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Title:Globalisation, football and emerging urban 'tribes': fans of the European leagues in a Nigerian city
Author:Onyebueke, Victor U.
Series:ASC working paper
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:Nigeria
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/32926
Abstract:Football is arguably the world's most popular and globalised sport, and it has been implicated in the continuing efforts in social science disciplines to understand current globalisation processes. Electronic colonialism, the metonym for the dominance of global mediascape by transnational media corporations like Sky and Fox has combined with the ongoing commodification of football to create a complex world-wide web of football authorities, clubs, players and agents, sport equipment makers, sponsors and advertisers, the media, cable and satellite television companies and fans. The central logic in this chain of events is that transnational broadcast of live football matches of European leagues is generating a massive base of 'long distance' fans of elite football clubs and star players across developed and developing countries. The current paper investigates the interplay between transnational football broadcasting and football viewing centres with a view to identiying the spatial, economic and socio-cultural correlates of the rising incidence of the so-called 'electronic' fandom in urban Nigeria. Drawing on a fieldwork conducted between 18th October 2014 and 5th January 2015 in the city of Enugu in Southeast Nigeria, the paper argues that ritualised television spectating within the confines of various viewing centres in the city creates the social contexts that positively reinforce fan behaviours, values, and attitudes. Employing the emergent notion of sports fans as consumers, the paper highlights how this expanding television-mediated fan base has become a veritable target market for many Nigerian companies, and concludes by speculating on the economic and socio-cultural knock-on effects of this emergent phenomenon. [Book abstract]