The LA Sports market has changed recently with the addition of not one, but two new NFL franchises. We surveyed LA area residents to see how local fans feel about their current local sports franchises, and find out if there is room in this competitive market for the Chargers and the Rams.
LA’s Favorite Teams
The Lakers and the Dodgers stand out as LA’ s favorite franchises with 44% and 43% Appeal, respectively. The Angels also score highly at 41% in third place, while there’s a sizable drop in Appeal to the next tier, the Kings, Clippers and Rams.
- Among LA’s “avid” sports fans* the Dodgers are top dog, liked by 67% of those surveyed, followed by the Lakers at 63%. Among “casual” fans, the Lakers move to the top of the pile, with 53% Appeal, followed by the Dodgers.
- Evidently, the fight has just begun: Despite the strong national appeal of the NFL the Rams (26%) and Chargers (25%) are the least appealing of the eight major LA franchises. Neither team came in with any illusions that this was going to be an easy start. Even the Chargers’ own marketing campaign honestly presents their “Fight For LA.”
- Galaxy fans tend to be avid sports fans, with 31% Appeal among avids, and only 16% among casual sports consumers.
- When presented with a series of Brand Affinity statements, such as “(Team name) is a team I identify with,” or “is a team I would recommend to friends and family,” The Dodgers came out first in 9 of 12 categories, including strongest interest in purchasing merchandise, with the Lakers taking the other three.
LA’s Favorite Players
Baseball dominates the list of LA’s favorite players, taking the top four spots on the most appealing list, led by the Dodgers’ Rookie of the Year candidate, Cody Bellinger. Bellinger, who was actually in the minor leagues at the start of the season, has made a remarkable rise to become LA’s best-liked athlete.
- Mike Trout is the most appealing athlete among Avid sports fans.
- Cody Bellinger is the most appealing athlete among Casual sports fans and non-sports fans.
- A relatively low-voltage Lakers team places Brandon Ingram 5th overall, although rookie Lonzo Ball has very high Awareness and has potential to emerge as a major star.
- The NFL Performs better among casual fans, with three players (Jared Goff, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley) with greater than 50% Appeal among that group.
LA Sports Consumption Trends
As part of the survey, we asked LA residents a variety of questions about their sports consumption habits, including future intentions. Here are a few of the facts we uncovered:
Q: Do you consider yourself an Avid Fan, Casual Fan, or Not a Fan of the following sports leagues … Summary of “Avid Fan”
- The majority of LA sports fans watch sports on a mobile device (60% Regularly/Occasionally/Rarely). MLS Fans are significantly more likely to watch sports on a mobile device compared to fans from the MLB, NFL, and NBA.
- Roughly 1 in 3 LA sports fans are likely to purchase season tickets in the future (34% Very/Somewhat Likely). Keep in mind, there are 8 professional sports franchises in LA dividing up that interest.
- Despite the current appeal of the Rams and Chargers, “Avid Fan” support is strongest for the NFL (36%), followed closely by the NBA (31%) and MLB (30%). Will the NFL’s strong brand eventually translate in this often fickle and mercurial sports town?
As for now, the Dodgers and Lakers, with the longest history and greatest tradition of success, claim the greatest share of LA sports fans’ hearts.
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*Consumers were asked to describe themselves as an “avid fan,” “casual fan” or “not a fan” when it comes to viewing sports in person or TV/online. The online survey was conducted among 558 LA-area residents aged 13+ in September 2017.