Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595
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Football stadiums have traditionally been named after local sites (e.g. , Everton FC) or regions (, VfL Bochum). As big business takes increasing precedence in decision making in football at large (e.g. associations and leagues, regarding fixtures, media coverage, kick-off times, player transfers, etc.) and within individual football clubs (e.g. regarding kits and sponsorship), such toponyms are more and more being replaced by company or product names (e.g. , Stoke City). In this paper, we will consider corporate renamings from the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League and the French Ligue 1 and particularly fan reactions to controversial, badly received corporate renamings. As revealed by earlier studies, in our data here we also find the discourse and practices of the fans celebrating local identification with their city or region, often with the stadiums constituting the homestead of a tradition. Where corporate stadium renamings are badly received, this discourse clashes with the discourse of big business and thus a number of tensions are revealed. More specifically, in fans’ reactions to controversial corporate stadium renamings, we find a number of recurrent themes – for example, concerning consequences to fans’ identity to the club; in managing (anticipated) humorous retorts from rivals consequent from the stadium renaming; in resisting, but also feeling resigned to, financial pressures in selling the stadium name; etc. – some of them across our three national contexts and others specific to one national context.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): fan reactions; football; name; renaming; stadiums
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