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Friday, March 14, 2014

The 8 most loyal fanbases in major league baseball

Fans like teams with winning records; that is a shock. What would the Yankees (or Giants, or Red Sox, or….) be if they went 62-100? Those seem like the loyal fans to me.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dumbness, giants

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   1. DA Baracus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4671620)
Slideshow. *closes tab*
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4671623)
Didn't read the sideshow...I'm guessing that the top 5 goes something like 5. yankees 4. Cubs 3. Tigers 2. Cardinals 1. Red Sox... Now to look.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4671624)
Not close with my guesses...and have to read the article now, because none of the ordering makes any sense. I can't imagine any scenario that exists in which San Francisco is more loyal than Boston fans.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4671628)
I think this is entirely based on 2013 "data".
   5. Srul Itza Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4671632)
Slideshow. *closes tab*


Hit "view all" No slide show

Close tab anyway. It wasn't worth reading.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4671636)
Here are my educated guesses:

1. Giants
2. Yankees
3. Dodgers
4. Cardinals
5. Red Sox
6. Phillies
7. Rangers
8. Tigers

(Hey, what part of "educated" do you not understand?)
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4671642)
Yep..entirely on 2013 data. And heavily influenced by twitter followers and facebook likes....As the lead in by SoCalDemon suggests, let's see how teams do when they aren't winning... (San Francisco is only a few seasons removed from a 7th place attendance mark)

Loyalty is the ability to attract crowds and people caring about you, when you aren't so great. (which is why I'm not surprised Philadelphia would make the list)
   8. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4671647)
Haven't read TFA, but according to main-stream media reports here are my guesses:

1) STL
2) STL
3) STL
4) CARDS!
5) STL
6) STL
7) STL
8) Best Fans IN THE WORLD!

------

Am I right?
   9. SoCalDemon Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4671651)
I think its actually tricky to determine most loyal fans; its not sheer attendance, or even attendance in non-winning years (though I think that gets closer), which is way too influenced by market size; I think that the correlations between winning percentage and attendance, while problematic, would be interesting. I would think lower correlations might be a decent proxy for loyalty; fans who still come to the park even when their team is losing (though I imagine that the Rays would have a low correlation for the opposite reason: they never seem to have fans no matter how well they are doing).
   10. TerpNats Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4671654)
Was pleased to see the Nationals ranked #14, even though this is only their 10th year in Washington. You don't build a baseball culture overnight, especially in a market that's been toyed with like D.C.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4671672)
its actually tricky to determine most loyal fans


Average ticket price on secondary market relative to face value.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4671677)
Haven't read TFA, but according to main-stream media reports here are my guesses


obviously you haven't read much mainstream reports. They bloviate just as hard, if not harder on the Red Sox fans as a general rule.
   13. SoCalDemon Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4671681)
Re 11: I think those prices will be related to market size, inversely related to stadium size, and related to winning percentage; I think people buying on the secondhand market tend to be the opposite of loyal fans. Are there good records on number of season ticket holders? Arn't season ticket holders a better proxy for loyalty (taking into account the quality of the team)?
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4671685)

Average ticket price on secondary market relative to face value.


Adjusted for income in the area of course. Comparing ticket prices in New York to ticket prices in Milwaukee and making a conclusion about that would be utterly stupid.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4671691)
It is weird that they didn't include local tv ratings in the mix on this list. Including twitter followers without adjusting for population size is going to of course skew into the larger markets. At least with local tv ratings, you have an idea of the percentage of local populace that is caring about the team.


(I feel sick to my stomach, I just campaigned to use tv ratings as a proxy for "popularity" or loyalty...... uggh....next thing you know, half my brain will fall out and I'll start to enjoy football)
   16. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4671700)
Adjusted for income in the area of course. Comparing ticket prices in New York to ticket prices in Milwaukee and making a conclusion about that would be utterly stupid.


The "relative to face value" part takes care of that. You'd be looking at the magnitude of the premium or discount available on the secondary ticket market in a given city. There's no comparison of dollars spent from one market to another.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4671705)
Average ticket price on secondary market relative to face value.


I don't think that has anything to do with loyalty. A bunch of unloyal bandwagon fans make the secondary market high.
   18. villageidiom Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4671710)
(I feel sick to my stomach, I just campaigned to use tv ratings as a proxy for "popularity" or loyalty...... uggh....
The usefulness of any bad metric can be improved by the introduction of a worse metric.

I think it's pretty clear that quantifying fan loyalty, when untested, is challenging. There's no point in measuring fan loyalty within one season, but the larger a sample you use (to see what happens when loyalties are tested) the less representative the sample is of current fandom. You want to measure the change in activity between when the team is doing well and when the team is not... but you also want to measure the absolute level of activity to confirm it's high. And each measure you use could have regional biases (esp. when considering $ spent). Controlling for all that, while still maintaining enough information to analyze, is problematic.

