Consuming Football: The Norwegian Experience, the English Impact, and the Possibilities of Interdisciplinary Research

by Ingar Mehus & Guy Osborn


Vol. 1 2010, pages 89–113
Published October 13, 2010

mehus-osbornAbstract

The article adopts as its point of departure an interdisciplinary approach to sports study, and celebrates the cross-pollination of disciplines. Specifically, it argues that the transformation of English football has served as a model for the modernization of football in Norway. Football is a global sport, and regulation of football and its spectators in other countries are thus of interest when aiming to understand the commitment and consumption patterns of football spectators in Norway. The empirical study surveys spectators (N=394) at two home matches of Rosenborg Ballklubb and investigates the relationship between motives for attending, team identification and direct and indirect consumption. A statistical model was developed, explaining 20 percent of the variance in attendance. The sample containing mostly women and families score higher on social motives and consume less football, both direct and indirect. However, there is little separating the two samples when it comes to team identification and the importance of excitement motives. The stability in motivational pattern, together with the high exchange rate of spectators between matches shows that it is difficult to separate fans from non-fans. It is concluded that viewing the phenomenon of football attendance from different disciplinary perspectives provide a more rounded understanding.


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About the Author(s)

INGAR MEHUS is affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Dept. of Sociology and Political Science.

GUY OSBORN is Professor of Law, University of Westminster, School of Law, and affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.