Examining the antecedents of female participation in Fantasy Football

Date

2014-05

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Abstract

The majority of research investigations examining the motivations for fantasy sport participation have primarily focused on male participants. Generally neglected, however, has been the reasons women choose to participate or avoid fantasy football leagues. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to extend this line of inquiry to another consumer population. By doing so, investigating the female motivations, degree of participation, and level of satisfaction, may contribute to the understanding of why females participate in fantasy football, and why more females do not play. Collectively, findings from this study suggest a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that influence fantasy football participation among females; however, certain factors may inhibit one’s willingness to join a league. The motivations to participate in fantasy football were investigated through the voices and experiences of women who identified as avid NFL fans, but were not members of a fantasy football league, and women who identified as fantasy football users. Through the voices of 10 women it was conveyed that participating in fantasy football could help them achieve a variety of goals. For instance, the women felt actively competing in a fantasy football league allowed them to increase their knowledge of sport, experience a heightened sense of excitement when watching professional football, keep up with there favorite NFL players, showcase their sport knowledge, socially interact with males and co-workers, assert there competiveness, play with family, and bond significant others. While the participants expressed a number of positive outcomes associated with playing, they also discussed certain factors that discouraged participation rates among female football fans. For example, the women identified fantasy football as an area that highlights aggressive competition from males, promotes male exclusivity, acts as a site for male domination and female disempowerment, and considered it too time consuming because of a complicated format. By examining the women who participate and those who do not, I identified unique differences that might have shed light on how the NFL can enhance or encourage fantasy football participation among women. Further, this examination called additional attention to why marketers in the NFL have failed to attract the female consumer, and the possible consequences of their lack of understanding.

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Keywords

Fantasy Football, Women, Motivations, Demotivations, Self-Determination Theory, Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation

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