Football Fan Tokens as a mode of “serious leisure”: unveiling the dual essence of identity and investment

Argyro Elisavet Manoli, Kevin Dixon, Georgios Antonopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the field of cryptocurrency in sports being primarily discussed from the material and financial standpoint of industry producers, in our study, we conduct a qualitative exploration into the consumption of Fan Tokens within the realm of football fandom in order to elucidate the experiences and motivations of football fans in their consumption of Fan Tokens. Data collected through 10 focus groups with 60 fan token consumers were used for this study, revealing a nuanced landscape in which Fan Tokens serve a multifaceted role in the construction of fan identity and engagement within the context of football’s serious leisure markets. As such, we uncovered the concept of Fan Tokens as ‘tokens of identity’, where fans employ Fan Tokens as symbolic expressions of their unwavering allegiance to football clubs. We also identified a subset of participants who approached Fan Tokens as ‘investment tokens’, and thus viewed them as a simple rational investment opportunity. Our research unveiled the intricate ways in which the consumption of Fan Tokens intersects with fan identity, engagement, and financial motivations in the world of football fandom, while indicating that Fan Tokens themselves represent a potential form of serious leisure within the broader context of football fandom.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Studies
Early online date6 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow
the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


Dive into the research topics of 'Football Fan Tokens as a mode of “serious leisure”: unveiling the dual essence of identity and investment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this