Sport Marketing – Spring 2011
By: Robert Kampson Dr. Covell
It’s obvious that the sport industry exists to fill the wants that people (fans) have. A closer look helps one to figure out why theses fans have a deep dedication to one particular franchise. The assignment at hand digs into the inner meaning of why and how a fan can have such a dyer commitment with a team. Also, the assignment uses two excerpts from Fever Pitch by Hornby, N. and On being Brown by Huler, S. to compare and contrast two different fans of two different sports in two different parts of the world. Billie Holliday, once said “No two people on earth are alike”, and he is completely correct. Sports fans prove this theory when two New Yorkers can cheer for two different football teams, when two Boston Red Socks fans want two different pitches, the list is endless. As a sport marketer it’s those very decisions we focus on to better find, keep, and connect to our fans.
An average fan may say there’s only on fan that exists, one that enjoys a win and hates a loss. A diehard fan may say there’s only one type of fan as well, one who bleeds team colors. As a marketer of a sport team it’s important to keep an outside perspective and realize there are an infinite amount of different types of fans who commit themselves to the team in different ways. Theses fans may never know how other fans are connected to the team or how they even became involved, the only thing they know is how they themselves feel for the team. This assignment is to understand why people become fans, how involved they are with the team, and better recognize how to reach them. The first exert Fever Pitch by Hornby, N. depicts a soccer fan who found his love for Arsenal, a well known team in England. The author shares his own experiences from a small child and how he became a fan. The author remembers a lack of connection with his father who would occasionally take him to fun places that never seemed all that fun. Later, his father came up with the idea to take his son to a soccer match that would change their relationship forever. “Football gave us something to talk about” (Hornby p.10), it gave him a way to communicate with his father a way they never have. It was as though soccer was a universal language that was easy to understand and sensational to know about. It changer Hornby’s thinking and perspective on life. He loved Arsenal and that was something that formed him and an obsession that remains decades later. “My relationship with Arsenal was entirely personal nature” (Hornby p.16). For Hornby it was an imaginary badge of honor he wore telling people he was an Arsenal fan. It was the basis of who he befriended, where he went, and the relationship he had with his family. Like many fans, Hornby didn’t become part of the arsenals he was an arsenal at heart. The other excerpt, On being Brown by Huler, S., is about Cleveland Browns fans who forms a relationship with the team as well as the community it was there for. The Cleveland Browns were a team of members who came from the area and were essentially fighting for the community that cheered them on. Huler remembers when he was a little boy and first became a fan of the Cleveland Browns. For him it was an experience he shared with the thousands of people who entered the stadium and the millions who cheered them on. Huler uses historic players to better define the perspective of a Browns fan, like the great Jim Brown, “I’m connected with the fans-with the city, and the state” (Huler p.26). This connection is one that isn’t shared by many players on many other teams and it was a mutual agreement between player and community.
The fans who cheer for the Cleveland Browns are a rare and unique kind. These particular fans demonstrate socialization by grueling the nasty weather and spending a little extra money to make sure there are at the game and cheering on the good...