Sports Marketing and the Psychology of Marketing Communication

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The book covers all major topics of sports marketing, including: sponsorship from several different perspectives--the major force in sports marketing; ambush marketing--how non-sponsors seek to reap the benefits without paying the price; and licensing--using the sale of items, such as T-shirts to increase profit and marketing.

Contents: L. Chalip, Foreword. Kahle, C. Riley, Preface. Part I:Consumer Behavior. Sun, S. Youn, W. Kelley, K. Dalakas, R. Madrigal, K. Anderson, "We are Number One! Shoham, G. Rose, L. Kahle, Risky Sports: Making the Leap. Jones, D. Bailey, C. Basil, W. Slater, C. Kinney, S. Kinney, G. Part IV:Marketing Strategy.

Because the three kinds of participation suggest shared consumption of sport products and services, Shoham and Kahle termed them consumption communities. Three kinds of spectatorship were designated as communication communities because they suggest associated media habits of differing con- sumption communities. Communities provide this social context. Over the past century, traditional residential and occupational communi- ties have been replaced in part by consumption communities as a basis for expressing values Boorstin, Sports marketers are interested in this relationship because what concerns them is how to reach different segments of sports fans effectively via different media channels.

Based on the assumption that individuals from different consumption com- munities tend to belong to distinct communication communities, Shoham and Kahle conducted regression analysis, taking consumption communi- ties as independent variables and communication communities as dependent variables. With an effective response rate of In , 5, questionnaires were sent to the U.

The questionnaire included questions about attitudes, interests, opinions, product usage and media prefer- ences. Only the responses related to the purpose of this study were used in the analysis. These items are similar to those that Shoham and Kahle used in their data analysis. Factor analysis was performed and similar factors were extracted Table 1. TABLE 1.

Played tennis 0. Note: Extraction method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. Swimming was not included in the scale because it was not clear to which factor it belonged it was split among several factors. The third variable, read- ing sport magazines, was measured by the question asking the extent to which people read the weekly magazine Sports Illustrated. Reading Field and Stream, also in the Life Style data, did not correlate highly enough with reading Sports Illustrated to be considered part of the same dimension.

They found that the three consumption communities all contributed signif- icantly to predicting which respondents attended sporting events. Attending Sport Events. Watching Sports on Television. Reading Sport Magazine. See Table 1. Discussion and Implications. Weekend sports are mostly competitive sports e. Sports in general can cover all kinds of sports. Competitive sports 0. However, advertisers will not hesitate to promote products or services related to competitive sports and nature- related sports in Sports Illustrated.


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With the expanded list of the consumption communities, we have a clearer picture of how people from different consump- tion communities differ in their media preferences. Relationship Between Sports Communities and Other Variables As Shoham and Kahle stated , while consumption communities are composed of groups of people having common consumption interests, com- munication communities can be viewed as groups of people sharing some communication tendencies.

Through their regression analysis, Shoham and Kahle found that different sport communication communities are as- sociated with different social values, attitudes, and opinions. If so, what are they? Although there are more men than women in the sport communities, we did not analyze female com- munities and male communities separately because these communities are open to both genders. We chose items with loading of at least. Some of the results are represented in Tables 1. Attending Competitive Sports.

Those who attend competitive sports events were more likely than people in the other consumption communi- ties to play or buy video games and watch comedy shows see Table 1. The video game relationship seems reasonable in that those who play video games compete by certain rules, sometimes in group settings. This relation- ship might also have something to do with having children at home. People who watch comedy shows, especially young males, enjoy put- downs and verbal and sometimes physical battling.

The data showed that people watch fewer comedy shows as they age. We can conclude that this is a community dominated by young males. Participating in Nature-Related Sports. As might be expected, those who participate in nature-related sports showed stronger interests in nature shows and programs on the Discovery Channel see Table 1. They were less interested in their personal appearance see Table 5 and less involved in community or civic activities see Table 1.

The results coincide with those of an earlier Life Style study, in which Wells and Reynolds pointed out that emphasis on nature is at some level related to the relative de-emphasis on mouthwash and deodorant. Nature shows. Participating in Fitness Sports. These people were more willing than peo- ple in the other communities to do recycling see Table 1. It is possible that environmental consciousness is related to education. Participating in Paid Fitness Sports. People in both communities indicated higher levels of diet drink consumption see Table 1.