There was a review of NHL merchandise sales a few years ago that found the franchise with the 5th most sales of logo-branded merchandise in that year was the Hartford Whalers. This was 12 years or so after the team left Hartford for North Carolina. That's loyalty.
   19. bobm Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4671716)
I think its actually tricky to determine most loyal fans its not sheer attendance, or even attendance in non-winning years (though I think that gets closer), which is way too influenced by market size; I think that the correlations between winning percentage and attendance, while problematic, would be interesting. I would think lower correlations might be a decent proxy for loyalty; fans who still come to the park even when their team is losing (though I imagine that the Rays would have a low correlation for the opposite reason: they never seem to have fans no matter how well they are doing).

Loyal here is best understood as a euphemism for masochistic (like Charlie Brown). Current Mets fans, Mariner fans, Cubs fans (despite the attractiveness of Wrigley), Padres fans; Pirate fans before last year, Dodger fans circa 1954, A's fans circa 1968, Phillies fans circa 2000. Those are loyal fans.

Adjust the number of fans, tickets sold, TV ratings by the number of years since last championship or .500 season and by the cheapness or stupidity of ownership, and one will determine the true loyal fans.

TFA is a list of bandwagon franchises IMO. The Yankees abandoned their plan to get under the luxury tax payroll limit because they saw fans jumping off the bandwagon when they missed the playoffs. Is that fan loyalty?
   20. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4671721)
A bunch of unloyal bandwagon fans make the secondary market high.


When the team is winning. But if you look at many years' worth of data, and the market highs are due to bandwagoners, then you'll know it as soon as you look at a season when the team didn't contend.

EDIT: Anyway, it was a throwaway line; I'm not suggesting it's some kind of perfect metric or anything. But you'll be miles ahead of TFA as soon as you look at more than one year.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4671723)
The drawback about talking about loyalty for franchises like the Yankees, Braves or Cardinals and to a lesser extent the Red Sox is that they have such a long current history of being successful, that it's hard to find a "fair" time to compare against a less successful time.

I think that any "loyalty" metric out there would have the Cubs somewhere in their top 1/3rd.

Of course this article isn't actually talking about loyalty, this article is focusing on popularity, and even then it's missing the boat by focusing on one year.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4671725)
Loyal here is best understood as a euphemism for masochistic (like Charlie Brown). Current Mets fans, Mariner fans, Cubs fans (despite the attractiveness of Wrigley), Padres fans; Pirate fans before last year, Dodger fans circa 1954, A's fans circa 1968, Phillies fans circa 2000. Those are loyal fans.

Adjust the number of fans, tickets sold, TV ratings by the number of years since last championship or .500 season and by the cheapness or stupidity of ownership, and one will determine the true loyal fans.


But then you have a situation saying that it's impossible to be a loyal fan of a successful, well-run franchise.

(I know I am poking holes in others' suggestions without coming up with a better one myself)
   23. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4671728)
The Giants may have the most loyal fanbase, but the fans of the fanbase are only there because the fanbase was #1 on this list. The Marlins have easily the most loyal fanbase loyalty fans.
   24. bobm Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4671734)
Here are some good candidate teams with varying degrees of loyalty despite long futility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_franchise_postseason_droughts

Longest current postseason drought

Seasons Team Last appearance
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 World Series
20 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 World Series
12 Seattle Mariners 2001 ALCS
10 Miami Marlins 2003 World Series
8 Houston Astros 2005 World Series
7 San Diego Padres 2006 NLDS
7 New York Mets 2006 NLCS
5 Chicago White Sox 2008 ALDS
5 Chicago Cubs 2008 NLDS [...]

   25. bobm Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4671741)
But then you have a situation saying that it's impossible to be a loyal fan of a successful, well-run franchise.

Agreed, unless you measure loyalty as slowest decay rate of ticket sales from a team's most recent peak, adjusted for success, payroll etc.

Some well run teams have more loyal fans than others, eg the cliche of unsold playoff tickets in Atlanta, the best fans in baseball business in St Louis etc.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4671749)
Some well run teams have more loyal fans than others, eg the cliche of unsold playoff tickets in Atlanta, the best fans in baseball business in St Louis etc.


And of course the Dodger fans arriving late and leaving early.... not sure if there is a way to measure that particular cliche.
   27. villageidiom Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4671759)
(I know I am poking holes in others' suggestions without coming up with a better one myself)


How about this suggestion: it's a tautology. By definition a fan is loyal. If you stop following a team when they're not doing well, or when they sign a player you don't like, or whatever, you're not a fanatic about them. So if we're asking which fanbase is most loyal, we're really asking "Which teams' loyal followers are loyal?" which isn't really compelling.

