Date of Publication

Spring 5-1-2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


The purpose of this research was to find out the relationship between professional sport fans and either the team or player they most support. The goal of the research was to find out whether fans of professional sport go out to games or watch games at their house because of their support for their favorite organization or their idol player. The reason behind the research was because out of all the psychology and sociology studies surrounding professional sport, 95% of all those studies included an athlete, team, or coach. Only 5% of all those mentioned studies were involved with the fan side. It is important to understand the reasoning fans have for each of their favorite leagues and why they watch the sport they love. Sports give every fan the opportunity of escapism. Whether at the game or watching from home, each game represents a new start for each fan base to rally for a win.

The method used for drawing conclusions was through an anonymous survey with participants from a small college. The sample was completed through participants from age 18-23 with a mix of 56% male and 44% female. Along with this, fandom level was also surveyed to see what kind of professional sport fans were participating. What was found only established the idea more that the NFL is by far the most popular sport league in North America, and a hypothesis before the study was ran guessing the NFL is so popular because fantasy football is so widespread and allows for so many people to watch the games. It was believed fantasy football participation led to NFL viewing. However, what was learned in the survey was that fantasy football did not play as big a role on NFL fans participating as much as anticipated prior to the beginning of the research.

What is known throughout the study is that the NFL and NBA are by far the more popular leagues compared to the other professional leagues in North America. Part of that reason is due to the fact that both those leagues do an exceptional job of promoting their players through other advertisements, while other leagues like MLB have their best player not promoting themselves to their full ability.