Social Media Behaviors of Sports Superfans and Physical Security of Teams

May 2, 2023 | by Rachel Kronenfeld

This is Part 3 of a 4-part miniblog series. Read Part 1 here.

Sports superfans can be among the most influential brand advocates for a team. Superfans often become as celebrated as the pro athletes they admire and can attract a social media following as broad as any pro athlete.

But superfan status has a flip side as well. Superfans can also direct anger at a team or a particular athlete for poor performance, or in the case of a referee, making a call that penalizes the superfan’s team. The superfan’s followers can then direct anger at the same parties, and some may have intention of acting out violence creating a potential physical security hazard at live sporting events or on the private property of athletes and referees. For this reason, it is critical that athletes, teams, leagues vigorously monitor their social media profiles or contract with professional social media intelligence (SOCMINT) investigators who can alert managers, teams, athletes, and stadium/arena security to credible threats and protect athletes, referees, spectators and the team’s brand integrity.