The Love-hate Relationship between Archrivals: Analysing the Ambivalent Consequences of Rivalry and Disidentification in Team Sport

Project details

Research objective

Rivalries between fans of opposing sports teams are a widely prevalent phenomenon across different sports and leagues. A rival is commonly seen as detrimental for fans of a team. The literature on team sports and research on intergroup relations focuses on the negative consequences of rivalries, such as schadenfreude, prejudice, hostility, aggression and violence. However, rivalries in team sports are a double-edged sword with both negative and positive consequences. The aversion and derogation of the archrival adds to fans’ enjoyment of team sports consumption, leaving consumers with a deeply-rooted desire for rivalries. The potential positive effects of rivalries – as well as the nature of the love-hate relationship between fans – have been under-researched. The present research addresses this gap by examining whether and why rivalries - despite the overt hostility - can have beneficial effects for team sports consumers.
Short titleRivalry in Team Sport
StatusNot started


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