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How failing sports franchises still draw sellout crowds

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Arun Siva

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In terms of brand building, we witness several franchises in sports (primarily football) that fail continuously and yet still sell out stadiums week after week. This really perplexes me. The brand and tradition is so enriched in the bloods of the viewers and ticket holders that people dont mind paying to watch their team perpetually suck.

As an Oakland Raiders fan this resonates with me quite well. I am sure, Cleveland Browns fans can relate even better.

These are the few teams that have not had any success due to poor leadership/management and still are worth billions;

Oakland Raiders (soon to relocate to Las Vegas)
Cleveland Browns
Cincinatti Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans
Buffalo Bills
Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers
Arizona Cardinals

The strategies do not matter! I think football is a different beast of an animal then other sports because of how deeply rooted it is.

In baseball for example, there have been instances when a franchise (even ones that have won the world series multiple times! struggle with fan attendance and valuation!) I.E florida/miami marlins, arizona diamondbacks, cincinatti reds, minnesota twins)

Obviously as value creators we never want to compromise our quality and our output; however I just envy pro sports teams like the aforementioned that habitually underperform and do not produce (losing season after losing season, no playoff appearances etc) and still reap in $$$$'s.....

Incredible.
 

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biophase

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In terms of brand building, we witness several franchises in sports (primarily football) that fail continuously and yet still sell out stadiums week after week. This really perplexes me. The brand and tradition is so enriched in the bloods of the viewers and ticket holders that people dont mind paying to watch their team perpetually suck.

As an Oakland Raiders fan this resonates with me quite well. I am sure, Cleveland Browns fans can relate even better.

These are the few teams that have not had any success due to poor leadership/management and still are worth billions;

Oakland Raiders (soon to relocate to Las Vegas)
Cleveland Browns
Cincinatti Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans
Buffalo Bills
Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers
Arizona Cardinals

The strategies do not matter! I think football is a different beast of an animal then other sports because of how deeply rooted it is.

In baseball for example, there have been instances when a franchise (even ones that have won the world series multiple times! struggle with fan attendance and valuation!) I.E florida/miami marlins, arizona diamondbacks, cincinatti reds, minnesota twins)

Obviously as value creators we never want to compromise our quality and our output; however I just envy pro sports teams like the aforementioned that habitually underperform and do not produce (losing season after losing season, no playoff appearances etc) and still reap in $$$$'s.....

Incredible.
First, I wouldn't say that the AZ cardinals are an unsuccessful team. They've made it to the playoffs in the past few years.

Second, I don't think you can compare football with baseball. Baseball has 162 games and many are weekday nights. Football has 16 games on a Sunday afternoon. You have a 10:1 ratio of games to go to. Baseball regular season games are just too abundant. And I think in general the games are so slow and pretty boring.

But I also think that if you compare only weekend baseball attendance to football games and you'll see that many stadiums are pretty full.
 
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Arun Siva

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First, I wouldn't say that the AZ cardinals are an unsuccessful team. They've made it to the playoffs in the past few years.

Second, I don't think you can compare football with baseball. Baseball has 162 games and many are weekday nights. Football has 16 games on a Sunday afternoon. You have a 10:1 ratio of games to go to. Baseball regular season games are just too abundant. And I think in general the games are so slow and pretty boring.

But I also think that if you compare only weekend baseball attendance to football games and you'll see that many stadiums are pretty full.
Yea I remember going to diamondback games in 08, there were issues (even when they were winning well) and even the cardinals when they lost the super bowl...

But the other teams, are still rewarded for poor performance. This is what is perplexing.

Even when the clippers owner was forced to sell his team was worth 2 billion and they were horrid...> I guess the demand far exceeded the supply?
 

MJ DeMarco

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How failing sports franchises still draw sellout crowds
Because people's lives lack meaning and purpose. They lack a dream pursuit and as such, identifying with a team gives them meaning and a social connection.

Throw in the fact that it's a consumption activity (entertainment) and you have the perfect conditions for failing teams to remain buoyed by mass consumers.

I doubt the NFL will be here in 10 years because the sport ultimately kills its players. Add in the fact that actual game action is about 19 minutes in a 3 hour game. I used to love the NFL, now the games are unwatchable between commercials, booth reviews, play confirms, time outs, injuries, blah blah.... it is dreadful to watch a game in real time.

Throw in the fact that the NFL has pissed off a lot of its fanbase with their anthem tactics. How many? Who knows... 15%, 30%? It's a large enough figure to be troublesome.

domestic.jpg
 

samsig03

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Because people's lives lack meaning and purpose. They lack a dream pursuit and as such, identifying with a team gives them meaning and a social connection.

Throw in the fact that it's a consumption activity (entertainment) and you have the perfect conditions for failing teams to remain buoyed by mass consumers.