People from the latter community indicated higher diet and nutrition consciousness. For the sake of personal appearance, females tend to be heavier users of diet foods and beverages than males. As was indicated earlier, both communities are female-dominated. To summarize, people in the four sports consumption communities indicated higher levels of certain activities and interests than the general population see Tables 1.

Both communities were male-dominated. Therefore, we can roughly say that there exists a gender-based dimension in the sport consumption communities, one is male-dominated e. This gender-based dimensional difference will be helpful for sports marketers to map out their strategies. Since the U. Statistics on sports participation in the United States from to have shown a growing movement away from rigorous sports and team sports toward less intensive, individual sports, such as swimming, exercise walking, and bicycle riding Burnett et al. As we can tell from analysis of interests or buying behaviors, each com- munity has its own unique characteristics.

To pinpoint these characteristics will be of much help for sport marketers to target their products at certain community members. For example, because those who attend competitive sports also like video games and comedy shows, it will be a good strategy for marketers to consider putting ads for video games and comedy shows in sports arenas. Items with loading of at least. In Tables 1. Attending Sporting Events. Compared with people in the other communication communi- ties, they were less interested in news and politics see Table 1.

Yet, compared with the general population, people from this community were a bit more conservative about gender equality, people from the other communication communities were also more conservative than the general population. The relatively liberal attitude of those who frequently engage in group activities might also be due to the age category into which most of the people of this community fall.

Hocking found that those who attended a live sport event experienced certain degrees of arousal, excitement, and enjoyment. These so-called intra-audience effects constituted a major factor in making attendance of sporting events a very different experience from viewing the same event on television. Young people might like intra-audience experience more than old people. Young people also tend to have more energy to do things in communities, and they tend to be less conservative.

People who attend sporting events seem to enjoy group activities, which might explain why they like community work as well. People usually go to sporting events to support their local team, which is the representative of community interests Hardy, It is this same communal or commu- nity logic that might lead those who attend sporting events to engage in community work. Watching Sports on T V. People who watched TV sports were less likely than people in the other communities to purchase sports wear. Active Participation Worked on a community project at least once last year.

Convenience Store Loading over. Like the feeling of speed. Like sports car. Greatest achievement ahead. Watched local news. Watched CNN. I am interested in politics. Read editorial section. It is possible that quite a few people in this community are so-called couch potatoes and less likely to attend sports events themselves. It is possible that older people are less likely to wear sport wear than young people be actively involved in. Reading Sports Illustrated. Those who read Sports Illustrated indicated a higher level of interest in sports wear and convenience store shopping.

Sports Illustrated is usually sold in convenience stores. People in this community tend to be aspiring, ambitious, competitive, and stimulus-seeking. This magazine mainly appeals to young males. Sixty-two percent of the people in this community were younger than 45 years old vs.

The gender inequality among the readers of Sports Illustrated might be due to the traditional bias of sports magazine edi- tors to cover mostly male sports. Compared with the general population, people in these communication communities indicated higher levels of certain activities, interests, and person- ality traits see Tables 1. As in the consumption communities, we can also roughly delineate another dimension along the age continuum for the communication communities. One is dominated by relatively young peo- ple e. These traits serve as hints or guides for sports marketers when they set out to target their products or ser- vices to different segments.

Advertising executions empha- sizing competition and ambition may also appeal to this group of people. This addition furthered our understanding of the relationships between con- sumption communities and communication communities. This characterization and the original regression analysis between consumption communities and communication communities are meaningful for sports marketers in their creative strategy formulation and media selection.

As a result, campaigns built around sports enthusi- asts should not merely distinguish between sports participants and sports spectators or between males and females Burnett et al. Rather, me- dia planners should plan different types of media strategies e. The purpose of this chapter is to further test and expand the narrow segmenta- tion of the sports fan market started by Shoham and Kahle We then conducted cross-tabulation analyses between communication communities and values, interests, and buying behaviors, among others.

We did a parallel analysis of consumption communities. Boorstin, D. The Americans: The Democratic Experience. New York: Vintage Books. Unpublished data. Dickinson, J. A Behavioral Analysis of Sport. London: Lepus Books. Eitzen, D. Sociology of Northern American Sport 4th ed. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown. Fitch, E. Methods of keeping score for advertisers. Advertising Age. Gantz, W. An exploration of viewing motives and behaviors associated with television sports. Journal of Broadcasting, 25 3 , — Gaskell, G. Aggression and sport. Goldstein Ed.

