Within the realm of sports, identification is when an individual reacts to events that occur to the team or player as if the events happened to him or her. Highly identified fans will internalize or adopt the team or player’s attitudes and behaviors as their own. If you are highly identified with a team, you feel good when the team wins and bad when the team loses. You believe that the team is a representation of who you are to yourself and to others. You practically feel as though you are part of the team.
Since how the team performs affects our egos, we react psychologically, physiologically, and behaviorally in ways to protect our egos. Through our passion, we win, we attribute the team’s success as our success and to our being passionate winners. If the team loses, we may justify the loss, make excuses, be overly optimistic about future performance, or simply blast the opposing team or players in a way that will make us feel better. In any case, winning or losing, our body physically reacts to the situation, as our heart rate increases and our bodies are otherwise stimulated by our passion to play the game.
This isn’t my job, it’s my passion in life.
-John Garcia, 310 Sports Marketing