September 13, 2012

Discover Fan Loyalty Poll: R-E-S-P-E-C-T -- Find Out What It Means To Fans

College Football Rivalries Fueled by Respect More than Hatred;
39% Have Respect for Opponents for Bringing Out the Best in Their Teams;
15% Are Just Plain Haters

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 13, 2012-- While it is unlikely you’ll catch rivals Stanford and USC football fans hugging it out during the game this week, the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll reveals that across the country, rivalries are more about respect than venom and victories.

In the second week of Discover’s national survey designed to gauge college football fan loyalty, fans were questioned about the nature of their rivalries. When asked how they would best describe their feelings toward their team’s biggest rival, fans answered as follows:

  • 39 percent, Respectful because they bring out the best in my team
  • 31 percent, You want them to lose to your team, but don't care about anyone else they play
  • 15 percent, You absolutely hate them and hope they lose every game they play
  • 13 percent, You have no feelings toward your team's biggest rival, it’s all in good fun
  • 2 percent, Not sure

When it comes to the 15 percent of haters and where they focus their rivalry energy:

  • 46 percent, hate the rival team itself
  • 37 percent, hate the rival fans
  • 9 percent, hate the rival coach
  • 8 percent, hate their rival for some other reason

From week to week, fans have a voice in selecting who they think is the best team in the country. The Crimson Tide held on to their top spot this week as nearly half of fans, 47 percent, ranked Alabama as the best team, up from 32 percent who made the same pick last week, followed by:

  • University of Southern California, 11 percent
  • Louisiana State University, 7 percent
  • Oregon, 4 percent
  • Florida State, 2 percent
  • Oklahoma, 2 percent
  • South Carolina, 2 percent
  • Georgia, 1 percent
  • Some other team, 15 percent
  • Not sure, 10 percent

More highlights:

  • Men and women alike can’t stand their rivals, but for different reasons. Forty-five percent of men said they can’t stand their rival team’s fans, while 59 percent of women tend to dislike the team itself.
  • Fans showed a little more team pride this week as 55 percent of respondents said they regularly wore clothing or other items with the logo of their favorite college football team, up from 49 percent last week.

The 15-week Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 800 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.

Discover launched the Fan Loyalty Poll to give die-hard fans a platform to showcase their dedication and love for their favorite college football team leading up to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. Each week the poll will offer new questions about what college football fans are thinking this season.

Beyond title sponsorship of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

Source: Discover

Katie Henry
Matthew Towson