Hardy, S. Entrepreneurs, organizations, and the sports marketplace. Pope Ed. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Harris, D. Involvement in Sport — A Somatopsychic Rational. Philadelphia: Lea-Febiger. Hocking, J. Sports and spectators: Intra-audience effects. Journal of Communication, 3 1 , — Sport Marketing Quarterly, 5 4 , 51— Kenyon, G. Six scales for assessing attitude toward physical activity.

Research Quarterly, 39, — Becoming involved in physical activity and sport: A process of socialization. Rarick Ed. New York: Academic Press. Lang, G. Riotous outbursts in sports events. Sage Ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes. Lever, J. Mass media and the experience of sport. Communication Research, 20 1 , — Luschen, G. Sociology of sport. Annual Review of Sociology, 6, — McPherson, B.

Prensky, D. Advertising, values, and the consumption community. Chiagouris Eds. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 5 1 , 11— Simon, R. Sports and Social Values. Sofranko, A. Early life experiences and adult sport participation. Journal of Leisure Research, 4 6 , 6— Spreitzer, F. Socialization into sport: An exploratory path analysis. Research Quarterly, 47, — Taylor, I. Football mad: A speculative sociology of football hooliganism. Dunning Ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Trujillo, N.

Sportswriting and American cultural values: The Chicago Cubs. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 2, — Wann, D. Preliminary validation of the sport fan motivation scale. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 19 4 , — Wells, W. Psychological geography. Research in Marketing, 2, — Zillman, D. The enjoyment of watching sport contests. Kelley University of Kentucky. One has loyalty and admiration for the team and the university in general. One has support for the team and its achievements as well as for the individual players themselves.

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You love the team unconditionally and want the best for them always. You stick with the team in good times and bad ones. One can almost compare it to a marriage and the vows one takes. So when they hurt, I hurt and vice versa. I love being a representative and graduate of UK and the traditions that go along with it. Sports are pervasive throughout our society and culture.

Most of our lives are touched daily in some respect by sports, whether we realize it or not. For some, the impact of sports on their lives is much more dramatic. The Chicago Cubs have the Bleacher Bums. The Cleveland Browns have the Dawg Pound. The Green Bay Packers have the Cheeseheads. In fact, many, if not most, professional and collegiate athletic teams have avid fans or fanatical supporters. Informal observation of fanatical supporters attending athletic events has become commonplace. These individuals are often cov- ered by various forms of media.

In addition, limited academic research has also investigated various forms of fan behavior Cialdini et al. This research in- vestigates fanatical support of an athletic team and its impact on individuals. The strong support of the UK basket- ball program is well documented and provides a context in which fanatical support is pervasive. The purpose of this chapter is to phenomenologically investigate the per- ceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of fanatical followers of an athletic team. Although previous researchers have considered the consumption activities as- sociated with fans in attendance at an athletic event Holt, , our chapter takes a broader view of the consumption experience in that it is not re- stricted to the activities associated directly with attending the event.

Rather, our chapter considers the consumption experiences of fanatics that extend beyond game attendance and thus, potentially have a greater impact on their lives. This chapter utilizes qualitative research methods as a basis for providing rich and detailed description of phenomena associated with sports fanati- cism. The data for this chapter were collected through written journals that enabled the researchers to consider life phenomena as they relate to fanatical consumption through relational themes that emerged during the data analysis process.

Overview Collecting data via participants recruited to write about their experiences in daily journals is a rather novel method. We deemed the journal method as preferable to other qualitative methods such as personal depth interviews for two reasons. Ensuring anonymity in- creased the opportunity for participants to candidly disclose their experiences. Second, because being a sports fan involves an extended period of intermit- tent activity, the journal method corresponded better with this experience.

Structure and Content of Journal Entries Participants were asked to complete a daily journal from March 4, through March 31, The journal consisted of four parts Table 2. In this part, participants were asked to complete the following tasks:. Provide thoughts about the upcoming SEC tournament. List SEC tournament games that UK did not participate in that were watched and reactions to these games.

