From BIRFing to BIRGing: A 10-Year Study of the Psychology of Cubs Fans

Jensen, J. A., Greenwell, T. C., Coleman, C., Stitsinger, M., & Andrew, D. (2018). From BIRFing to BIRGing: A 10-year study of the psychology of Cubs fans. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 27(4), 237-250.

44 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019

See all articles by Jonathan A. Jensen

Jonathan A. Jensen

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

T. Christopher Greenwell

University of Louisville

Cori Coleman

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science, Students

Matt Stitsinger

Indiana University

Damon Andrew

Florida State University

Date Written: December 20, 2018

Abstract

In the years since basking in spite of reflected failure (BIRFing) was hypothesized, no empirical evidence has confirmed its existence, nor have the various hypothesized antecedents been investigated. This multiphase study makes a much-needed contribution to the sport consumer behavior literature in its investigation of BIRFing behaviors, utilizing a sample of long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs. Results confirmed that diehard fans do BIRF, the behavior is predicted by team identification, and that loyalty and camaraderie are antecedents. Data collection for the study’s second phase was completed immediately following the natural experiment of a World Series title and confirmed a statistically significant difference in Cubs fans’ propensity to bask in reflected glory (BIRG) following an improvement in performance, in the form of a long-awaited World Series title. No difference was found in BIRFing, given that it is rooted in one’s loyalty towards one’s team, rather than on-field performance.

Keywords: consumer behavior, BIRGing, BIRFing, identification, social identity, natural experiments

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Jonathan and Greenwell, T. Christopher and Coleman, Cori and Stitsinger, Matt and Andrew, Damon, From BIRFing to BIRGing: A 10-Year Study of the Psychology of Cubs Fans (December 20, 2018). Jensen, J. A., Greenwell, T. C., Coleman, C., Stitsinger, M., & Andrew, D. (2018). From BIRFing to BIRGing: A 10-year study of the psychology of Cubs fans. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 27(4), 237-250. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3357022

Jonathan Jensen (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

308 Woollen
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

T. Christopher Greenwell

University of Louisville ( email )

Louisville, KY 40292
United States

Cori Coleman

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science, Students ( email )

Chapel Hill, NY
United States

Matt Stitsinger

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Damon Andrew

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
249
PlumX Metrics