In sports, there are two major stakeholders: the athletes and the fans. The athletes are the producers and their collective product is the game, which the fans happily consume. This makes for a very wonderful relationship. Fans are a major component of the sporting world. But there are varying degrees of fandom. Some fans express their allegiance by taking losses personally and becoming emotionally invested in their team, while others can just shrug off a couple of losses and say “it’s just a game.” A group of people may cheer for the same team, but the level of investment sets demarcations among them. Luckily, there is merchandise to show team support whatever the level of investment.

A casual fan may see sports as a social event, an opportunity to get together with friends or colleagues. This level of fandom is usually better suited to small amounts of team merchandise. A fan like this is unlikely to wear tee shirts or wave flags but they may support their team at non-team functions, like out on the golf course. Various golf club head covers with team insignias are available that show team support and perform the function of protecting one’s clubs.

The hardcore fan is arguably the easiest kind of fan to buy for. He watches every game and reads every article about his team. His house may even be painted in his favorite team’s colors or one of his children named after his favorite athlete. His level of fandom is over the top. His team is not necessarily the best, but he roots for them anyway. There are numerous options for this level of fandom, from NFL team emblems emblazoned on football tshirts to phiten necklaces. Gifts for boyfriends with this level of fandom are easy to purchase.

The bandwagon fan cares about one thing and one thing only: winning. That is why he roots for the team with the most wins, regardless of how far away the team is from where he lives. He changes teams a lot during his life and is loyal only until the losses accumulate. He is usually reviled among all the kinds of fans because he rubs his win-loss records in everybody’s face. He brags about his most recent team and claims to have been rooting for them since the beginning, but the merchandise within his house tells a different story. The Steeler apparel from the 1970’s is beside his 1986 Mets shirts. If this kind of fan is on your gift buying list, be sure to discover which team he is rooting for now prior to buying any merchandise. Just be aware, he’s likely to change his allegiance before you get back from the store.

As there are different kinds of athletes, there will be different kinds of fans. But no matter what kinds of fans surround you, there is merchandise available for each of them.

Author's Bio: 

Larry Collins is a sports analyst who enjoys collecting NFL team emblems and official team phiten necklaces.