Provide information concerning pregame activities for UK games. List people with whom they watched the UK games. Provide personal reactions to the UK games. Describe postgame experiences or activities. This part of the journal was completed from March 4 through 8, TABLE 2. Journal Section Date s for Completion. Part 1. Demographic Information March 31st. In this section of the journal, participants were asked to provide the same seven pieces of information completed throughout the SEC Tour- nament with regard to the NCAA Tournament.

This portion of the journal was completed on March 12 through 15, ; March 19 through 22, ; and March 28 and 30, The third portion of the journal included a series of questions that were to be completed daily March 4 through 31, The daily journal questions are provided in Table 2. The daily journal questions were phrased to elicit written personal narratives, a form of discourse organized around consequen- tial events experienced by the teller Riessman, ; Tepper, Story-type narratives are more likely than other narrative types to focus on experiences that hold deep meaning because they include a protagonist or main character, inciting conditions, and culminating events Riessman, , March 4th What is your most memorable experience involving UK basketball?

Tell your story below. Where were you when they won? What did you do after the game? March 6th What is your favorite UK basketball tradition? Describe it in as much detail as possible. March 7th Who had the biggest impact on you becoming a Wildcat fan? March 8th Which player in UK basketball history do you feel most attached to?

Write about your attachment below. March 9th What was the most disappointing event in Wildcat basketball history? How did it affect you? March 10th What is your favorite UK basketball team ever? How do you feel about these teams? March 12th Which UK basketball game had the biggest negative effect on you? March 13th Which UK basketball game had the biggest positive effect on you? March 14th Are there any other sports teams that you feel the same about as you do the Wildcats? March 15 th What was the best UK basketball team that you can remember? How did their success affect you? March 16 th How has your involvement as a Wildcat fan changed over time?

March 17th What is your most memorable UK basketball game ever? March 18th Describe your typical emotional feelings and reactions during a UK basketball game. March 19th Describe Wildcat memorabilia that you have collected. March 20th What was the worst UK basketball team that you can remember? How did their lack of success affect you? March 21st Describe what it means to you to be a Wildcat fan.

March 22nd Do you have any superstitions associated with UK basketball? For example, a lucky hat or a lucky pre-game meal? March 23rd What was the biggest win ever in UK basketball in your memory? What impact did it have on you? March 24th Ticket Trivia—What are some of your favorite ticket stories? For example, what was the most you ever paid for a ticket? The hardest ticket you ever got? Your best seats? Your worst seats? Where were you when they lost? Why do other people think you are a big UK fan?

March 27th What was the biggest loss ever for UK basketball in your memory? March 28th How do you feel about the recent discussions of a new on-campus basketball arena? March 29th Who is the biggest Wildcat basketball fan that you know? Describe them. Overall, how do you think the Wildcats did? March 31st What are your expectations for the —99 basketball season? This information is summarized in Table 2.

All participants received a UK pen and pencil set for agreeing to participate in the study. An effort was made to include a diverse group of UK fans in the sample. Of the 30 journals that were distributed, 20 were completed and returned to the authors. The sample included 10 men and 10 women, ranging in age from 22 to The participants had lived in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for various lengths of time ranging from 6 to 58 years. A variety of occupations were represented in the sample see Table 2.

Respondents also reported how many UK basketball games they attended during the to season. Their responses ranged from zero to 22 games. In fact, there is some sentiment within the Commonwealth suggesting that the most avid UK fans do not even attend the games. Finally, participants reported the number of hours they spend each week watching basketball and sports in general on TV. Responses ranged from 4 to 15 hours of basketball viewing and from 4 to 20 hours of general sports viewing.

The following discussion of the results describes these emergent themes, grounding them in excerpts taken from the journals Spiggle, The emergent themes revolve around the roles enacted by individuals as they supported the UK basketball program. The fanatical UK basketball fan enacts a variety of different roles in the process of supporting the UK basketball program. The broad themes that emerged in the process of analyzing our data were labeled as follows:. Game Participation Many of the participants in our study viewed themselves as active participants in the game. From a role theoretic perspective, game participation manifests itself in a variety of ways over time.

