Okay, yes, you might have a poster of your favorite band on your wall. But, do you follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? Do you know all the lyrics to every song? Do you have a Google alert on for their tour dates, and have you already bought tickets?
Then, you might be a superfan.
Author and entrepreneur Zoe Fraade-Blanar explains the rise of superfans.
[Listen to podcast]
In the good old days fans tended to adore from behind a barrier but now the lines between them and their adored subject have been blurred by the internet. On the show today we’re interested in why some people decide to devote themselves to a particular celebrity or brand and what their dedication does for them.
In a new book called ‘Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are’, authors Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M Glazer take a look at the current fan-based economy to examine its effects not just on culture but on business, too. Fraade-Blanar speaks to Robert Bound from our New York bureau.
I like the BBC show Sherlock. I mean, I really really like it. I shame acquaintances I have no business in shaming for refusing to watch. I have deeply personal feelings about Benedict Cumberbatch. I lurk on the Reddit forum. I wear the tee. But I didn’t wear it last year, and there’s a decent chance that I’ll have lost interest by this time next year.
Moffat’s lovable sociopath was the sweet escapism that recently got me through a long, tedious project; watching the episodes over and over when I couldn’t type even one more word. For that, it has earned my completely sincere and heartfelt—but probably temporary—loyalty.
May the Fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars Day, the fan-created international celebration of all things Jedi. (Fans of the Dark Side will have their turn tomorrow with their own day, “Revenge of the Fifth.”)
The pun-based holiday is only a few years old, but its vast fandom has already embraced the date with their own Star Wars-themed parties, movie showings, and contests. On the corporate side, Disney stores are hosting Star Wars ceremonies, storytimes, and droid-drawing tutorials, and the Star Wars website would like you to celebrate with some blue-milk lattes straight from Aunt Beru’s kitchen on Tatooine.
And, of course, there will be discounts on various Star Wars-themed merchandise, game access, and paraphernalia.
The 2017 NFL draft is in town. Thousands of football fans and draft pick hopefuls from around the country have taken over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We’ll talk about Round 1 winners and losers and what this means for the Philadelphia Eagles with MIKE SIELSKI sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Then, guest-host Mary Cummings-Jordan talks with ZOE FRAADE-BLANAR and AARON GLAZER, authors of Superfandom: How Our Obsessions Are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are, about why we are so passionate about our sports teams, movies, music artists and collectibles.
On the afternoon of May 26, 1987, a New Jersey state trooper doing routine stops on the Garden State Parkway pulled over a rental car carrying two men. The infraction was an open can of St. Pauli Girl beer, part of a six-pack from a nearby convenience store. When the window was rolled down, the trooper smelled marijuana. The driver admitted there were a few joints under his seat.
“Hands on the hood, feet back, and spread ’em,” the driver later remembered the trooper saying before he radioed for backup. Handcuffing the driver took two pairs of cuffs; he was a very big man. The troopers then pulled the passenger from the car and searched his bag. They found a vial of white powder. The passenger was arrested too.
They were taken in separate cars to the police station, where the driver was identified as James Edward Duggan Jr., better known by his professional wrestling identity, “Hacksaw.” The passenger’s ID said he was named Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, but even the arresting officer recognized the popular World Wrestling Federation character The Iron Sheik. The powder tested positive for cocaine. But within a few hours Duggan was released, and so was Vaziri after signing an appearance bond. They returned to their car and continued southbound to Asbury Park, where they were scheduled to beat each other up before a crowd of thousands later that night.
Collect them all. Those three words put a smile on every marketer’s face and fear in every parent’s heart. “Collect them all,” as you may remember, was kid-code for “bug your parents until they buy stuff,” making you the envy of everyone in third grade. Your goal now: to capture that buyer’s obsession at the level you’ll see in “Superfandom” by Zoe Fraade-Blanar & Aaron M. Glazer.
We’re talking about plans this hour. First, a plan to keep you away from your cell phone and your tablet while you’re driving. Also, plans for finding some sunshine in Washington state – where to go and how long it’ll take. And a plan to figure out funding for arts in King County. We thought one plan was dead but now it’s not so.
Superfandom interview wraps the end of the hour. [Listen here]