A critical analysis of female football fans motivations to attend professional football matches
The aim of this Research Project was to contribute to the gaps identified in the current literature on football fans motivations to attend professional football matches, as majority of the researchers were focusing on men football fans motives and behaviours (Lewis, 2009). The focus of this research was to identify personal motives of female football fans to attend the games and support the team. Also, see if they differ from general perceptions and public thoughts on why women attend football matches or sports events in general. And then after data analysis – enable sports organizations to tailor their sport event experience better towards female football fans. To conduct the further research on the topics mentioned before - qualitative research approach was chosen and semi-structured interviews being carried. Data was collected with a sample size of 10 people that consider themselves as football fans, 6 of them being women and 4 being men, all between the age of 22 and 33 respectively and originated from 5 different European countries. The findings of the research showed the contrast between perceived motivations and personal motives of female football fans to attend the games and support the team. Majority of perceived motivations indicated that females attend football games and likes the sport because of the aesthetic pleasure of seeing handsome football players or just because their boyfriends or husbands are attending. While the personal reasons provided by females themselves were the genuine interest in football, family legacies and traditions, patriotism or the atmosphere and emotions of being in the stadium. The research also identified some inconsistent attendance variables for both genders and some attendance barriers for female football fans, most of them highlighted as ticket prices, lack of safety and crowd control in the stadium, drunk and violent fans. The findings of this research could be valuable to events managers, sport organizations and stadiums in the way, which they could take the feedback provided by football fans and use them to improve event experience for female football supporters and increase inclusivity and attendance.