I think we're asking the wrong question.
   28. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4671767)
And of course the Dodger fans arriving late and leaving early.... not sure if there is a way to measure that particular cliche.

It's a cliche that reaches allllll the way up to San Francisco, somehow causing Giants fans to exhibit the identical behavior.
   29. SoCalDemon Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4671769)
I don't think that is the question everyone is asking. I think it is an issue of elasticity; which team has the least elastic fanbase? (Rays, A's, maybe Royals?, would be my guess) Which team has the largest and least elastic fanbase? (My guess there would be the Cubs' perhaps the Cardinals, Red Sox, but hard to tell with those last 2)

Some teams are renowned for their fair weather fans (such as the Dodgers: I think the Marlins are an interesting case study in how to breed disloyalty); I think measuring it is tricky, but is this idea controversial?
   30. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4671773)
What would the Yankees (or Giants, or Red Sox, or….) be if they went 62-100? Those seem like the loyal fans to me


The Yankees weren't drawing too hot when they were terrible in the early 90s. Having so many other entertainment options in New York means you've got to be good or you're going to be ignored by everyone but the die-hards.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4671774)
Some of the metrics that they use isn't bad, but if I was thinking of doing something like this it would consist of
1. local tv ratings.
2. home attendance factor (which would be a formula that includes percentage of stadium filled, total attendance along with population in the area)
3. road attendance factor (which would be based upon uptick in attendance above average for a team when they were on the road...ie difference when Red Sox are in Tampa and Tampas seasonal average attendance)
4. (not sure why, but why not) social media factor...again relative to population base of home city.
5. Apathy factor...this is for teams that have been successful for a while and looking at fluctuations of attendance after 3+ good seasons.
6. Loyalty factor...fluctuations of attendance after 3 consecutive poor seasons.
And obviously this would be based upon at least 5 years of data.

Etc...these are just ideas that I'm envisioning in my head without really thinking of why I'm bothering thinking of this.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4671776)
It's a cliche that reaches allllll the way up to San Francisco, somehow causing Giants fans to exhibit the identical behavior.


Every team does it, just some do it more and some are easier to spot due to stadium design etc...when McGwire was chasing the homerun record, it was very common and noticeable in St Louis if he had an at bat in the 8th inning.
   33. John Northey Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4671780)
A quick check of how teams did for attendance in the most recent season after they had 2 or more years of sub 500 ball...
Boston: 1993/4: 5th of 14
Cubs: 2010-2013: 7 of 15
Cardinals: 1994/5: 7 of 14

Those are the teams I first think of for fan loyalty. Others of note...
NYY: 1991/2: 11th of 14
Orioles: 1998-2011: 11 of 14 (took 8 years of sub 500 before they dropped out of top 5)
Detroit: 1994-2005: 10th of 14 (13 of 14 when the streak started)

The top 3 I'd say have strong fan bases who wouldn't stop coming if they started using 10 year olds on the field. The other 3 would have trouble.
   34. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4671790)
Some teams are renowned for their fair weather fans (such as the Dodgers...


Well, it never rains in southern California.
   35. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4671803)
And of course the Dodger fans arriving late and leaving early.... not sure if there is a way to measure that particular cliche.


I think the "leaving early" part of the cliche would be solved if they ever figure out how to fix the damn parking lot at Dodger Stadium. My brother and I sat in the parking lot for like 2.5 hours after the "Lima Game" in '04. I don't blame people for leaving early anymore after that. Back when Jon Weisman was still doing Dodger Thoughts, he used to take screen captures when the Dodgers were on the road to show that the "arriving late" thing was pretty much league wide.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4671814)
"arriving late" thing was pretty much league wide.


Again it's percentage wise....there is a reason these cliches start up. It's like Philly fans getting upset with the characterization of poor behavior being attributed to Philly fans and they'll find examples of other teams with poor behavior...it's not the individual behavior that is the issue, it's the commonness of that behavior that is the issue.

Mind you, I've only been to 9 games in Dodger stadium(third most games of any stadium I've been too, behind Busch and Busch) but yes there were more people arriving late in Dodger stadium than in Busch... but to counter that argument, there were more people in Dodger stadium than in Busch stadium...and historically the Dodgers are the highest drawing team in baseball, so even if the percentage of late arrivals is the same, the raw numbers is going to be higher. (one of my favorite, funny memories was going to a Dodger game on camera day, and the Cardinals dugout was as crowded as the Dodger dugout, that the Dodger management told the Cardinal players that they couldn't interact with the fans...Todd Zeile, who was a Cardinal at that time, was signing autographs and throwing them out on paper airplanes)
   37. AndrewJ Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4671966)
On September 20th, 1964, around 2,000 Phillies fans showed up at Philadelphia International Airport -- past midnight -- to welcome the Phils as they came home with a 6 1/2-game lead in the National League.

