Did you know the Texas Rangers were originally the Washington Senators? With a rich history of players such as Nolan Ryan, Alex Rodriguez, Elvis Andrus, and more, the Rangers have become one of the most consistent clubs in the MLB. One of the many reasons for this constant success can be attributed to the foundation of strong fans both in Texas and around the world. This is evident on social media, as the Texas Rangers have 598K Instagram followers, 1.44 million Twitter followers, and 2.19 million Facebook followers. The Rangers do have a strong social media portfolio, but they have also developed a foundation for fan engagement.
Did you know that the first Major League Baseball franchise in Seattle was called the Pilots? After departing for Milwaukee, Seattle was ultimately given a new franchise in 1977: The Seattle Mariners. Legendary players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, and Félix Hernández have brought success to a club and city that has some of the most passionate fans in the world of sports. Furthermore, regarding Ichiro, the Japanese fanbase of the Seattle Mariners is incredibly unique. As Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes, “fans, media, and an entire nation want to see him launch one of those patented line drives into left-center or a hard ground ball through the right side.” The passion of Japanese fans and fans across the globe is evident as seen through the Mariners’ strong social media portfolio. With 1.15 million Facebook followers, 611K Instagram followers, and 567K Twitter followers (2.328 million total followers), the Mariners vast following allows them to connect with fans all around the world.
Located in Detroit, the Tigers have built up a large quantity of fans which contributes to their overall success. This is partly because of the way the team utilizes their social media accounts. This is seen on Instagram (691K followers), Twitter (1.46M followers), and Facebook (2.18M followers). With all of these followers, the team is able to update their fans on all things Tigers, keeping the fans very content. Commonly, the team posts highlights, post game interviews, and team updates in the offseason. During this past offseason, the team has been posting about player birthdays, special events, or community service activities within the franchise. Overall, this leads to a satisfied fanbase, as they remain engaged with the team, even when there aren’t any games being played.
The San Diego Padres have a large fanbase with some of the most dedicated fans. The team has 411K followers on Instagram. Additionally, they have 415K followers on Twitter and 712K followers on Facebook. Across the three major platforms, San Diego has just over 1.5 million followers making their fanbase widespread and devoted.
Just writing the words “Kansas City sports” gives me, and any sports fan the chills. Kansas City citizens love their Royals and Chiefs like no other. The Chiefs and Royals play across the street from each other, and this past week everyone in the Kansas City area was dying to see Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid hoist the Lombardi just like the Kansas City Royals hoisted the World Series Championship trophy in 2015. Although the Kansas City Royals are coming off two back-to-back 100-loss seasons, the Royals are looking to rebuild this year and provide a spark similar to the 2015 Kansas City Royals. Longtime Kansas City Royals player, Alex Gordon stated that this year’s Kansas City Chiefs and the 2015 Kansas City Royals are similar. Gordon said when asked about the situation: “You’re giving me goosebumps just thinking about it,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of been looking into a mirror in 2014-2015 with the Royals. Just the way that (the Chiefs have) gone about the playoffs. How they compete together on the field. They’re just having fun, they’re coming back, coming from behind almost every game. So it just kind of reminds you of what we went through. ” Gordon knows that in order for the Royals to rejuvenate their fans and recreate a successful culture, the players need to be collaborative like no other and be willing to compete for each other.
Residing in downtown Phoenix, the 5th largest city in the United States, the Arizona Diamondbacks have accumulated a large fanbase that contributes to their overall success in the MLB. This is not only due to the fact that they are located in such a populous city, the team also works hard to distribute information on their social media platforms and their website. This leads to fans being able to easily stay updated on their favorite team.
Did you know the Atlanta Braves are the oldest team in the MLB? Beginning in 1871 in Massachusetts as the Boston Red Stockings, the Braves have had a rich history with all time greats such as Hank Aaron, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux. The Braves continue to draw on their past as inspiration for the present and future in an effort to continue their success as one of the premier Major League Baseball Clubs. This success is evident both on the field and off, especially with the team’s social media. With 1 million Instagram followers, 1.31 million Twitter followers, and 2.13 million Facebook followers, the Braves have developed a substantial social media presence across the 3 main platforms (4.44 million followers total). These accounts provide passionate Braves fans with excellent resources to stay connected to the team.
The recent success of the Tampa Bay Rays stems from their solid young core and strong leadership that guides the team towards victory. The tightly knit core not only involves players and management, but the unreal support of the fanbase. The ownership of the Rays provides the fans with constant updates on the team, and in return the fans pour out their heart and soul into the team. With 303K Instagram followers, 688K Facebook followers, and 574K Twitter followers, the Rays use social media to inspire fans from all over the world to support the team and introduce people world-wide to the passion the Rays organization has.
The Los Angeles Angels have built up a very large fan base thanks in large part to their consistency in both communication with their fans as well as an increased push for overall fan happiness when attending games. To begin, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Alvarado, the former Vice President of Marketing & Sales for the Angels from 2003-2015. Alvarado spoke about his experience with the Angels in these 12 years.
The Oakland Athletics have fostered a culture built by former general manager, Billy Beane. Starting in 2000, Billy Beane used mathematics, pure statistics of a players’ on-base percentage, and other metrics that will be discussed later, in order to allocate the money efficiently towards “cheaper players”. Moneyball, a film made in 2011, illustrates the magnificence and brilliance Beane and the Oakland Athletics management had in building a roster in the early 2000’s. Beane used mathematical metrics like a pitcher’s ERA in order to build a team. According to fictional character Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who played a role as Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) right hand man in the movie Moneyball, said that the Oakland Athletics we’re a team that were a team that were like: “an island of misfit toys”. Although he is no longer the general manager, Beane remains an executive with the Oakland Athletics and is trying to revitalize the team.
The Oakland Athletics are in discussions of potentially moving to Jack London Square by building a new ballpark that would create a more modern, and replenished atmosphere. Also, the A’s will be working around and building a young, but fiesty roster. All A’s fans need to be patient, because only good baseball is in the Athletics’ future.