Archive for May 14th, 2010

AFL cheer squads

Posted by Laura on Friday, 14 May, 2010

I recently read a chapter in Fanfare: spectator culture and Australian rules football / edited by Matthew Nicholson about the history of AFL cheer squads.  When I had visited Australia in July, an Australian acquaintance explained to me the importance of cheer squads and talked a little bit about what they did.  The banners they do are really impressive and as an outsider, the organization do to something like that seemed pretty complex.  How do you organize the fans?  How do they all know where to sit and how do they make sure to get tickets to sit in those sections?  How much of that is done online?

My assumption was that a fair amount of the organization would have to be done online and that the organization online could be a key component for keeping a highly mobilized to participate fan base even more mobilized.  I mostly used a little Google-fu and some searching on Facebook.  What I’ve learned is that the team cheer squads information appears to be hosted on the official pages for the corresponding club.  The level of information provided is slightly different but most have contact information for an organizer.  The cheer squad pages don’t appear to have a separate Twitter accounts or Facebook fanpages or mailing lists.  In some cases, fan pages or groups on Facebook have been created.  These fan pages and groups tend to have extremely limited membership and at least one was for a single season.  If there is a separate effort for members to create their own outreach, it isn’t obvious.

I really need to spend some more time looking at this and to check other networks to see if something exists.  I’ve been through bebo a lot and don’t recall having seen anything there.  I also haven’t seen anything on Twitter… maybe old school fansites?  Anyone have any better information or a history of cheer squads online?

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