At the beginning of the month, I looked into the idea that the Los Angeles Rams might be building out our fan base thanks to the recent winning ways of the team under Head Coach Sean McVay.
A new study from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business suggests we have a lot of room to grow.
After using three major controlling factors, the study ranked every fan base or team brand.
The Rams came in dead last.
Now in case you’re ready to start pounding out your anger in the comments (And if so, welcome to the internet. You’re in the right place.), take a breath.
As I mentioned, the study measures three factors: fan equity (how much money a fan base spends on their team), social equity (engagement online) and road equity (how much support a team gets at away games).
The Rams finished last in the first two of the three.
We’ve discussed this before. The reasons are relatively simple. First is the thirteen-season stretch from 2004-2016 in which the Rams amassed exactly 0 winning seasons including the five-year run from 2007-2011 which was the worst for any team in NFL history. Spoiler: losing (and losing a lot) isn’t popular. Second is the relocation. The Rams shucked off much (most?) of their home fan base in St. Louis in moving to Los Angeles where they have yet to really build out new roots. It will happen, but it’s going to take time (good read on that from Vinny Bonsignore at the Athletic, BTW).
If you’re so inclined to just shove this into your Fake News file, I would note that it’s preeeeeeeeetty weird to rank the Kansas City Chiefs’ fan base 31st...
In any case, Yahoo! Sports’ Jay Busbee wrote up the rankings and closed it with a paragraph that should be soothing for any Rams fans angered by the rankings:
Bottom line, though: this is a study about fan bases, not individual fans. If you enjoy your team, keep on enjoying them. It doesn’t matter how many fans you have, whether they’re enough to fill a stadium or enough to fill half a booth at a sports bar. If you like your crew, that’s all that matters.
If you’re interested in the study itself and the methodology, here’s the podcast from the study’s authors: