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Striving for Social Sustainability of Football Commercialization : An Ethnographic Case Study of the German Fan-Governed Club HFC Falke

Title data

Brandt, Christian ; Kurscheidt, Markus:
Striving for Social Sustainability of Football Commercialization : An Ethnographic Case Study of the German Fan-Governed Club HFC Falke.
In: Sustainability. Vol. 14 (2022) Issue 15 . - No. 9230.
ISSN 2071-1050
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159230

Abstract in another language

In several European countries, a new football fan type has emerged in recent years—the post-consumer fan. These fans break with commercialized football by founding their own clubs in order to incorporate their vision of football. This vision is antagonistic to commercialized “modern football”. However, the newly founded clubs compete in the existing commercialized structures and need to generate financial capital. To date, little is known about how clubs deal with these contradictory goals. Based on a 27 month long ethnographic participant observation and ten semi-structured interviews, this article investigates how the members of the German club HFC Falke negotiated sponsoring and players’ wages. It highlights how the clubs implement alternative practices in order to remain close to their values while being competitive. As a result, they emphasize the democratic process, and implement normative guidelines. Some of the strategies are known from previous research on other clubs but during our research we also detected new strategies. The club and its members experiment with new practices, such as transparent payment based on effort and sponsoring used for the fans’ benefit (e.g., subsidies of beer prices on matchdays). Through these normative guidelines and practices, the clubs strive to establish a more sustainable football in commodified structures. The discussions in the club and its practices might also inspire debates on the future of professional football.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: commercialization; commodification; post-consumer fans; fan culture; breakaway club; authenticity; belonging; sponsorship; ethnography
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science II - Sport Governance and Event Management > Chair Sport Science II - Sport Governance and Event Management - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Markus Kurscheidt
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
700 Arts and recreation > 790 Sports, games, entertainment
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 06:03
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 06:03
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/71722