Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student of Sport Management, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Sport Management, Faculty of Physical Education, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

3 M.Sc. of Business Management, Management Faculty, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran


The aim of the current study was to compare those factors affecting fan identification with established and new sport teams. This study was a descriptive survey and a field one. In order to collect data and to determine those factors influencing fan identification, a researcher-made analytical hierarchy process questionnaire was used. The validity was verified by sport management, marketing and sociology experts and its reliability was found to be 0.89 based on Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The statistical population consisted of all fans of Sepahan football team and Gitipasand futsal team in Isfahan. In a pilot study, a sample of 126 Sepahan football team fans and a sample of 126 Gitipasand futsal team fans were randomly selected by unlimited population formula. SPSS16 was used to determine the reliability and descriptive statistics and Expert Choice software was used for data analysis and pair comparison of identification factors. According to analytical hierarchy process technique, the results showed that among the fans of Gitipasand new futsal team, "geographical origin" was the most effective factor of fans' identification with their favorite team. "The game style", "star coaches and players", "social interactions", and finally "the history of team success" were other effective factors of fans' identification respectively. On the other hand, the results showed that the factors affecting Sepahan established football team fans' identification were different from those affecting Gitipasand new futsal team fans' identification, that is, "the history of team success" was the most important factor of Sepahan fans' identification. "The star coaches and players", "game style", "social interactions" and finally "geographical origin" were the next important priorities influencing fans' identification respectively.