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Future Fandom Project

I am going to start publishing a few (slightly) longer pieces related to the future of fandom on substack. The first post details the project. Please visit and subscribe.

My plan is to use the fandomanalytics page for more quick commentary and visuals and shift the essays to Substack (i think it improves readability).

The Future Fandom Project

The Project:

American society and culture are in a state of flux. Over the past two decades, we have observed significant shifts in the cultural consumption patterns of Americans. As a case in point, the 2024 Women’s collegiate basketball championship outdrew the 2023 MLB World Series. It seems that cultural passions, AKA fandom, are changing significantly. Understanding the dynamics of fandom is crucial for comprehending the trajectory of a culture's evolution. Fandom represents a community’s shared passions and interests. People’s cultural passions are vital because societies (especially marketers) often respond by producing more of what attracts enthusiastic consumers.

The word fandom may invoke images of sports fans with painted faces or young women curating outfits to attend a Taylor Swift concert. While these images may seem trivial, fans are deeply passionate and loyal consumers. They are not just fans, but economically valuable contributors to the larger culture. A culture that loves baseball, country music, and Ford trucks is very different from one that is fixated on golf, classical music, and Vespa scooters.  

However, analyzing fandom is a complex task. Consider the preceding comparison of MLB’s World Series and the Women’s NCAA basketball tournament. TV viewership is only one signal of a sport's popularity. Accurately assessing a cultural entity’s prospects requires a deeper dive into the data and consideration of the forces that might be actively steering fan’s interests, such as marketing strategies.   

Understanding fandom is critical for at least two audiences. First, for those in fandom-oriented businesses, knowing where fandom is going is essential for developing marketing and branding strategies. Second, for those broadly interested in our culture, exploring how fundamental forces like demographics and technology combined with active marketing management lead to ever-evolving fandom preferences is fascinating. This project (Substack) aims to create a home for a series of articles focused on future fandom.

continued here


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