Southern Cross University (SCU), located in Lismore, Australia is undertaking a study to investigate the tribal behaviour of rugby league and rugby union fans that support professional teams playing in both Australia and England.
Senior Lecturer within the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, Meir is conducting this as part of his PhD research. Some Gloucester supporters may remember Rudi from his time at the club during 2002-03 as a member of the club's coaching staff while on leave from SCU.
"Supporters are the lifeblood of any sport but even more so in professional team sports like rugby league and rugby union where their support through the good times and the bad can play a huge part in a club's survival. Yet we know very little about this aspect of being a fan and so this research is attempting to find answers to questions related to what it means to be a fan and how people actively involve themselves in supporting their team" he said.
To this end Gloucester supporters are being invited to participate in an online survey. Gloucester's management has agreed to be involved in this research because they see this as potentially being a valuable project that will add to the body of knowledge in sport marketing. Meir also believes that ultimately it may well lead to strategies that work to further enhance the experience of fans in their support of our team.
Gloucester Rugby's managing director, Ken Nottage said "We'd like to think that our supporters can play an important part in this research.
"The game and how the team performs on the field will always be the most important aspect to our supporters. However, this research intends to establish what role supporting the team plays in a person's identity and how they relate to other Gloucester fans and in this context it will provided us with some very valuable information."
Click on the following hyperlink if you would like to volunteer to participate in this survey - read the "Welcome" page first, which outlines the nature of the research and your role. It takes about 20-25 minutes to complete, so put the jug on, pour a cuppa and sit down and tell us about your self!
Participation is completely anonymous and the project has been approved by the Southern Cross University Human Research Ethics Committee. This survey will only be available to access until the 30th March 2008.