Design, making and consumption of football fandom products by a university-based football fandom group

Ay, Utku
Football fandom products (jerseys, scarves, banners etc.) have a great importance but different roles for football and fans. The meanings and roles of those products have generally been examined under the topics of marketing, consumer behavior or sociology and such research has mainly focused on official products. However, there are also products that fans design, make and use. This thesis examines this gap by looking at a university-based football fandom group, ODTÜlü Kartallar. The aim of this study is to understand what the roles and meanings of football fandom products are for a university-based fandom group, including the products that they design, make, use and purchase. The thesis also examines how design processes can be conducted in a group in which there is no professional designer. In order to understand these, both products and design processes are investigated via an ethnographic study done with ODTÜlü Kartallar and semi-structured interviews with members of the group. Based on the data collected from the field and interviews, the thesis offers five conclusions. First, designing and making of one’s own products can be a way to differentiate a fandom group from the others. Second, the environment that the group is involved in can have important effects on its identity and its products. Third, designing and making can be a part of the group culture as it reflects its visibility, independence, learning processes and roles. Fourth, designing and making of products can be seen as social activities that increase group cohesion and sense of ownership. Lastly, thanks to the cultivation and conveyance of knowledge and skills, non-designers can get involved in design processes in collaborative environments. 
Citation Formats
U. Ay, “Design, making and consumption of football fandom products by a university-based football fandom group,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.