With digital channels offering them increased access to their heroes, casual supporters and ‘stans’ alike are embracing novel ways of showing their devotion to celebs and sports teams. How are these passionate individuals forging new cultural tribes and changing expectations of fan interactions?
Carrie Dunn is a writer, lecturer, and academic specialising in women’s football and fandom within football. She has written books on professional wrestling in Britain as well as two books on the England women’s football team – ‘The Roar of the Lionesses’ and ‘The Pride of the Lionesses’.
Martin Belam is a journalist and designer. He helped Trinity Mirror develop UsVsTh3m, Ampp3d, and Mirror Row Zed, and now works at The Guardian as head of user experience. He has previously worked as a digital consultant and wrote and edited books for the Guardian Shorts series about the Olympics, Facebook, and Doctor Who.
Kate Carter is a writer, journalist, presenter, editor, and brand consultant. She covers all lifestyle subjects, with a particular focus on health and fitness, and has written for The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Runner's World, Lonely Planet, and many more. She also presents for the Running Channel and gives regular seminars for Guardian Masterclasses.
K-pop has firmly established itself in mainstream culture as hyper-managed boy bands and girl groups have broken through language barriers to become global idols. What does the international popularity of Blackpink reveal of modern fandom? And how exactly are stans reshaping pop music?
The weekly pilgrimage to a stadium may have defined football fandom in the past, but people nowadays have a breadth of ways to engage in the beautiful game. From ‘dark social’ discussions to artsy magazines, passionate support goes far beyond simply spectating.
In an era of super-fandom, the question is not whether to stan or not to stan, but whom to stan, and for how long. The intensity of fan devotion in the digital age is creating new opportunities for brands to activate hyper engaged communities – just don’t get on their bad side.
Traditionally relegated to the role of casual or soft, female fans have long been marginalised. As interest in women's sports grows, will the industry start catering to them? Canvas8 spoke to sports expert Dr. Stacey Pope to find out why female fandom represents such an exciting opportunity for brands.