Title: An examination of sport fandom in Greece: influences, interests and behaviours

Authors: Nicholas D. Theodorakis, Daniel L. Wann

Addresses: Department of PE and Sport Sciences at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Agios Ioannis, Serres 62110, Greece. ' Department of Psychology, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071, USA

Abstract: Although an empirical and theoretical examination of sport fans and spectators appear to be increasing, there is still limited information on cross cultural analyses of fandom. To partially fill this research void, the current investigation involved an examination of sport fandom in Greece. Specifically, four research questions were reviewed: |To what degree do male and female Greek university students engage in behaviours commonly associated with sport fandom?|, |To what extent do parents, friends peers, school and community contribute to their socialisation into the sport fan role?|, |Which one of the aforementioned socialisation agents is most influential?| and |How strongly do students identify with their favourite team?| The questions were answered by testing a convenience sample of 351 students at the department of physical education and sport sciences of a metropolitan university in Greece. The participants completed a questionnaire packet assessing demographic, sport fandom, sport fan behaviours, team identification and the impact of various socialisation agents. The results revealed a number of interesting findings including gender differences in sport fandom (males greater than females), the importance of fathers as a agent of socialisation and the large percentage of Greek teams listed as one|s favourite team. In the discussion section, the current work is compared and contrasted with research of fans from other cultures, namely North America and Norway.

Keywords: team identification; fan behaviour; professional sports; sport fandom; sports fans; Greece; cross-cultural analysis; socialisation; demographics; gender differences; North America; Norway.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2008.022376

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.356 - 374

Published online: 02 Jan 2009 *

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