The Janus-faced relationship value of professional sports clubs : a study of Molde Football Club, Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionScandinavian Sport Studies Forum. 2016, 7, 47-61.
Professional sport clubs can be analyzed according to the extent their offers affect the community and the individual. The “use value” takes into account the individual benefits of watching a sporting competition, whereas the “non-use” reflects the externalities of a sports club and its sports events towards people not particular interested in the sport in question. Both values are commonly investigated within the local context, however in an explorative study of the Norwegian football club Molde FK, a sample of 29 young people that had taken up residence in a different part of the country from where they grew up was analyzed in order to find out what “relationship” value a sports club from their home town still has in their lives. Despite the fact that the sample turned out to contain very few passionate football fans, it also revealed that Molde FK still is present in the lives of non-football fans. We conclude that the football club functions as a frequent reminder of the hometown for people that have migrated, and thus, the non-use value might extend beyond the individual’s (lack of) interest for football. Further, the football club and its activities serve at the same time as a foundation for conversations that might support migrators to extend and to build up social capital at their new location. Keywords: sports clubs, football, impact studies, use value, non-use value, existence value, option value, bequest value, sport events, fans