“Attention involves the allocation of cognitive resources to deal with multiple inputs at once. Switching, screening, analysing and risk management are all part of normal cognitive processes” (Maloney, 2016).
Space, place, audience and media are four components that individually affect your viewing experience. Adopting the participant ethnography research method, it allowed me to examine how these component effect others and also myself. This has been proven through my observations while watching the Premier League at a friends house, in my bedroom and at The Star.
Approaching the assessment, my preconceived ideas were that audiences and media would have the greatest impact while viewing the game. However, space and place played a large role in the way each individual enjoyed and focused on the game.
- My attention span was low and media activity was high and constant.
- Being alone I was not able to share the excitement of Arsenal scoring with anyone else
- Watching the game in the comfort of my bed caused me to relax and fall asleep throughout the game unintentionally
My boyfriend’s house
- Being surrounded by friends made the game enjoyable
- Media use was average, as during halftime and pauses in the game we would all log onto social media and communicate with others regarding the game
- ‘Soccer watching etiquette’ allowed each viewer to have a comfortable view of the game and all were mediated by these un-proclaimed rules
The Star – 24/7 Sports bar
- Attention spans carried as a result of external components and surroundings e.g. alcohol and the crowds of people walking around the casino
- Atmosphere enhanced the viewing experience, being surrounded by hundreds of strangers who share the same passion for the sport as you creates a welcoming community bond
- As a result of the interactions with those around us, our media use was roughly 15% of the night
- However, as a result of a ‘drunk’ spectator, it affected our viewing as a result of insults being taken a bit too far
It is evident how viewing the Premier League in three diverse settings can alter the enjoyment and engagement of the viewer. Furthermore, from partaking in this assessment it has allowed me to identify a range of avenues for exploration for future research. Examples of these would be:
- How alcohol affects sports fans
- How the Premier League can incorporate these online sports communities into their halftime commentary and interact with there fan base
Only to name a few. I think observing and researching these areas and sports fan habits are valuable for Premier League stakeholders, it will allow them to identify areas that fans around the world suggest to improve. Potentially changing and revamping the viewing experience all around the world, lessening the need or desire to be at Emirates rather enjoying the game from the comfort of the local pub or home couch.
While the project has come to an end, it definitely has taught me where and who to watch the games with.
Till next time, Up The Gunners!
- Maloney, S. (2016). Attention, Presence, Place.