I doubt the NFL will be here in 10 years because the sport ultimately kills its players. Add in the fact that actual game action is about 19 minutes in a 3 hour game. I used to love the NFL, now the games are unwatchable between commercials, booth reviews, play confirms, time outs, injuries, blah blah.... it is dreadful to watch a game in real time.

Throw in the fact that the NFL has pissed off a lot of its fanbase with their anthem tactics. How many? Who knows... 15%, 30%? It's a large enough figure to be troublesome.

View attachment 16983

MJ, when you say "I doubt the NFL will be here in 10 years...." do you mean the NFL will not be a league anymore? Or that the NFL juggernaut as we know it now will be diminished to a fraction of the size?

I agree with your over all sentiment: majority of fan base lacks a dream to pursue and seeks to identify with a team. Also that the NFL is starting to crumble and a lot of people saw this coming, see Mark Cuban. I for one barely watch any NFL games now except for my team.... even then I have it on in the back ground while I am working on things.
 
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Arun Siva

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@MJ DeMarco understood brother. Having family that has served this nation i can tell you nobody in the southern states (especially suburban and rural south) are not watching NFL at all. Only NCAA haha

I love the NFL and just monitor it for business strategy and seeing what the successful ones do that keeps them relevant and on top. (I.e patriots, packers, steelers etc) Some lessons learned.... But yea good meme you put up... The NFL wont care about the real issues like domestic violence and black on black crime in south side chicago etc.
 

DaveC

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I'm not sure about 10 years....but long term its going to be tough to keep the NFL as it is. Parents are starting to stop allowing kids to play football, and even la crosse or most contact sports. For many small high schools, the liability is going to be too much once more lawsuits start coming down. Less players,games, and fans upstream means less players, fans, and money downstream.
 

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Looks like y’all need some hockey in your lives.

Tampa Bay Lightning games are always packed, even during weekday games. Their game pace is close to that of baseball.

But put people in air conditioning, let them sit and drink beers, add a bit of violence in, and you’ve got a winning combo. Oh, it doesn’t hurt that hockey tickets, even to a top franchise like the Lightning are a fraction of NFL tickets.
 
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Arun Siva

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Looks like y’all need some hockey in your lives.

Tampa Bay Lightning games are always packed, even during weekday games. Their game pace is close to that of baseball.

But put people in air conditioning, let them sit and drink beers, add a bit of violence in, and you’ve got a winning combo. Oh, it doesn’t hurt that hockey tickets, even to a top franchise like the Lightning are a fraction of NFL tickets.
YESSSS I grew up watching hockey and to an extent hockey was in fact more brutal then football (at times) The goalies used to play with out helmets!!!! The hockey season is 82 games and those players go through more physically IMHO.... however hockey players are the least paid of the big four sports and is still solely concentrated and promoted only in the colder states with a few exceptions (I.e tampa bay, los angeles kings)
 

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however I just envy pro sports teams like the aforementioned that habitually underperform and do not produce (losing season after losing season, no playoff appearances etc) and still reap in $$$$'s...
NFL fans travel well, so even if the home team sucks, the visiting team usually has solid representation, particularly teams that have wide fan bases i.e Dallas, Oakland, Pittsburgh, SF. Add in the fact that season ticket holders can get good money for their seats on the secondary market (StubHub), and you end up with a full house every week. I was in Cleveland last year to see NYG against the winless Browns. It wasn't completely full, but close to it and 3/4 of the lower bowl (season tickets) were wearing NYG gear.
 
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Arun Siva

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I think from a business standpoint, a lot of these poorly ran franchises are tax shelters and they thrive on the stupidity of 50-60K fans every sunday. Haslam (owner of pilot truck stops) took over the Browns in 2012 and has completely set them back a few years through his antics.. He does not care but I just find it amazing that it is still possible. The whole business model. The players arent even local they are from all over the country and the crowd pulls for them no matter what.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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I'm not sure about 10 years....but long term its going to be tough to keep the NFL as it is. Parents are starting to stop allowing kids to play football, and even la crosse or most contact sports.
Bingo. I just see a tempest of problems which will destroy its long term viability. I still contend that it will be gone in 10 years, or will look vastly different.
 

Mr.Brandtastic

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I used to love the NFL, now the games are unwatchable between commercials
Amazing that firms will pay ad agencies for the same style of ads we've seen for over 10-15 years now. You could watch a game in 2017 or 2002 and you would swear the ads were made within minutes of each other.

I doubt the NFL will be here in 10 years because the sport ultimately kills its players.
Ultimately I agree with this sentiment. The political shit aside, what point is there of becoming rich and famous if you can't even mentally enjoy it? Where you can't function properly or even spend time with your family normally? Something crazy like 97% of players tested positive for CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) which is basically brain damage from trauma.

Parents are starting to stop allowing kids to play football, and even la crosse or most contact sports.
I never wanted to play football growing up. And I was never forced to either. My mom knew even then it was bad (like 15-18 years ago) and didn't ever want me to play. Even young kids are showing signs of CTE in youth sports.
 

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