Through the course of data analysis, the following game participation roles emerged: the informational role, the team member role, and the team assistance role. Informational Role. For many of our participants, one of the key charac- teristics of being a fanatical UK basketball fan involves their level of knowledge concerning current and upcoming events associated with the UK basketball program. The accumulation of knowledge concerning the UK basketball program in effect validates that a person is indeed a fanatical follower of the program. The pursuit of information related to the UK program allows the participant to more effectively perform evaluating and assimilating activities Holt, as they proceed through the consumption process.

Many of our partici- pants make it a point to watch games of upcoming opponents and read as much information as they can about future opponents as the Cats advance through the tournament. In addition to the informational role that is largely enacted before a UK game, our data also suggest that multiple game participation roles are of- ten played by our participants during the course of a UK basketball game. Interestingly, these game participation roles are enacted whether a fanatic is attending a game in person, watching a game on television, or listening on the radio.

Team Member Role. Many fanatics identify so strongly with their team that they feel as if they are team members. First, it was not uncommon for our participants to write about successes and fail- ures experienced by the UK basketball program as if they were part of the team. Another participant wrote the following about the National Championship team:. It vindicated all my years of being a loyal UK fan!! It was great to dominate college basketball the entire year. BIRGing is the tendency for individuals to publicly announce their association with successful teams.

Participants also reported a variety of emotional responses that one might typically associate with an actual team member. Many fanatics feel that they are in fact a part of the team, and as a result, experience many of the same emotional ups and downs a player or coach might feel during the course of a season. For example, when asked about his typical behavior during a UK game, one participant wrote:. I get a little nervous prior to tip off. Once the game has begun I am as intense as the coach or players. I yell at good plays, big runs and even bad calls. When the game begins, my world around me stops.

I also get very angry when the Cats get beat, I do not verbalize it but I get very quiet and irritable. Once the Cats pull off a big win there is a feeling of satisfaction. Aside from emotional responses associated with fanaticism, many participants reported physiological responses during UK basketball games. For example, one male participant, age 28, wrote the following about his reactions to a typical UK game:. At the end of close games I am exhausted. I think the reason why I constantly get invited to UK parties is that when I do go, my intensity during the game is entertaining to watch.

When describing his typical emotional feelings and reactions during a UK game, another participant wrote:. Before , I use to get so emotional during UK games. There were times even in high school where I thought about crying because UK lost a regular season basketball game.

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If they won I was in a good mood for the rest of the day and nothing seemed to bother me, but if they lost I would get depressed and could be a miserable human being. I was very nervous about this game and how we would play. I felt very sick during the whole game. Many of our participants reported postgame experiences similar to those one would expect of a player. These fans described emotional and physical symptoms similar to an athlete after participating in an athletic event.

What a game. Unbe- lievable. Watched Utah beat UNC. They will be tough. After that game, we did midnight bowling. Everyone seemed physically and mentally exhausted. Doing something like bowling was perfect to those of us that were wiped out. In summary, for many fanatics, their point of reference and their emotional and physiological responses during and after the game are very similar to those one would expect of an athlete who had actually participated in the contest.

The emotions and physical outcomes associated with UK games that were reported by our participants could be those of the actual participants in the athletic event. Team Assistance Role. Almost as an extension of considering oneself a part of the team, many participants made reference to their efforts to help the team during the course of a game. These efforts directed toward helping the team came in several different forms, including the traditional role of the fan, superstitions, and special game attire. First, one aspect of the team assistance role encompassed traditionally accepted fan activities.

Cheering, supporting, and leading the team to victory were all common duties associated with being a fanatic that were mentioned by our participants. Aside from taking great pride in their level of support for the UK basketball team, many participants wrote of superstitions or quirks they have regarding how their personal behavior contributes to the success of the UK basketball team.

In almost all cases, these superstitions were seen as being helpful to the UK cause. It is a blue hat with the white K on the front. I wear it to the games as well as when I watch the games on television. Another participant wrote:. When asked about any superstitions he might have regarding UK basketball games, one participant wrote:. But I do like to wear my UK hat Yes, it is lucky. When I attend games I also like to have a pre-game beer in the Civic Center.

I never sit in a chair. If watching a game at home, you should be wearing a UK shirt. If someone comes in to watch the game, and the team suddenly starts playing badly, that person is asked to leave the room inherited this superstition from my dad! Many of our participants made note of special attire they wore when watching UK basketball games.