When the Phils returned from Cincinnati two weeks later having blown the pennant, an even bigger crowd showed up at the airport to thank them for their season.
   38. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4671984)
This is bullshit. The most loyal fan bases apparently follow the best teams. The Giants were almost relocated in the early 1990's. Back to back last place seasons for the Cardinals is not a living memory. The Yankees? For all their 100 years of suffering, the Red Sox have had seven losing seasons since 1967.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4671990)
Back to back last place seasons for the Cardinals is not a living memory.


If you are under 94 years old, you have only seen the Cardinals finish in last place once in your lifetime.(1990)
:)
   40. bobm Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4671991)
http://www.captainsblog.info/2012/02/03/a-historical-look-at-baseball-attendance-and-fan-loyalty/12895/

Winning, perhaps more than anything else, is what makes fans want to take in a ballgame. However, not all fan bases are as influenced by their team’s record on the field.

If You Win, They Will Come? Correlation Between Season Wins and Attendance Since 1982

[chart]

Based on the data above, the Royals and Braves have had the most fickle fan bases since 1982, which isn’t surprising considering the long dry periods each franchise endured at one point or another during that span. However, that doesn’t explain the Yankees’ relatively high correlation between wins and home attendance. Does that mean fans of the Bronx Bombers really are the front runners so many often accuse them of being? I’ll take the fifth on that one, [...]

On the other end of the loyalty scale, Blue Jays’ fans have exhibited virtually no predisposition toward watching a winning team, while the Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Cubs have also enjoyed stable attendance levels. Of course, teams like the Pirates are working off a generally low annual base, which limits room for variation (another subtle defense of Yankees fans).
   41. Baldrick Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4671992)
Meanwhile the Mariners have finished in last place in over one-third of the seasons they have existed (13 of 37). And they've been last in seven of the last ten years!

Fortunately, the Astros got added to our division so there's probably at least one or two years of sweet non-last-place finishes in our future.
   42. bobm Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4671994)
http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/07/baseball-fans-loyal-forbeslife-cx_mw_0807sport.html

We calculated our rankings by measuring how tied attendance figures were to winning percentage since 1991, and we discounted expansion teams that have come along since. Through the use of multiple regression analysis, we determined how quickly fans supported the team when they started winning and how quickly they dissipated once performance slumped. The faster that fans boosted attendance and the more hastily they abandoned poor performance indicated fans who were less loyal. [...]

We also controlled for new stadium construction and the boost it gives franchises, in order to avoid confusing the novelty of a new ball field for loyalty. Ticket prices were also controlled. If a team had to reduce prices during a bad season in order to maintain attendance, that’s not loyalty. But if a team jacked up ticket prices and brought in even more fans, it’s clear that the club has broad support.


According to Forbes as of 2008:

Most Loyal
1. Rangers
2. Red Sox
3. Braves
4. Cubs
5. Pirates
6. Blue Jays
7. Brewers
8. Cardinals
9. Orioles
10. Padres

Least Loyal
1. Angels
2. Tigers
3. Athletics
4. Twins
5. Phillies
6. Yankees
7. Astros
8. Indians
9. Mets*
10. Mariners

*"But really, the only thing that matters to Mets fans is that they did better in this ranking than the Yankees did."
   43. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:55 AM (#4672014)
Rooting and hoping and spending your money on crap are different things.
   44. Flynn Posted: March 15, 2014 at 06:01 AM (#4672017)
Or spending your money to sit in crap. People cared about the Giants before 2000, they just had no inclination to drive to the ghetto to sit in a freezing football stadium to show it.
   45. Bunny Vincennes Posted: March 15, 2014 at 06:39 AM (#4672018)
I just assumed Repoz linked to this since it was linked to such a ######### website. Christ people stadards? Why not Vlad Putin's most favorite baseball teams at virusladenslideshownonsense.com?
   46. Russ Posted: March 15, 2014 at 07:33 AM (#4672020)
Are there good records on number of season ticket holders? Arn't season ticket holders a better proxy for loyalty (taking into account the quality of the team)?


I think a reasonable proxy for loyalty would be the season-to-season turnover of non-corporate season ticket and partial season ticket package holders, perhaps adjusting for what you would expect based on change in success from year to year before season ticket sales are made and for anomalies (like seasons before the ASG where such packages guarantee a shots at ASG tickets).

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