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Rams-Chargers: Who’s winning the battle for LA?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will meet for the first time in the regular season at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. The two teams both moved to Los Angeles in 2017 and share both a stadium and a city.

The Rams and Chargers are about to end their seventh season in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at who’s been winning to overall Battle For LA.

Fan Engagement

Prior to coming to Los Angeles, the Rams already had a fanbase in LA. However, the Chargers were already established in Southern California, playing in San Diego for most of their existence.

Still, the Rams have had the advantage here. The Rams rank seventh in the NFL with an average 72.7 thousand fans at home games this season. The Chargers rank 11th at 69.9 thousand fans on average. Despite playing at the same stadium, an average of three thousand more fans show up to Rams games.

That gap was a little closer last season, but since winning the Super Bowl, the Rams have widened that gap. Last season, the Rams ranked fourth in the NFL in total ticket revenue.

The Rams also lead on social media. On Twitter, the Rams have 1.2M followers to the Chargers 1M. The Rams lead on Instagram as well 1.6M to 1M. It’s much of the same on Tin Tok where the Rams lead 1.4M to 985,000. Instagram and Tie Tok are important because that’s where a lot of the younger fans are.

Advantage: Rams

Team Success

There’s no question that since arriving in Los Angeles in 2017 that the Rams have had more success. The Chargers have just 51 wins with as many seasons missing the playoffs as the Rams have made the playoffs.

The Rams have 64 wins for an average of nine wins per season. That doesn’t include the seven playoff wins, four home playoff games, and two Super Bowl appearances, including one Super Bowl win.

Through seven years in Los Angeles, it’s pretty clear that the Rams have been the more successful franchise. That’s crucial in a time that’s important to winning over new fans.

Advantage: Rams

Marketable Stars

The Rams and Chargers may actually be pretty even here.

On the Rams side you have Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Jalen Ramsey. Meanwhile, for the Chargers, you have Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Derwin James, and Joey Bosa.

Looking at jersey sales coming into the season, the Rams had two players inside the top-10 in jersey sales in Kupp and Donald. Stafford wasn’t far behind at number 11.

The highest Charger was Justin Herbert at number 14. In other words, three Rams showed top on the NFLPA top-50 NFL jersey sales list before a single Chargers player. Yes, coming off of a Super Bowl certainly had an effect on this. However, team success typically leads to good business.

Stafford and McVay have also appeared in commercials this season. Stafford has done commercial spots for Little Caesars Pizza and At&T while McVay has done commercial spots for Campbell’s Soup.

It will be interesting to see how this changes this offseason with the Rams at 5-10, injuries to Donald, Kupp, and Stafford, and Herbert becoming more of a star. However, as it stands, the Rams hold the slight advantage.

Advantage: Rams

Future Outlook

This is where things get interesting.

The Rams window is currently through the year 2024. There’s a chance that after 2023, McVay leaves for broadcasting and both Stafford and Donald retire. With no first round picks until the 2024 draft, this makes it difficult for the Rams to re-tool in the meantime.

Les Snead went all-in on this window and it results in a Super Bowl trophy. That strategy was without question a success. The issue is that it has also left the Rams with a somewhat bleak future.

On the other side, the Chargers have this young star at quarterback who could easily become the face of football in Los Angeles. If Brandon Staley remains as the head coach, he’s a young star at head coach with flare.

Looking through a lens 3-5 years from now, the Chargers seem to be in a better position. While the Rams have won the first decade in LA, the Chargers are picking up momentum. It’s very possible that they win the next decade.

Advantage: Chargers