Football Fan Tokens as a mode of “serious leisure”: unveiling the dual essence of identity and investment

Argyro Elisavet Manoli*, Kevin Dixon, Georgios Antonopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

With the field of cryptocurrency in sports being primarily discussed from the material and financial standpoint of industry producers, in our study, we conduct a qualitative exploration into the consumption of Fan Tokens within the realm of football fandom in order to elucidate the experiences and motivations of football fans in their consumption of Fan Tokens. Data collected through 10 focus groups with 60 fan token consumers were used for this study, revealing a nuanced landscape in which Fan Tokens serve a multifaceted role in the construction of fan identity and engagement within the context of football’s serious leisure markets. As such, we uncovered the concept of Fan Tokens as “tokens of identity,” where fans employ Fan Tokens as symbolic expressions of their unwavering allegiance to football clubs. We also identified a subset of participants who approached Fan Tokens as “investment tokens,” and thus viewed them as a simple rational investment opportunity. Our research unveiled the intricate ways in which the consumption of Fan Tokens intersects with fan identity, engagement, and financial motivations in the world of football fandom, while indicating that Fan Tokens themselves represent a potential form of serious leisure within the broader context of football fandom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Early online date11 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2024

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