Fan Identification in Professional Sports Essay
Level 1: Low Identification
Fans that are characterized as low in identification may be attracted to the sport/team purely by the entertainment value of the product. It’s a relatively passive long-term relationship with low on emotion, low on involvement but a definite relationship exists.
Level 2: Medium Identification
This refers to an association with a sport or team that is based upon some attributes or elements found to be attractive. The level of identification for this fan base can be associated with social factors, team performance or player personality.
I feel like I am apart of this fan identification for most sports. Its not that I have favorite teams rather I have favorite players, so if they do happen to get traded or re-signed to another team, I tend to follow that particular player throughout their career. Ie. Mike Vick.
Level 3: High Identification
This refers to the strongest, most loyal and longest term-relationship a fan/participant can have with a sport or team.
The relationship speaks of a heavy investment and commitment either financially or in terms of time or both. These fans will often feel and emotional bond to the sport/product and also feel as if they are an important factor in the teams success.
1.Team Characteristics- successful teams and season attract fans that desire the positive association to be a reflected upon them. 2.Organizational Characteristics- these encompass the “off-field” image of ownership, decision making and tradition of the franchise. 3.Affiliation Characteristics- Most Significant correlate of fan identification. This component is potentially the most instrumental in building fan identification and has the strongest long-term effects. 4.Activity Characteristics- Actual attendance can lead to increased involvement as well as the exposure received via electronic and print media.
Managerial Benefits to a highly successful team
The major managerial benefit of having highly identified fans is it does not really matter how well the team is doing, performance wise. Take the Boston Red Sox for example, they went 70 years without a world series but yet they were still one of the top teams not only in baseball but all of sports to have continued loyal fan support. The the major benefit would be the fact that its easy to draw a crowd of people when you have highly identified fans.