Culture

NFL Fanatics Communication of Identity through Apparel and Merchandise: A Gender Comparison

Authors
  • Amy Shane-Nichols (Iowa State University)
  • Diane McCrohan (Iowa State University)
  • Te-Lin Chung orcid logo (Iowa State University)

Abstract

The female fan represents a significant percentage of the NFL fan base. Many believe that the female market is the last untapped demographic for the NFL. Given the increasingly important role of female fans in NFL fandom, this study attempts to answer the research question, are gender differences observed in NFL fans' supportive behavior of teams; do male and female NFL fans demonstrate different purchasing behaviors. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eighteen participants who self-identified as fans of one or more NFL team(s). Three supportive behaviors of being an NFL fan were identified: Loyalty, knowledge, and wearing team apparel. Females and males showed different supportive behavior in terms of emotional connections, frequency of watching games, and types of licensed apparel/merchandise purchased. Wearing team apparel is an important aspect of being a fan and is associated with team loyalty for both genders, as indicated by social identity theory.

How to Cite:

Shane-Nichols, A., McCrohan, D. & Chung, T., (2016) “NFL Fanatics Communication of Identity through Apparel and Merchandise: A Gender Comparison”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 73(1).

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Published on
08 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed