Research & Publications

Research Interests:

  • Women sport fans
  • Culture/cultural production of sport fandom
  • Language use and visual representations in marketing campaigns 
  • Critical inquiry 
  • Qualitative methodology 

PhD Research (SSHRC Funded):

In my dissertation, Exploring Cultural Boundaries of Sport Fandom Through Critical Discourse Analysis, I study whether sport fandom supports or refutes the notion that sport is solely unifying. Specifically, Visual Twitter Analytics (Vista) data software was used to collect tweets over the 2017 season of a major league baseball team. Through exploring 5500 tweets, I investigate how sport fans dictate the cultural boundaries of sport teams and how sport teams manage culture. The findings indicate that while sport teams often use discourses of unity in their marketing to draw cultural boundaries, sport fans seek to distinguish themselves from other fans of the same and different teams. As a result, sport fans either reinforce boundaries drawn by the organization or they use their power to create and draw their own cultural boundaries.

My research contributes to sport consumer behaviour knowledge by demonstrating how sport fan discourses on a societal level associate with the everyday fan experiences at the local level. While many sport studies use a functionalist perspective, this work takes a critical approach to deconstruct fan discourses produced and consumed by sport fans and sport organizations. This led to novel findings that expose how marginalized fan markets can be excluded even if sport organizations implement unifying discourses in their marketing strategies. Practically, this research exposes an opportunity to attract and include diverse fan groups and grow revenue.

Master’s research (SSHRC Funded):

Although research shows women attend and consume sport events and products (Fink, Trail, & Anderson, 2002; James & Ridinger, 2002; Robinson & Trail, 2005), they continue to be marginalized as inauthentic sport fans because they are seen as exhibiting non-traditional characteristics and behaviours (Pope, 2011; Pope & Williams, 2011). They are assumed to lack knowledge about the sport and teams, and to attend sport events only to socialize (Crawford & Gosling, 2004; Dietz-Uhler, Harrick, End, & Jacquemotte, 2000; Gosling, 2007). Yet, being a sport fan is important for some women and plays a role in the construction of their identity (Gosling, 2007). Gosling added: “what remains missing from research is the role that sport fan culture can pay in women’s every day lives and in particular its significance in challenging gender role and empowering women” (p. 260).

This study looked to further our knowledge about highly identified, displaced female sport fans by conducting qualitative research about their experiences. This research project aimed to determine if female fans feel marginalized and excluded or if they have feelings of empowerment. Participants included seven highly identified, displaced female sport fans of professional teams (NFL, MLB and NHL). They completed two to three semi-structured individual interviews in which they were asked questions regarding their experiences and the context in which they occurred, and the relation of gender and fanship with respect to empowerment or marginalization. The data was digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. The findings demonstrated that the participants experienced both marginalization and empowerment.


Peer Reviewed Publications

Sveinson, K., Hoeber, L., & Toffoletti, K. (In press). “If people are wearing pink stuff they’re probably not real fans”: Exploring women’s perceptions of sport fan clothing. Sport Management Review.                                                          

Hyatt, C., Kerwin, S., Hoeber, L., & Sveinson, K. (2018). The reverse socialization of sport fans: How children impact their parents’ sport fandom. Journal of Sport Management32(6), 542-554.

Liechty, T., Willfong, F., & Sveinson, K. (2016). Embodied experiences of
empowerment among female tackle football players. Sociology of Sport Journal, 33(4), 305-316.

Sveinson, K., & Hoeber, L. (2016). Examining female sport fans’ experiences of marginalization and empowerment. Journal of Sport Management, 30(1), 8-21.

Bruno, P., Love Green, J., Illerbrun, S., Holness, D., Illerbrun, S., Haus, K., Poirier, S., & Sveinson, K. (2016). Students helping students: Evaluating a pilot program of peer teaching for an undergraduate course in human anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education, 9(2), 132-142. doi: 10.1002/ase.1543

Liechty, T., Sveinson, K., Willfong, F., & Evans, K. (2015). “It doesn’t matter how big or small you are…there’s a position for you”: Body image among female tackle football players. Leisure Sciences, 37(2), 109-124. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2014.980591

