Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)


American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Robbie Lieberman

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Tudor


As a former student-athlete, every part of my collegiate career was perfect. As a softball player, I dealt with stereotypes my entire life from not being taken seriously on the field or not considered a real athlete because I was female. As I was growing up, women were becoming more well-known and accepted in athletics which made things easier, but still difficult. One aspect that was always lacking at games I competed in was the atmosphere. Our parents always supported us by attending, but very few students or other fans attended. It was extremely evident that people would rather attend more physically appealing sports such as football games and baseball games instead of softball games. After completing an internship in the marketing department for a female athletic team at a division one university and struggling with the same issues of attendance, I chose to research the motives of why fans attended women's collegiate athletic events. All women's athletics were under attended especially when compared to men's athletic events despite different promotions, giveaways, and invitations to community groups. Through this research, there is more understanding of why fans attend these events and what aspects of the game are important to them. With little research done on women's athletics in general, some results that were found were surprising. Nevertheless, all of the results that were collected were beneficial for this research project as well as a strong foundation for other researchers to build upon.