Source Publication (e.g., journal title)
Sports fandom represents a significant aspect of place identity, as demonstrated by the colorful landscapes associated with team loyalty. However, there has been little research on the geography of sports fandom. While several geographers have studied the link between Southern regional identity and the sport of stock car racing, American football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States, and it seems to have a particular strength in the United States South. Therefore, examining the geography of football fandom can add depth to the study of place identity. A 1988 article by Roseman and Shelley on the geography of collegiate radio football broadcasting serves as a milestone and our inspiration here. Using data on college football radio coverage as our proxy, we mapped college football fandom for the “Power 5” conferences. Our results show that state borders continue to have an important influence on the geography of college football fandom, but we also identified a strong region of identity in the South. Our results support the theory that place identity can be fruitfully examined using quantitative data, although many questions remain about how sports fans contribute to the making of place.
J. A. Cooper and Edward H. Davis. "Fandom on the Air: Assessing Regional Identity through College Football Radio Networks." Northeastern Geographer 11 (2019): 1-29.