Sveinson, K., & Hoeber, L. (2015). Overlooking the obvious: An exploration of what it means to be a sport fan from a female perspective. Leisure Studies, 34(4), 405-419. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2014.923496

Liechty, T., Ribeiro, N.F., Sveinson, K., & Dahlstrom L. (2014). “It’s about what I can do with my body”: Body image and embodied experiences of aging among older Canadian men. International Journal of Men’s Health, 13(1), 3-21.doi: 10.3149/jmh.1301.3

Liechty, T., Dahlstrom, L., Sveinson, K., Son, J., & Rossow-Kimball, B. (2014). Canadian men’s perceptions of leisure-time physical activity and the aging body. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health, 6(1), 20-44. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2012.712990


Sveinson, K. (2019). Not all fans are created equal: Exploring cultural boundaries of sport fandom on Twitter. North American Society for Sport Management Conference. May 29-June 1, New Orleans, LA.

Sveinson, K. (2018). Stakeholders’ twitter reactions to an athlete’s transgression: A case study of Kevin Pillar’s homophobic slur. North American Society for Sport Management Conference. June 6-9, Halifax, Canada.

Sveinson, K. (2018). Serious leisure or trolling? Policing authenticity of sport fandom on Twitter. Canadian Association for Leisure Studies Conference. May 29-31, Regina, Canada.

Sveinson, K., Hoeber, L., Kerwin, S., & Hyatt, C. (2017). Family and sport fandom: What roles have mothers played in socialization? Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference. November 29 – December 1st, Gold Coast, AUS.

Hyatt, C., Kerwin, S., Sveinson, K., & Hoeber, L. (2017). Exploring reverse socialization of sport fandom from a generational perspective. European Association for Sport Management Conference. Sept. 2-8, Bern, Switzerland

Hyatt, C., Kerwin, S., Hoeber, L., & Sveinson, K. (2017). Understanding the intersection between sport fandom and parenting: Family rivalries and reverse socialization. North American Society for Sport Management Conference, May 30-June 3, Denver, CO.

Sveinson, K., & Hoeber, L. (2016). Exploring material culture associated with official sport fan apparel: A cross-national comparison. Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference. November 23-25, Auckland, NZ.

Hoeber, L., Sveinson, K., García, R., & Legg, N. (2016). The gendering of sport fan clothing on sport team online stores. North American for Sport Management Conference, May 31-June 4, Orlando, FL.

Kulczycki, C., Hoeber, L., & Sveinson, K. (2015). Using drawings to interpret place meanings: Depictions of climbing places. Place, Space and Sport Conference, Sept. 24-26. Oxford, UK.

Liechty, T., Willfong, F., Sveinson, K. & Ribeiro, N. F. (2014). Tackle football as serious leisure for women. World Leisure Congress, Sept. 7-12, Mobile, AL.

Sveinson, K. (2014). Three strikes against you?: An examination of highly identified, displaced, female sport fans. North American Society for Sport Management Conference, May 27 – 31, Pittsburgh, PA.

Liechty, T., Evans, K., Wilfong, F., & Sveinson, K. (2014). There’s a position for every body type”: Experiences of body image among female tackle football players. Canadian Congress on Leisure Research Conference, May 21-23, Halifax, NS.

Sveinson, K. (2014). The Elephant in the team shop: An exploration of female sport fans’ perceptions of team merchandise. Sport and Society in America Conference, May 19 – 21, Green Bay, WI.

Sveinson, K. (2013). Understanding gender relations among sport fans. International Sociology of Sport Association Conference, June 12 – 15, Vancouver, BC.

Sveinson, K. (2013). Marginalization or empowerment? A case study of lived experiences of female sport fans. North American Society for Sport Management Conference, May 28 – June 2, Austin, TX.

Liechty, T., Sveinson, K., & Dahlstrom, L. (2012), Aging and men’s body image. Poster presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 14-18th, San Diego, CA.

Hoeber, L., & Sveinson, K. (2012). A photographic analysis of official and unofficial images of the 2010 Winter Olympics. North American Society for Sport Management Conference, May 23 – 26, Seattle, WA.


  • European Sport Management Quarterly 
  • Journal of Gender Studies
  • Journal of Sport Management
  • Canadian Association of Leisure Studies Conference
  • International Review for the Sociology of Sport