Saeb Farhan Al Ganideh and Linda K. Good
Michigan State University, MI, the U.S.A
Farhan Al Ganideh, S., K. Good, L. (2015). Cheering for Spanish clubs: Team identification and fandom of foreign soccer clubs (The case of Arab fans). International Journal of Sport Psychology, 46(4), 348-368. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2015.46.348
Sports fan behavior (team identification and fandom) is studied extensively among Americans fans relative to home teams and local sports. However, few studies explore identification and fandom of distant American and foreign countries’ teams. This study explores whether team identification and soccer fandom are used to escape from life stressors and explores the extent to which team identification and soccer fandom of two Spanish soccer clubs differ, based on socio-psychological (openness to other cultures and feelings of animosity towards a target country) and demographic variables. Data were collected from 101 Arab Jordanian fans of Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Real Madrid) and Futbol Club Barcelona (Barcelona). The results of regression analysis reveal that Arab fans who identify with and express fandom towards the two soccer clubs try to escape from daily life problems, exhibit high level of stress, and earn high incomes. However, other variables such as openness to other cultures and feelings of animosity towards a specific country (Spain) were not significantly related to team identification and fandom. The study proposes managerial implications and suggestions for further research.
Keywords: Animosity, Escape Openness to other cultures, Soccer, Sports fandom, Stress, Team identification