If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a San Francisco Giants fan. In which case, you’re probably an indisputably loyal Giants fan. If so, your allegiance and dedication are officially recognized.
According to Brand Keys, which annually puts out a sports fan loyalty index ranking how emotionally committed (essentially) fan bases are to their teams, the Giants have the third most loyal fan base out of the 30 major league franchises.
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As was the case last year, St. Louis Cardinals fans pulled in the top ranking. If that irks you, Giants fan, then prepare yourself: there are some even more painful gut punches that come with third-place ranking.
First, the San Francisco faithful are apparently slipping, since they ranked second in 2015. So, if any of your friends seem a tad less enthusiastic about the team because they failed to win the World Series last year, you can blame their wavering commitment for the drop in the rankings.
The other, perhaps more disturbing, revelation in these rankings is that Giants fans were passed by Los Angeles Dodgers fans for second-place.
This means that, according to Brand Keys, those baseball fans down south wear their blue team apparel a little more proudly than those sporting the black and orange, they cheer a little louder when their lefty ace fires a strike three to end an ending, and they probably cry an extra tear or two when their team loses (as they did three out of four times to the Giants this past week).
While the National League West has a strong showing at the top of this list, it also dominates the bottom: Arizona ranks 27th, followed by Colorado at 28th and San Diego at 29th. Only the Houston Astros fans are less loyal than these three.
Of course, this isn’t exactly an exact science. And Brand Keys isn’t exactly the accepted authority on deciding who’s loyal and who’s not. But their methodology is kind of interesting: they put the onus on the franchises to be appealing, rather than on the fans to demonstrate any particular traits of fanaticism.
On its website, Brand Keys lists “pure entertainment,” “authenticity” (which is an odd moniker for the definition, “fan bonding,” and “history and tradition” as the four factors that make up 80 percent of the loyalty determination. The other 20 percent is based on winning.
So, there’s no extra credit given to fans who dump life’s frustrations on players by yelling “you suck!”
Unfortunately, Brand Keys only released publicly the top 5 and bottom 5, so where the other 20 fall remains a mystery. Certainly, fans of the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs must be wondering where they rank. These teams are undoubtedly supported by armies of fiercely loyal followers. But being as popular as they are, their fan bases are most likely watered down by the hoards riding in bandwagons.