The growing popularity of specialized college-recruiting networks has provided a unique venue for sport consumers to promote and sustain their fandom. With a distinctive subscription-based offering, fans can develop camaraderie in addition to immersing themselves in information on current and future aspects of their favorite team. The purpose of this study is to examine the peculiar indulgences sought and obtained by highly identified fans through the paid use of college-recruiting networks. The current study follows up on previous quantitative explorations into the topic, employing uses and gratifications theory as a framework to analyze the underlying motivations of membership. Fifteen highly identified fans of several fbs teams were interviewed. Findings demonstrate the value of segmented information; recruiting’s impact on collective self-identity; and how utilization of interactive features of these sites provides a strong sense of community, while also allowing for vicarious participation within the scope of new media.


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pp. 51-77
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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