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Ear to the Ground are hosting a series of debates that look into modern fan culture in sport and music.

We have just launched our first FANATIC LIVE debate as a way to discuss the dynamics of fan behaviour with influential guest speakers from the worlds of academia, comms and culture. We see it as an open forum to discuss some of the challenges and trends that ‘FANATIC’ our strategic planning department are dealing with on a day to day basis.   

The first event was held at the National Football Museum in Manchester. The panel discussion brought together a mixture of academics and leading thinkers, focusing on the psychology of football fans and football fan culture. Luminaries included documentary sport and music photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, academics Professor John Hughson and Doctor Anna Semens, Graham Bell author of ‘Is Football the New Rock n Roll’ and MD of Ear to the Ground, Steve Smith.

FANATIC 001 was a 90 minute discussion which examined the evolving nature of football fan experiences. The panel debated issues around identity, new trends  in social media and how clubs can engage fans without reducing them to consumers. The panel delved deeper into the profile of the modern football fan, internationalisation of fanbases and looked specifically at the growing level of female support. The panellists and audience members also considered factors which define support; debating the importance of the live experience and the role of transcendental moments in shaping loyalty.

“Fan culture and understanding fans is at the very heart of what we do” said Steve Smith, MD of Ear to the Ground. “The series will provide us with invaluable insight into the psyche of the modern fan and it was a privilege to learn from and exchange ideas with experts outside our discipline.  We look forward to hosting the next FANATIC event early in 2013.”

We will be hosting a number of FANATIC LIVE debates over the coming months. If you would like to attend please contact us.