Three Core Properties of Rivalry

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  The purpose of this paper presentation is to critically examine the many differing conceptions of rivalry and to discern properties of rivalry across different sports. We survey college football fans (N = 5,304) to empirically test the exclusivity, scale, and symmetry of rivalry, then we replicate the study twice in the context of professional sports (1,649 NFL fans; 1,435 NHL fans). Results consistently indicate that teams have multiple rivals (non-exclusive), rivalry intensity varies among rivals (continuous in scale), and rivals rarely share equivalent perceptions of the rivalry (bidirectional).
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  • 1. All Rivals Are Not Equal Clarifying Misrepresentations and Discerning Three Core Properties of Rivalry B. David Tyler, Western Carolina University Joe Cobbs, Northern Kentucky University
  • 2. Properties of Rivalry Only one rival? Exclusivity Scale Symmetry Dichotomous or continuous? Symmetric or bidirectional? A rival is "a highly salient outgroup that poses an acute threat to the identity of the ingroup or to ingroup members' ability to make positive comparisons between their group and the outgroup" (Tyler & Cobbs, 2015, p. 230)
  • 3. Properties of Rivalry [T]hose who split up rivalries among different schools don't really get what 'rivalry' means (respondent #1) Exclusivity Scale Symmetry Green Bay is by far Chicago's biggest rival. Allocating over seven times the amount of [rivalry] to them over the second [rival] accurately represents my feelings (respondent #9521) Ohio [State] will always be the biggest rival, with Notre Dame a distant second. MSU wants to be our rival, but hey, Little Brothers always want to live up to their big brothers (respondent #1084)
  • 4. Rivalry Proxies Modeling demand • League structure • Division (e.g., McDonald & Rascher, 2000) • Geographic proximity • Distance radius (e.g., Paton & Cooke, 2005) • Shared border (e.g., Morley & Thomas, 2007) • Total distance between opponents (e.g., Forrest, Simmons, & Feehan, 2002) • Subjective identification • Panel of “experts” (e.g., Boyd & Krehbiel, 2003)
  • 5. Rivalry Hypotheses A Team Can Have More Than One Rival (non)Exclusivity Continuous Scale Bidirectional Degrees of Rivalry Exist among Multiple Rival Teams Rivalry is Perspective- based and Not Necessarily Shared by Opponents
  • 6. Method Sample • Qualtrics online survey • Respondents recruited from team message boards • Name favorite team • Who is a rival of that team? • Allocate 100 rivalry points • N = 5,304 valid • 194 message boards • 96% male, mean age 37 • Replication in NFL, NHL • NFL N = 1,649 • NHL N = 1,435
  • 7. H1: (Non)exclusivity A Team Can Have More Than One Rival
  • 8. H2: Continuous Scale Degrees of Rivalry Exist among Multiple Rival Teams
  • 9. H3: Bidirectional Rivalry is Perspective-based
  • 10. Why does this matter?
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