The impact of ageing on aggression among sport fans: the mediating role of fan hatred

Tamar Icekson, Anat Toder Alon, Avichai Shuv-Ami, Yaron Sela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The growing proportion of older fans and their potential economic value have increased the need for an improved understanding of age differences in fan behaviour. Building on socioemotional selectivity theory, the current study examines the impact of age differences on fan hatred as well as on the extent to which fans actually engage in aggressive activities and fans' perceptions of the levels of appropriateness of certain physical and verbal acts of aggression. Design/methodology/approach: The study used an online panel-based survey that offered access to a real-world population of sport fans. The participants were 742 fans of professional football (soccer). Findings: Results from structural equation modelling indicated that older fans reported lower levels of fan hatred, lower self-reported aggression and lower acceptance of physical and verbal aggression. Moreover, fan hatred partially mediated the relationship between age and levels of aggression and between age and acceptance of verbal aggression. In addition, fan hatred fully mediated the relationship between age and acceptance of physical aggression. Originality/value: The current study makes two important contributions. First, it demonstrates that sport clubs may particularly benefit from understanding the potential but often neglected importance of older sport fans in relation to the problematic phenomenon of fan aggression. Second, it offers a thorough theoretical account of the manner in which fan hatred plays a significant role in the relationships between age and fan aggressiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-797
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2021


  • Ageing
  • Anti-fandom
  • Fan aggression
  • Fan hatred

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of ageing on aggression among sport fans: the mediating role of fan hatred'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this