'As American as Mom, Apple Pie and Dutch Soccer?': The Team Identification of Foreign Ajax FC Supporters

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Sport as a Business: International, Professionalism and Commercial Aspects, 2011, 1, pp. 15 - 34
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Globalization and advances in communications technology, notably satellite television and broadband internet, have greatly expanded the potential marketplace for professional sport teams. As a result, many team brands profit from millions of satellite supporters worldwide. This study is the second in a series that explores why, and how, the foreign consumer supports their chosen team, in this instance, AFC Ajax of Amsterdam. Respondents highlighted the importance of team reputation and/or tradition; the presence of a particular player(s); team success; and media coverage in their decision to support Ajax FC. Furthermore, satellite supporters expressed intense loyalty for, and appeared to derive psychological benefit from their support of, the foreign-based team. As such, satellite supporters present an opportunity for sport marketers to tap into a potentially lucrative fan base and enhance their own team brands.
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