How value is disrupted in football fandom, and how fans respond



Tinson J, Sinclair G & Gordon R (2021) How value is disrupted in football fandom, and how fans respond. European Sport Management Quarterly.

Research question This paper aims to investigate the ways in which value is disrupted in contemporary football fandom, in a context of increasing commercialisation and marketisation. Focusing on football fans’ perceptions of value across platforms, this research explores how negative experiences are compensated to recover value. Research methods The study adopts a multi-method triangulation approach, using an online discussion forum and in-depth interviews. The sampling frame consists of football fans (Stage 1 n = 20, Stage 2 n = 20) and participants engaging in fandom activities across a variety of platforms and spheres. Results and findings Perceptions of value among football fans and how it may be disrupted relates to a number of factors, for example, when actors are considered to be ‘locked out’ of physical platforms within joint value co-creation spheres (e.g. stadiums). Fans show that they can compensate to deal with disruptions and recover value for themselves as well as other fan actors on different platforms. Importantly, this study develops an understanding of why fans are not always consistent in their actor role/s. Implications From a sport management perspective, understanding football fandom using this lens is important, as it explains not only how customer-to-customer value co-creation can be facilitated, but also how value recovery can be individually and collectively compensated. Ways in which the level of participation in the football market can be managed are proposed, as well as suggestions for how key factors known to compensate experiences can be differentially communicated across a diversified target audience.

Football fandom; value co-creation; disruption; value co-destruction; value recovery

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

European Sport Management Quarterly

StatusIn Press
Publication date online11/01/2021
Date accepted by journal30/12/2020
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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Professor Julie Tinson

Professor Julie Tinson

Professor of Marketing, Marketing & Retail