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The Cardinals allegedly have the most loyal fans; the Astros the least loyal

Apr 7, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

Fans are shown as they enter Busch Stadium before the start of play between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis Reuters

This goes pretty far into the land of the subjective, but according to Brand Keys, here are the most loyal and least loyal fan bases around:

Top-5 Teams – 2014

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Philadelphia Phillies
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Atlanta Braves
5. San Francisco Giants

Bottom-5 Teams – 2014

30. Houston Astros
29. New York Mets
28. Seattle Mariners
27. Arizona Diamondbacks
26. Colorado Rockies

The measurements are made by the “four emotional drivers” of fan loyalty, which are (1) Pure Entertainment; (2) Authenticity; (3) Fan Bonding; and (4) History and tradition. These are mixed in a pot with things like overall league and team rankings, viewership and merchandise sales and then this comes out like so.

I can’t say that it seems intuitive. Because I know a lot of Mets fans. And they have had very few reasons to cheer in the past few years, yet they keep coming back. Whether that’s love or that’s insanity I have no idea, but it’s certainly loyalty of a type. I’ll also say that seeing the Braves where they are is at least a bit curious. While they get way more crap thrown on them for not selling out games than they deserve, the fact is that Braves fans, thanks to the TBS legacy, are a pretty far flung lot, covering a lot of the country. That helps explain why attendance doesn’t always track popularity, but it also seems to be pretty bad for the whole “fan bonding” thing.

Anyway, take this for what you will. I assume most of you will take it as either validation of your own fandom or a great and uncalled for insult, depending on where you team lies on the loyalty scale. Because that’s how everything related to fandom works.

  1. kicksave1980 - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    There isn’t a writer alive that beats the same drum harder and more often than you, Craig. But at least you’re “snarky”, “cutting edge”, and “original”.

  2. durindoggie - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    I would have to say some of this loyalty stems from the ages of the teams themselves. Note below the ages of the 10 teams on the story’s list. The top five teams are collectively 650 years old, whereas the bottom five are collectively 178 years old. It takes time to build up the kind of tradition and history that truly makes fans the most loyal. There are of course other very old teams, such as the Cubs (1870), Reds (1882), Pirates (1882), and Dodgers (1883) who are not on the list, meaning age is only one variable. Just saying it’s not necessarily a negative indicator that the younger teams are at the bottom of the list.

    Cardinals – 1882
    Phillies – 1883
    Red Sox – 1901
    Braves – 1871
    Giants – 1883

    Astros – 1962
    Mets – 1962
    Mariners – 1977
    Diamondbacks – 1998
    Rockies 1993

    • rohlo - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      age doesnt hold wieght! rays are young,padres are a bit younger than the astros,marlins are young yes they have 2 world series ,but their fanbase is non existant now and they dont care about history.

  3. jimmyt - Apr 8, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    The question you need to be asking little fella is, “Who will the Cards be playing in the World Series?”.

    • nbjays - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      The question you need to be asking little fella is, “Who will the Cards be losing to in the World Series… again?”.

      Fixed it for you, Jimmy.

      • brucewayne3561 - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        What team do u root for nbjays? The Blue Jays? How long has it been since u even smelled the post season? How many more titles do the Cards have than the Jays? That’s what I thought ! Come back when they get HALF that many & then mouth off some more! LoL

  4. renaado - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Is this somethin new?

  5. professormaddog31 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I’m a Braves fan who grew up in Memphis and currently lives in the middle of Brewers/Cubs country. I go to Miller Park every time the Braves are in town and there’s always a huge number of my compatriots. And they aren’t all a bunch of posers, either, as some of them wear jerseys of guys like Jeff Blauser. Who’s going to go trolling in a Blaus jersey?

    The day after Freddie hit those two homers, I was at the store and a dude was wearing a Braves hat. I, too, was wearing my Braves hat and we started a conversation. He was originally from Atlanta and apparently travels a lot. “It’s always nice to meet another Braves fan,” he said. “We’re everywhere I go.”

    It’s stupid expensive to get airplane tickets to Atlanta from Milwaukee. I did it last year for Alumni Weekend and it set me back quite a bit. So my team support is basically online, when the Braves show up within driving distance, and every weekend when I’m wearing a team tee and/or hat.

  6. rohlo - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    yeah try telling me that marlins fans are loyal and ill sell you some oceanfront property in arizona..lists like these put out are so stupid.5 years ago or even say when the astros were inte world series in 2005 im sure the texas rangers would be in the bottom 5..they had no career postseason victories and are only popular because the rangers fanbase is bandwagon and all those same people who rooted for the astros in 2005 in texas as a state are now riding the rangers choking bandwagon..the rays are threatening to move because they want a new stadium and their ownership has to beg fans to come to the games. its conveinent to throw the astros in there bexause htye are goign thru a re-build,btu the fact is the astros have been and are still the most succesful team over the longhaul in texas.50 years of history in the NL,alot of fans are pissed about the AL move understandably so..selig screwed the stros fanbase using them to even things out when he created the un-balance by movign his brewers from the AL in the first a die hard astros fan who has lived in so cal since 1988 and i go see their games when in san diego,anaheim,or the yankees arent in the top 5 is beyond me considering they have the largest fanbase in baseball.they have bandwagon fans too who have no ties to nyc ,but for the most part diehards ..redsox have their diehards,but i will tell you their recent success has spurned alot of bandwagon fans outside of boston with true redsox so cal lots of frontrunners i have seen wearing redsox hats who ahve never been outside cali those same people wear miami heat hats and now seattle seahwaks hats… these little polls are basically opinion because i know diehard astros fans are loyal,but pissed about how thye got railroaded last couple years with te move and ownership change.

  7. janessa31888 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Indians fans are good at making excuses why they wont show up and holding grudges against the owners.

  8. brucewayne3561 - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Cub fans have to be some of the most loyal ! U would think so anyway! After all the crap they’ve been through & waiting 100 years since a WS title & yet they fill that old relic of a park every home game! I once went to see my Cards play the Cubs in the last game of the season in I think it was 93 or 94 & the place was packed! You’d think it was a post season game the way those rabid fans acted ! What a great rivalry that is! Good Luck to u Cubs & ur fans this year! Go Cards!

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