Brand Keys, a research consultancy firm, specializes in customer loyalty and what makes it. Hardball Talks, recently posted about the research the Brand Keys did into baseball teams and fan loyalty. The results found the St. Louis Cardinals nabbing the top spot on the ratings. The Philadelphia Phillies were second, the Boston Red Sox third. I was personally surprised that the Chicago Cubs didn’t have a spot in the top-5.
This study is likely to throw some fire on the public hate that’s recently come the Cardinals’ way thanks to their recent success and overuse of the buzz-term “The Cardinal Way.” And don’t forget the other one, the “Best fans in baseball.”
I have two questions about this study.
First, each team in the top-5 has existed for well over 100 years. On the other side of the coin, the bottom-5 were all founded in the last 52 years. A team’s history and tradition were factored into the study, but that means that recent expansion teams are automatically placed a disadvantage before you start measuring anything.
And second, one of the metrics that Brand Keys used in the study was a measure of “Pure Entertainment,” or basically, how well a team performs on the field. Passikoff mentions in the release that “Winning the series can add up to 20% to a team’s loyalty score.” I have a problem using that as a measuring stick. It’s easy to love a winner. If anything, team performance should have an inverse effect and ask the question, do your fans still love you when you aren’t winning? That’s the question they should be asking and is the root of any question of loyalty.