Kansas City Chiefs fans are some of the worst in the NFL.
Or that is what a recent study in “fan loyalty” would have you believe.
If you read “The Morning Fix” today, then you noticed a link to an article in the KC Star (which apparently you can read today without hitting the pay wall or at least I got through) about a branding and loyalty survey called the “The Sports Fan Loyalty Index.” Here is a bit on how this index is determined, from Forbes:
History and Tradition (35%): Is the game and the team part of fans’ and community rituals, institutions, and beliefs?
Fan Bonding (28%): Are there players on the team that are particularly respected and admired?
Pure Entertainment (20%): How well a team does, wins, losses sure. But even more importantly, how or entertaining is their play?
Authenticity (17%): How well do they play as a team? What’s the offense and defense like? New managers, as they’re seen to be responsible for the genuineness and credibility of the team, can also help lift this driver.
This entire system seems flawed for a number for a number of reasons. What kind of loyalty are we talking about here?
Here is a bit more:
As loyal readers know, the Sports Fan Loyalty Index was designed to help sports team management identify precise fan loyalty rankings and insights that enable league and team management to identify areas – particularly emotional ones – that need strategic brand coaching. And as these insights are based upon the fans’ own views of their ideal team, it’s a really good measure of engagement and loyalty yardage gains and losses. Particularly since these rankings correlate very, very highly with viewership and merchandise sales
Ah. Of course. It all comes back to money. These teams are businesses after all.
Look at the top five:
1. New England Patriots (#1)
2. Green Bay Packers (#3)
3. Baltimore Ravens (#11)
4. San Francisco 49ers (#13)
5. Indianapolis Colts (#4)
The number in parentheses is the team’s rank from the pervious year. The 49ers went from #13 to #4 in one year. What is so loyal about that? Seems to me like as soon as the 49ers started winning, their “fans” started coming out of the woodwork. A a team can see that large of a swing from one year to the next, that isn’t loyalty.
If loyalty means unwavering attachment then each team’s loyalty ranking should be basically the same every season. It should only rise or fall slowly.
I know my fair share of Kansas City Chiefs and y’all are some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. Take the two gentleman pictured at the top of this article. Last Thursday, I was on my way to Radio City Music Hall when I saw Chad and Chris come out of their hotel. They already had their wigs and mustaches firmly in place and I watched as the proudly marched to the draft dressed as two ugly versions if Dion Sandcastle. I was so impressed I had to introduce myself and ask if I could take their picture.
Chad and Chris, AA reads (hi guys) represent the best of Chiefs fans. Coming off a 2-14 season, these two traveled all the way to New York City from Kansas, wearing fake afros, mustaches and the jersey of a fictional character.
That is some fierce, fierce loyalty.
Chiefs fans may not be filling Arrowhead Stadium every Sunday in December but that has nothing to do with loyalty.
It is common sense.
Fans aren’t going to shell out hundreds of dollars to freeze their asses off to watch Romeo Crennel and Brady Quinn bumble around trying to recreated the 2008 Cleveland Browns. That doesn’t make Chiefs fans any less loyal. But it does make them less dumb.
I log in every Sunday and chat with Chiefs fans who are being made miserable on a weekly basis by their favorite football team. I don’t know a single Chiefs fan who would rather be anywhere other than Arrowhead Stadium in December…during a playoff run. Unfortunately, NFL games are more expensive than ever and in a rough economy, fans need to prioritize what they spend on entertainment. If the Chiefs aren’t entertaining, they aren’t worth spending too much money on.
But the mere fact that fans sat through 2012 Chiefs games at all is a mark of how loyal KC fans are to their team. To see fans of the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns, some of the most rabid, proud fan bases I know, removes all credibility from these rankings. Hell, Raiders fans even find ways to watch the games from prison!
So Chiefs fans, don’t let some suits in an office building somewhere in New York City tell you how much you love your team.
Let some blogger in his boxer shorts in New York City tell you how much you love your team.
Chiefs Nation is just as strong as ever. And when our team finally does return to glory, there will be a reckoning for opposing teams at Arrowhead Stadium.
There will be a Sea of Red.