Understanding sports fan psychology: Turn sports enthusiasts into hardcore fans

Apart from hometown teams, fans follow teams that have their favourite players

For any sport, league or club; fans are the biggest assets. They not only live and breathe for their favorite club but also act as brand ambassadors spreading the word about their favorite team whenever and wherever they can. Leading clubs in the world like Real Madrid (Liga BBVA), Liverpool (English Premier League) etc have a stupendous fan base across the globe which make them widely followed and most talked about clubs in the world. So it becomes important to understand the psychology of the fans and make sure they play a vital role in building the brand.

What do fans want?

Fans always see themselves as part of the league or club so it becomes imperative to cater to their needs. Fans love to be heard, their opinion respected and want play a part in taking the club forward. They have no desire for monetary rewards or achieving celebrity status but a small token of appreciation or recognition can go a long way in making the bond between them and the club stronger and everlasting.

Transformation of sports enthusiasts into hardcore fans

So what transforms a sports enthusiast into a hardcore fan? There can be various factors behind this evolution. Such as:


Nothing comes close to a fan’s heart other than a club from his hometown. A report says 40% people support a team from their own city. Not only team, homegrown players are also rooted by these set of loyal fans. Popular clubs and leagues all around the world have huge set of local fans which pledge their loyalties to them. German Football Club Borussia Dortmund has 100,000 dedicated fans from the city of Dortmund in Germany.

Family Tradition

There are generations of fans who have pledged their loyalties to a single club. For example, a Red Sox household tomorrow or many years down the line is unlikely to become a Yankee’s household. Almost 14% fans of major clubs or leagues stay connected to them for generations. Old and decorated clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United have become part of family traditions in United Kingdom where generations of family have been closely associated with them.

Team Performance

Team performance is another cultivating factor when considering fan following. Out of all the sports enthusiasts who tend to closely follow and monitor certain team’s growth and success, nearly 10% of them eventually become their fan. Since Barcelona started playing the Tika Taka brand of football, which attracted many football enthusiasts worldwide, have seen a rise of 17% in fan following in the past six years.

Player Following/Popularity

Another big reason for a league or club following is the number of popular and star players they have in their team. A number of people tend to have strong affinity for certain players and when they play for a team or join other team fans loyalty automatically shifts to that team since his/her favorite has joined that outfit. Almost 9% of people tend to follow clubs in which their favorite player is playing.

  • Fans especially love teams from their hometown
  • Fan loyalties often span generations of families
  • Team performance drives fan loyalty
  • Players govern which teams fans will follow

About Vinfotech

Vinfotech creates world’s best fan engagement solutions for fantasy sports startups, sports leagues & clubs and sports brands. We promise initial set of real engaged users to put turbo in your fan engagement and fantasy sports growth. Our award winning software vFantasy™ allows us to build stellar rewards platform faster and better. Our customers include Zee Digital, Picklive and Arabian Gulf League.


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