Australian Sport Fandom Online

Laura Hale presented her work on Australian Sport Fandom Online at the University of Canberra today.
Her presentation was part of the upgrade process to move her work from Masters to PhD. Laura’s primary supervisor is Sam Hinton.
Laura has remarkable experience of researching and writing about fandom.
The abstract for her presentation was:
The online ecosystem is expanding the definition of sport fandom, changing how
teams engage with their fans, and causing potential demographic and geographic
shifts for Australian athletes, clubs and teams.
Through detailed analysis of recent events and the way they have played out in a range of social media communities I aim to map examine changes and develop methodological frameworks for further analysis. The primary goals of my research are to:

  • Benchmark the characteristics of Australian sport fandom online.
  • Demonstrate how the characteristics of Australian sport fandom online change as they relate to events that take place in Australian sport.
  • Provide a methodological framework for conducting a population study online.

I really enjoyed Laura’s presentation and was delighted that her ideas stimulated further discussion away from the seminar room.
This is a link to Laura’s thesis draft.
I do think Laura’s work has enormous relevance to the Australian sport system as it negotiates its way through significant change in a digital age. Her case studies have powerful messages about connections with fans and the possibilities created by a careful analysis of communication trends.


  1. Great stuff.
    Congratulations to Laura. I believe she is on to a great concept.
    I feel that Sport no longer owns sport.
    National Sporting Organisations do not own sport – they just administer it. Sport is owned by its clients – kids participating, parents supporting and fans engaging.
    Sports who persist in the “old-model” of coming up with plans and programs and then convincing their “clients” to buy them will fail.
    The smart sports who listen to their clients, respond to their needs and understand the fandom concept will flourish.
    It really is a case of sports engaging and partnering with people and providing a product which is dynamic and responsive to the needs of everyone.
    Great work.

    • Wayne
      Thanks for finding this post and commenting on it. You make an excellent point about sport as partnership.
      I think your practice demonstrates how this partnership can work.
      Best wishes


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here