Feb 14, 2020
What does it mean to be a fan in the digital era?

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?

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French soccer legend Eric Cantona once remarked: “You can change your wife, change your politics, change your religion. But never, never can you change your favourite football team.” [1] This monotheistic version of fandom – wherein you inherited your team from family members and followed them, and them alone – is losing relevance for a generation reared on video games, fantasy football, multi-platform streaming, and social media. According to a Facebook study published in 2019, web users around the world watch an average of 4.1 sports, while a 2018 report from COPA90 revealed that 46% of British soccer fans aged 16-24 support a second team and 27% support three or more. [2][3]