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Hartford Whalers Fans: An Interpretive Analysis of Their Stories

Hartford Whalers Fans: An Interpretive Analysis of Their Stories

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Most sport marketing research on sport fans is based on pre-conceived conceptualizations congruent with the mindset of team management. It is unknown if fans view their experiences in this way. This book examines the experiences of fans of the National Hockey Leaguehalers from the insiderive. Twenty-four fans were interviewed in- depth to learn of their lives as Whalers fans. By analyzing the stories, existing marketing concepts such as relationship marketing are questioned, and new insights emerge. Whalers fans felt humiliated being outnumbered locally by New York Rangers and Boston Bruins fans, felt a strong attachment to the team and logo, appreciated the amount of player interaction in the community, felt the pain of relocation even more so after the team moved to a small city in a region unfamiliar with hockey, developed a kinship with fans of teams similar to the Whalers, and saw themselves as sophisticated hockey fans who have mostly failed to recapture what they once had with the Whalers. This book will engage sport managers and others interested in the thoughts, actions, and feelings of sport fans.