Rationalizing Sport Spectatorship: Analysis of Fan Behaviour in S-League

Rationalizing Sport Spectatorship: Analysis of Fan Behaviour in S-League

Shankar Selvam
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7527-8.ch008
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This chapter aligns itself with spectatorship theories to identify possible causes for the poor spectatorship numbers observed at S-League matches. Taking into account club affiliations among spectators and how such relationships affect the fortunes of a club's following, relevant theories are discussed in the context of the sports situation in Singapore. Qualitative and quantitative components pertaining to S-League spectatorship are analysed, which serve as the basis for the recommendations presented on improving attendance at local football matches.
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Role Of Sports In Society

Sport spectator involvement is defined as forms of unobservable motivation, arousal, or interest toward a sporting event (Rothschild, 1984; Laverie & Arnett, 2000), and spectators play a significant economical role as they end up becoming consumers of sports events (Milne & McDonald, 1999). A number of empirical studies have also shown that there is a link between sports spectatorship and active sports participation (Anderson 1979: Godbey & Robinson, 1979: Guttmann, 1986: Snyder & Spritezer 1983). In addition, fans fulfill their personal desire to be a sports celebrity or player by identifying with their chosen team, resulting in a feeling of strong attachment (Fink et al., 2002b; Trail et al., 2000; Trail et al., 2003). Individuals who are inclined towards sport typically have a need for vicarious achievement which can be satisfied through association with a successful other – such as being a fan of a successful club – and seeks to retain membership where there is positive contribution to his identity, thereby strengthening their own self-esteem (Posten, 1998).

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