For these fans, this attire seemed to take on a uniform-like quality. In essence, their UK game watching attire took on the role of a uniform worn by a team member while serving as a superstitious aid to the UK team. For example, when asked about any superstitions she might hold, one participant wrote:. I usually wear a Kentucky sweatshirt or t-shirt on the day of games. However, I did have one unusual superstition. I had two blue and white shakers that I took with me to games as a member of the band. I attached one to the end of my trombone slide. I kept the other in my back pocket. I was so superstitious about that shaker or pompom that for awhile I thought that it was the reason we lost.

In summary, UK fans see themselves as helping the UK basketball team to victory in several different ways. These behaviors include activities such as cheer- ing, supporting, and motivating. A second, less traditional, means of helping the UK team is through any number of different and unique superstitious behaviors that in actuality have little or nothing to do with the success or fail- ure of the team. A third mechanism of team assistance that emerged built on the earlier discussion of the team member role.

Some of our participants made a conscious effort to select attire for UK games that took on a uniform- like quality. Al- though these fans in some cases recognized that their superstitions or quirky behaviors probably had little to do with the outcome of the game, these patterned and habitual behaviors were still enacted. Earlier work has recognized the importance of the social aspects of fan consumption behavior. Planning and Coordination. Some of our participants take the role of planning and coordinating social events associated with game days very se- riously. They view the planning and coordinating of social activities as a key part of their role associated with UK basketball.

For example, one of our participants wrote of her duties as a social event planner and coordinator repeatedly throughout the NCAA Tournament. Earlier in our discussion of the emergent theme of game participation, we discussed the sub-theme of the informational role. For several of our participants, socializing was an important aspect of their game preparation activities. For example, one respondent wrote the following regarding his preparation for the Final Four games that were held on Saturday evening:. Started drinking around preparing for the game, where I decided I would watch the game at my fraternity house.

Got really drunk and partied with all the other drunks down on the corner of Woodland and Euclid. Got home pretty early to catch the end of the Utah upsetting of UNC. Went to class all day, and around came home and started getting ready for the game. Went back to the Fraternity house to watch the game, so I would be close to Woodland and Euclid. Went to Woodland and Euclid and partied till latenight. My friends and I got to Two Keys Tavern at noon. We began playing drinking games. We reserved the last table in the bar. Treatment of the Game as a Social Event. For many UK basketball fans, besides being athletic competitions, UK games are considered social events.

Holt noted the importance of communing and socializing to consump- tion behavior for fans attending an athletic event. Our data suggest that the social aspects of fanatical consumption are possibly even more important for fans who are unable to attend the event in person. For example, one of our participants wrote the following when asked about any superstitions she might have regarding UK basketball:.

We sat in the same seats for every game. Traditionally, my friends have a party for every UK game and this night was no exception. As soon as they won, we called our friend who lives in Lexington and told him that he had to stand in line the next morning for the victory celebration tickets. Of course, we woke our friend up with an early morning call and he was able to procure the tickets for us.

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That celebration was like no other! It was interesting to hear the players and coaches discuss their NCAA experience. I hated to see the celebration end, but did purchase several clothing items to remember the night and championship. Participation in Post Game Social Activities. Some of the more memo- rable experiences our participants wrote of pertained to their postgame social activities. One of the traditions associated with big UK basketball victories is the postgame rendezvous of fans at the corner of Euclid and Woodland Avenues, an intersection a few blocks from campus.

Several of our partic- ipants wrote of their postgame experiences at this intersection following the NCAA Championship game. It was a tough game, but we won. I remember getting a chill down my back when they had clinched it. We heard a noise coming from downtown Lex- ington. Campus had turned into a party. We drove down to join the crowd in anticipation of further success. Again, I had chills. My eyes actually watered. I thought back to my undergraduate days. That did not, however, impede me from enjoying the celebration in downtown Lexington. The tension had gone but the initial thrill of victory had hit.

It was an unbelievable evening all around. We began our festivities at Two Keys Tavern at p. We remained at 2 Keys until the end of the game, at which time a guy next to us purchased 10 bottles of champagne. I had a great time. However, the drunks got out of control. At this point, my girlfriend and I walked 2 miles back to our apartment. It was awesome! It was so crowded that it was nearly impossible to get a drink. After the game, we headed to celebration corner Euclid and Woodland. It was crazy!!! I have never seen anything like it.

