How primate observation will help in working with fans

fans primates

On our planet everything is too interconnected to separate people not only from animals, but from other organisms inhabiting the Earth. When we start reflecting that chimpanzees and gorillas are closer to us than other primates, we end up with the idea that mushrooms are our closer relatives than plants.

If you look at the essence of evolutionary processes, they consist in the ability of different organisms to co-exist as well as to be able to adapt to changes in others.

The standard idea of the main differences between people and other animals is either in the intellect or in the consciousness. But, as it turns out, in the learning process gorillas can have an IQ higher than most representatives of our species have.

Consciousness in one form or another is also found in other species, but our own one is too overrated. If you read my blog on sports neuromarketing carefully, you are surely familiar with it.

Then what is the advantage of people? In the book The Neuroscience of Social Interaction, the main differences lie in a more developed social interaction and developed communication.

From biologists you can hear the opinion that the answer to this question will be the immune system.

We’ve already discussed mirror neurons separately. Today I offer to dwell on another topic. Anthropology has long been used in business. Specialists in the field of chimpanzee behavior use their knowledge to create manipulative techniques in the largest companies.

If we talk about chimpanzees, we must mention their division into ordinary chimpanzees and bonobos (the smaller ones). In ordinary chimpanzees sexual dimorphism is noticeable, whereas in bonobos the external differences between females and males are barely noticeable. Ordinary chimpanzees are characterized by aggressiveness and do not mind killing their own kind, while bonobos are not aggressive.

bonobo fire

Chimpanzees are considered to be our closest relatives. That’s why specialists who study them can find a well-paid job in a large company with a big name. But one shouldn’t copy and apply to humans the results obtained by observing one species. Even if it is our closest relative.

For example, Richard Dawkins in his book The Ancestor’s Tale provides an example of a great difference in the structure of genital organs of our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas.

Depending on the society, which is typical for a particular species, the size of genital organs can be of great importance. For chimpanzees it is important because a female mates with several partners. As for gorillas, they compete for a female before the mating process, so it is more important for them to have broad shoulders and large chest to ensure an exclusive access for themselves.

Such a logic exists, of course, not only among chimpanzees and gorillas, so it makes sense to still observe all the primates. Many specialists in this field will tell you how, as a result of observing a specific species of not such closely related to us species as chimpanzees and gorillas, they discovered a complete similarity in patterns of behavior with our species.

Today I want to tell you how observing baboons will help solve the problem of unruly fans, that is, ultras.

I think it won’t be a secret to anyone that an unruly behavior is stimulated by testosterone. Anthropologist Stanislav Drobyshevskiy has described several times the situation which took place in Tanzania, when locals decided to kill aggressive individuals, alpha males. But the result of it was not that the remaining males occupied an “aggressive” place of the killed individuals.

The given group of baboons has become relatively kind in the context of baboons. However, baboons are known for their high aggression. Not only clashes between males in this group stopped, but there also appeared an atypical grooming between males (usually the specimens of opposite sexes take care of each other’s hair).

But this wasn’t the end of this unusual behavior. The males from other groups began to shift to this group, which is even more atypical, since in other groups, if transition occurs, it concerns females.


How can this help us in dealing with fans? I’ve already described before how we can organize fans more effectively using the Dunbar Number. I’ve also told in detail how to influence fans’ behavior by creating certain situations stimulating the production of certain hormones.

In working with fans, there is one important problem that MLS has managed to solve (not so much the league itself as the fans). At the stadium were left the fans called ultras in Europe, and ordinary fans coming with kids. A perfect example is the Portland Timbers. Other MLS clubs have got problems to some extent.

In the case of the Portland Timbers, the initiative has always come from the fans themselves. They could feel the power of oxytocin and positive emotions. After that, few of them wanted a more standard manner of cheering.

Europe (especially Eastern Europe) has got its own specificity. I know how hard it is to work for those football clubs marketers who really strive for working with fans.

Therefore, I do not recommend using the logic of the baboons’ case in isolation from other techniques of controlling the fans’ behavior. However, if you keep working with hormones, keep applying sociology, psychology of motivation, correctly form your message based on understanding of the way the unconscious works, it is the getting rid of aggressive fans that will put an end to the successful formation of a team of the brand’s loyal fans.

Many believe that it is pointless to negotiate with ultras. But this statement is true up to the moment you start using the means of sports neuromarketing.

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Best regards,

Leon The Alien


SEE ALSO: How to make money on fan rumbles


Images: Matthew Kane, Reddit, Giphy