The world of sports is known for its passionate fans who support their teams through thick and thin. These fans are the lifeblood of the sport and their unwavering support can often be the difference between a win and a loss. However, there is a darker side to fandom that has been increasingly prevalent in recent years; the rise of bandwagoners.
Bandwagoners are fans who jump on the bandwagon of a successful team, simply because they are winning. These fans have no real allegiance to the team and are only interested in supporting them because they are successful. They are often seen as fair-weather fans who abandon a team as soon as they start losing.
But is that all they really are? Could there be a legitimate argument to be made that there are innate benefits of having these types of supporters around? In this article, we’ll investigate the main pros and cons of bandwagon supporters.
The phenomenon of bandwagoners is not new and has been around for as long as sports have existed. However, with the rise of social media and the ease of access to information, it has become easier for fans to switch allegiances at the drop of a hat. This has led to a rise in the number of bandwagoners in recent years, especially in popular sports such as football, basketball, and soccer.
If you were making a current list of teams in Australia with the most bandwagon supporters, clubs with recent premiership success like the Penrith Panthers in the NRL, Richmond Tigers in the AFL, and the Sydney Kings in the NBL would all be on there. You can also implement ‘part-time’ bandwagon teams who are currently doing well this season like the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and the St Kilda Saints in the AFL.
There are several reasons why people become bandwagoners. One of the main reasons is the desire to be associated with success. People want to be part of a winning team and they see supporting a successful team as a way of achieving that. They believe that by supporting a successful team, they are somehow associated with that success, and it makes them feel good about themselves.
The rise of social media has also played a significant role in the rise of bandwagoners. Social media has made it easier for fans to follow multiple teams and keep up with their latest results. This has made it easier for fans to switch allegiances based on the success of different teams. Fans can now see which teams are winning and switch allegiances accordingly, without ever having to leave their computer screens.
A key example of the social media side of the bandwagoning can be made when looking at the Dolphins in the NRL. The club heavily relies on social media to spread the club’s reach to potential new fans, and this has worked immensely with people actively supporting them and getting on the proverbial bandwagon for the club.
The rise of bandwagoners has not been without controversy. Many fans see them as fair-weather fans who have no real understanding of the sport or the team they are supporting. They believe that these fans are only interested in supporting a successful team and have no loyalty to the team or the sport itself. This has led to a backlash against bandwagoners, with many fans refusing to associate themselves with them.
However, not all fans see bandwagoners in a negative light. Some fans believe that supporting a successful team is a natural part of fandom and that there is nothing wrong with jumping on the bandwagon of a successful team. They believe that the more people who support a team, the better it is for the sport. They argue that bandwagoners can bring new fans to the sport, who may become lifelong supporters of the team or the sport.
A personal form of this type of support can be made with the 2017/18 Newcastle Jets season, they would finish very high on the ladder and go on to play in their first grand final in 10 years, bringing major crowds to its support. People who may have gone on to games during this time are still actively supporting the team.
In conclusion, bandwagoners are a growing phenomenon in the world of sports. They are fans who switch allegiances based on the success of a team, rather than their genuine interest in the sport or the team itself. While some fans see them as fair-weather fans, others see them as a natural part of fandom. Whatever your opinion, bandwagoners are here to stay, and will continue to be a hotly debated topic among sports fans for years to come.