Jersey Chasers’ Playbook: Understanding the Behaviors and Motives of Flirtatious Female Fans

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Student Presentation

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Laurel Traynowicz


The female sport fan, even in 2014, occupies a tenuous position in the sport community because of an ongoing lack of understanding and research. Despite the various categorizations of female sport fans, one enduring type of female sport spectator is the pejoratively-named “jersey chaser.” The aim of this research was to understand both the motives and methods some females use to encounter and form relationships with college and professional male athletes. Multiple research methods were used in this study: Systematic observations of fans during home games of a Division I men’s basketball team during the 2013-14 season, interviews with self-described jersey chasers, and interviews with male athletes on revenue sports teams at Division I universities. Data analysis revealed motivations of and methods used by women within this sport spectator group, and provided a composite analysis of college jersey chasers. This research is applicable to current and future athletes as well as coaches and other athletic staff members. Having credible information regarding the reality of the jersey chaser in sports will allow athletes to recognize these spectators and better assess whether they are interested in athletes more for their celebrity status as opposed to a genuine interest in the athlete as a person.

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