Document Type


Publication Date



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media


Purpose – The purpose of this research is to extend current knowledge regarding rivalry communication among sport consumers to better understand how rivals behave with one another when they communicate.

Design/methodology/approach – This national survey of US sport consumers used a novel approach to explore whether and with whom rivals discuss National Football League (NFL) game outcomes. The survey captured both uniplex and multiplex data by asking respondents to name rival discussants with whom they had recently interacted, and the fan behaviors they exchanged with those named rival discussants.

Findings – Through use of this novel data collection approach, new findings were uncovered related to blasting, glory out of reflective failure, schadenfreude and the influence of team identification on the exchange of rivalry fan behaviors. The results of the uniplex and multiplex data analyses uniquely showcase the ways in which social identity theory combines with team identification to enact rivalry behavior.

Originality/value – This research is the first to precisely dichotomize the psychological antecedents from the communicated behavior between rival fans. Results reveal the precise ways in which team identification influences discordant communication between rival fans, which differs from past research in an interesting new way.

Source Citation

Harker, J. L. & Jensen, J. A. (2020). Adding insult to rivalry: Exploring the discord communicated between rivals. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship.



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