Business Analysis Of Dysfunctional Sports Fan: The Assignment Was To State The Problem And The Research Method Used In The Article

971 words - 4 pages

An Examination of Dysfunctional Sports FansIntroductionKirk Wakefield of Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University and Daniel Wann of the Department of Psychology at Murray State University examine the dark side of what may be seen as excessive sports fan identification. Past examinations of highly identified sports fans have focused on the positive aspects of identification with the team in terms of attitudes, participation, attendance of events, merchandise purchases, and other pro-team related behaviors (Wakefield & Wann, 2006). Wakefield and Wann's study presents a measure useful in classifying highly identified fans in terms of their dysfunctional nature and delineates associated problem behaviors and differentiating individual characteristics.ProblemRecent research in sport marketing and management indicates that team identification is related to both attendance and merchandise purchasing. With respect to attendance, team identification is one of the best predictors of sporting event attendance (i.e., greater levels of team identification predict more frequent attendance). As for merchandise purchasing the same sort of correlations apply (Wakefield & Wann, 2006). Additionally, sport team identification can be beneficial to the community as a whole by encouraging and strengthening community integration. For instance, team loyalty aids in the integration of individual communities, towns, and cities (e.g., high school football on Friday nights) as well as on a larger scale at the state (e.g., state high school basketball championships), national (e.g., the Superbowl and World Series), and international levels (e.g., the Olympic Games and World Cup Soccer). Thus, it appears there are a number of tangible benefits to high degrees of team identification. Consequently, both team management personnel and communities in general likely desire a large number of individuals who are highly identified with there team.Although the majority of highly identified fans attending sporting events are well-behaved and act in a manor consistent with society's standards of conduct at games, a handful of these persons appear to be overly zealous and abusive. These fans are referred to as dysfunctional fans in that they behave abnormally or have impaired functioning as it relates to socialization and social groups in the sports context. Aggressive behavior directed at others in the form of verbal abuse is typical of those who are clinically diagnosed as socially dysfunctional. Socially dysfunctional fans are no more highly identified with their teams than other loyal fans, yet these individuals are highly confrontational and tend to frequently complain about a variety of components of the sporting environment. They tend to be loud and obnoxious at sporting events, freely and readily directing their anger toward other fans, players, and officials (Wakefield & Wann, 2006).Research MethodThe focus of the investigation was two-fold. First, they...

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