Toward a Typology of Rivalry

Toward a Typology of Rivalry

Cody T. Havard (The University of Memphis, USA) and Megan E. Lomenick (The University of Memphis, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8125-3.ch006
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The chapter offers (1) a brief overview of what is currently known about rivalry and (2) the need for further understanding and investigating the differences between rival categories. Using college football in the United States as a baseline, the chapter introduces a possible typology of rivalry, building on previous research on the foundations and antecedents of rivalry. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the importance of (1) utilizing a typology of rivalry in future research and (2) calling for additional inquiry and conversation about a typology of rivalry in various competition settings.
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Rivalry adds excitement and intrigue to consuming sport. For example, people are more likely to attend a live game, watch on television, and pay higher price premiums if their favorite team is playing a rival team (Havard, Shapiro, & Ridinger, 2016; Sanford & Scott, 2016). Further, when the favorite team is playing a team seen as a primary rival, fans are more likely to consume than if the favorite team is playing a secondary rival (Havard & Hutchinson, 2017). Rivalry also leads some to view the game in different ways. While some fans may view games against rival teams as more important (Havard, 2014), fans have also reported the belief that rivalry games are more violent than non-rivalry games (Raney & Kinally, 2009).

As more research is conducted, which adds to the furthest understanding of rivalry and how it influences sport fans and their interactions with their favorite teams, rival teams, and fans of both, it is time to add an additional guiding framework to the area. Specifically, it is now time to discuss a possible typology of rivalry. Introducing a typology will allow researchers to further investigate how different rivalries vary in how they influence sport fans. The types or categories of rivalry that will be discussed are the (1) Traditional Rivalry, (2) Proximal Rivalries, both Interstate and Intrastate, (3) Conference Rivalry, (4) Recent Competition and Created Rivalries, and (5) Event Rivalry. The rest of the chapter includes a brief overview of literature and knowledge in rivalry, designed to not completely repeat much of what has been discussed in previous chapters, followed by the proposed typology of rivalries, and concludes with a discussion of the importance of the proposed framework and relevant directions for future research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Event Rivalry: A rivalry that exists based on either an on-field incident such as a fight between participants or an interpersonal rivalry between fans.

Intrastate Rivalry: A rivalry that occurs between teams and schools in the same geographical state. Often, the outcome of a rivalry game is used by fans to indicate who is best in the state.

Traditional Rivalry: A rivalry that has historical significance that often began not merely through athletic competition, but rather through other factors.

Football Bowl Subdivision: The highest subdivision of college football, in which teams compete in post-season bowl games instead of a post-season playoff tournament.

Recent Competition/Created Rivalry: A rivalry that garnered attention because of a recent game or series of games between the teams and schools. This can also be referred to as a created rivalry, based on popular media or administrations promoting the relationship based on recent competitions.

Conference Rivalry: A rivalry that primarily exists and begins based on the fact that the teams and schools share membership in a particular conference.

Interstate Rivalry: A rivalry that occurs between teams and schools from close, often bordering states. Often, the outcome of a rivalry game is used by fans to compare the bordering states.

BCS Busters: The term BCS Busters was used to describe teams outside of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 10 (now Pac12), and SEC that could play in one of the top four bowls in both perception and payout.

Proximal Rivalry: A rivalry that exists based on the proximity between groups.

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