Crowd control from the police was horrible. Some of my friends not me showed their chests while standing on shoulders. It was a tough game the whole way through. However, we came back after getting 12 behind. We are the national champions! I cannot believe it. Then I went to the intersection of Euclid and Woodland Ave.

I had a couple of victory cigars. This is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and words cannot adequately describe the euphoria. My friends and I had our picture taken by the newspapers. I proceeded to walk 2 blocks down the crowded street with her standing on my shoulders. We fell down a couple of times. We then got separated from the rest of our group. We hung out at celebration corner until we got tired of being pushed around. We walked back to Tolly Ho and ate lots of food. We left campus about a. It was an exciting, fun, satisfying, crazy, night!

Nonsocial Role. Interestingly, although for many of our participants UK basketball is a social event, for some of our participants, watching UK basket- ball is a solitary activity or an activity that is engaged in with only a limited number of other fans. Several of our participants wrote of the nonsocial aspects of their support for UK.

I also took calls inviting me to a couple of parties for the game. As usual, I prefer to watch alone. Reasons for watching UK basketball alone varied. For example, some of our participants held the superstition that UK played better when they watched the game at home by themselves.

Others noted that they like to watch UK basketball games alone because when watching, they like to study the game and immerse themselves in the action. They reported that this is simply impossible when watching the game in a social setting. Others acknowledged that they are simply so intense during a game that the social activity enjoyed by some is a distraction from the game for them. For example, one of our respondents wrote the following regarding the UK—Duke game played on March 21, , which he watched at home. I was extremely nervous prior to game. The way Duke came out and took a lead on UK, I knew it would be tough to come back.

When they got 17 points behind in second half I thought it was over. The feeling of believing started edging back every time they cut the lead. It could not have been any sweeter revenge than the way this happened. As in , the win was in their hands and we took it away as they did to us then. As the game ended, there were a lot of cheers and yells in the house. My son and daughter took turns jumping in my arms with the excitement of the win.

The telephone rang off the hook to see if I had survived the win. People know how intense a fan I am. I listened to Billy Packer eat his words about how UK was just not strong enough. Take this one to the ACC archives Billy. Fan Contests Although one generally associates fanaticism with the ardent support of a sports team, our data suggest that there may be a number of other contests in the minds of sports fans associated with the actual athletic competition.

In addition to the athletic contest, other contests mentioned by our participants and described below include the fan support contest, the traditional powers contest, the knowledge contest, the grief giving contest, and the adversity contest. Athletic Contest. Fan Support Contest. A second contest of importance to many of our participants was the fan support contest.

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This contest seems to exist on two different dimensions. First, for many of our participants it was important that UK had the strongest, most loyal fan following overall and at the various tournament sites. Second, several of our participants wrote of the level of their own personal support for the UK basketball program. It would have to be me! Other fans wrote of the fan support contest as it relates to the fan support of competing schools. Put blue K hat on game hat. Put UK shirt and jacket on to show our colors.

Go to Jock and Jills drinking well to congregate with hundreds of UK fans from all over. Seemed like a large indoor tailgate party. Felt much anxiety about this game as I do everytime we play Arkansas. I would rather lose to just about anyone except Arkansas. I like to be as loud as the Arkansas fans. Relieved this one is over. The competition of the Cat fans vs.

The change of emotions of conceding defeat to the excitement of the dramatic overtime win. Traditional Powers Contest. Many of our participants expressed concern over the success or joy over the lack of success of other top quality basketball programs. Programs that served as focal points in this regard were Duke University, University of North Carolina, and University of Arizona among others.

Reasons for focusing on these teams varied. At the time our data were collected, the UK basketball program held a narrow lead in the number of all-time wins for a basketball program over the University of North Carolina. The competition for the highest number of all-time victories is viewed as a very important contest by many of our participants.

I hate North Carolina! Nearly every participant wrote passionately about the Duke—UK game and its impact on them, then and now. For example, one of the participants was a member of the UK Pep Band during the to basketball season. He wrote the following about the immediate impact of the loss to Duke:.

The loss against Duke was the most disappointing event for me. It was tight the whole way through. I was at that game in the pep band. I remember the feeling of overwhelming elation when we went up by 1, then shock and sorrow after we lost. I remember the people of Philadelphia expressing their sentiment after that game. I just remember being depressed for about one week.


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