Sport Rivalry Is More Than Just “The Game”: Where We Are and Where We Can Go

Sport Rivalry Is More Than Just “The Game”: Where We Are and Where We Can Go

Rick Grieve (Western Kentucky University, USA) and Joseph C. Case (Western Kentucky University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8125-3.ch010

Abstract

Sport rivalry research has grown from sport fandom research. And, while sport fandom research has a strong knowledge base, sport rivalry research is still in its infancy. This chapter briefly reviews the extant literature on sport rivalry. Topics include research examining geopolitical rivalries within international football (soccer), the psychological effects of sport rivalry, schadenfreude, and the creation of the Sport Rivalry Fan Perception Scale, a measure of sport rivalry. The marketing implications of sport rivalry research are discussed and areas for future research are provided.
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Introduction

Research on sport fandom is entering a “golden age.” More people are doing more research on more areas of sport fandom than ever before (see Wann & James, 2019). Researchers from psychology, sociology, religion, and marketing have begun investigating the causes and correlates of sport fandom. Research on sport fandom can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s, beginning with Coleman Griffith, who surveyed Chicago Cubs fans about their motivations to follow the Cubs (Griffith, 1938). Thus, current research activity builds on a long tradition of examination of the causes and correlates of sport fandom. Furthermore, sport rivalry grows from the same in-group-out-group conflict (see Tajfel & Turner, 1979) that sport fandom does, and the researchers in the area of sport rivalry also tend to do research on sport fandom.

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