Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Joy T. DeSensi

Committee Members

Lars Dzikus, Rob Hardin, Allison Anders

Abstract

Females have long been overlooked as sports fans in our society, especially female fans of men’s professional sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA). There is a vast amount of research available as to what motivates females to attend sporting events, but not on their experience of being a sports fan. Professional sport organizations are now beginning to acknowledge the female fans in their marketing and team apparel. The purpose of the proposed research study is to understand the experience of females who self-identify as fans of Major League Baseball (MLB). Ten female fans of MLB were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences, positive and negative, of being a MLB fan. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts brought to light four main themes. The four main themes were: (a) gender logic surrounding sport, (b) female views, (c) fan atmosphere, and (d) total experience. Each of these themes is discussed in detail with the use of participant’s stories to develop a greater understanding of each theme.

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