Sunday, November 17, 2013

URSP Student Melissa Kosciow Conducts an Exploratory Study of the Process of Becoming a Highly Identified Sports Fan

I was raised by a mother and father from central New Jersey, and they are both big sports fans. My mom loves the New York Giants and my dad roots for all New York sports teams. Sports have always been a big part of our household. After watching the underdog Giants win the Super Bowl in 2007, I became obsessed with football, and my enthusiasm only continues to grow. I own a lot of Giants merchandise and I never miss a game. One of my sociology professors noticed how much I loved the Giants and suggested that I study sports fans, which is how I got started in this research.  I found that sports fandom is a phenomenon that has been studied for years, and researchers have used a variety of methods to learn more about it. I wanted to bring something new to the table and provide new discoveries on the behavior of sports fans.
            One of my long term goals is to become more involved in scholarly research. This is my first independent research project so I am very excited to be getting hands-on experience. I also have interest in market research, and my research on sports fans is very relevant to companies who market to athletes or sports fans.  If I decide to have a career in this field, I will already have had experience and knowledge on sports fandom.
            My plan for my project is to first sample and recruit participants, conduct the interviews, transcribe, code, and analyze the data, and then develop conclusions. Every week will be different in the process of this project. On a weekly basis, I make sure I am where I want to be in my research. I need to stay on track of the work that needs to be done while making sure I am heading in the right direction. I spent this week sampling and preparing to recruit while brushing up on the literature. One new thing I learned this week was that geographical location does not have as much of an effect on sports fans choosing their preferred team as I had previously thought. I look forward to see what else I will discover!