This Major Research Project will examine two distinct fan cultures associated with the Toronto FC soccer team—The Red Patch Boys and U-Sector—and the ways in which individuals part of both fan cultures use social media, social networking, and online applications in order to communicate. Both fan cultures are prominent during each Toronto FC home game, but they also have a large online presence which enables fans to connect to one another regardless of their location. This virtual presence highlights the value of online applications and the power of fandom.
Thematic discourse analysis was used in order to analyze the information collected through observations at Toronto FC home games and on both fan cultures’ official Twitter accounts, websites, and online forums. Through this analysis, the themes of hierarchy and Toronto FC related material became prominent.
Since this MRP focuses solely on two fan cultures, The Red Patch Boys and U-Sector, it must be noted that these results may not be applicable to all fan communities. Further research must be conducted before the definite impact of new media applications on fan cultures can be concluded.