Marvel, DC, and Sport: Investigating Rivalry in the Sport and Comic Settings


Objective: The current article empirically investigated differences in fandom and rivalry between fans of a sport team and fans of the Marvel or DC comic brands. Methods: An online survey was distributed to fans of a sport team and/or the comic genre to measure how fans identified with their favorite brands (both sport and comics), and how they felt toward their rival brands. Results: Results illustrated that sport fans reported higher identification with their favorite teams than did fans of Marvel or DC toward their favorite brands. Additionally, fans of sport reported more negative perceptions of their rival teams than fans of the comic genre. Finally, people who were fans of both a sport team and the comic genre were more positive regarding their rival than fans who were a fan of only a sport team or the comic genre. Conclusion: Theoretical implications include support for the measures in a nonsport setting along with support for the common in-group model. Practical implications deriving from the findings are discussed, and avenues for future research are presented.

Publication Title

Social Science Quarterly