparel. The findings also demonstrated gender differences in both how a fan identifies a prototypical fan and how that dictates fan identity, attitudes and behavior. Additionally, prototypical fandom might need to be defined differently for males and females.
This study contributes to the literature by exploring the perspectives of both genders of NFL fans and by providing a more balanced perspective of how males and females define prototypical fans and how each gender perceives the fan behavior of the opposite sex.
Shane-Nichols, A., McCrohan, D. and Chung, T.-L. (2021), "NFL fans' identity and consumption behavior by gender", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 125-142. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-08-2018-0060
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