Even though Salt Lake City is known as an “X-Games city” or “winter sports city”, they are a soccer city in every way. In perspective to the average MLS team, Real Salt Lake does not receive many nationally televised games, or “primetime games”. However, the lack of national coverage does not detract from the success and fanbase of this franchise whatsoever. Real Salt Lake’s first season in the MLS was in 2005, and since then they have appeared in the playoffs ten different times, including one year, 2009, in which they won the MLS Cup Finals. In the 2009 MLS Cup Finals, Real Salt Lake faced the favorite to win at the time, LA Galaxy. The Galaxy were the best regular season team that season and were ready to rout Real Salt Lake. But, it was not as easy as it seemed. Real Salt Lake blocked out what the critics predicted, and just played good, fundamental, unselfish soccer. Real Salt Lake defeated the Galaxy and that 2009 Real Salt Lake team is still known as one of the best “underdog stories” in MLS history. Real Salt Lake fans love being known as the “underdog” because the organization’s success embodies resilience and grit.
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.
A Minor League franchise that was established in 1894 named the Milwaukee Brewers would eventually become the Baltimore Orioles in 1901 during the inception of the American League. The Orioles have a special blueprint behind their playing. They have won three World Series and have several members of the National Baseball League Hall of Fame. The most notable player that ever played for the Baltimore Orioles would unanimously be Cal Ripken Jr. Jr., otherwise known as the Iron Man: a 19-time all star, 9-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and a 2-time Golden Glove award winner.
Although this team is coming off of two not-so-good seasons, the Baltimore Orioles are a team to watch in the near future. Considering the Orioles have had two consecutive seasons with losing records, their farm system is developing strongly. Orioles fans are currently frustrated, but maintain optimism as they are building a team around younger, future core-players. Last season, Manny Machado, a star-player, and seemingly the future of the Orioles franchise was traded in a blockbuster deal. On July 18th, 2018, The 26 year-old, center of the franchise, star Manny Machado was traded in exchange for five players. Baltimore’s management felt that this move was “transformative, offering both quality and depth to a system in need of both.” In exchange for this trade, Orioles fans suffered one and a half years of losing, but the future is bright.
Established in 1995, The die-hard Oakland Raiders fans created the Black Hole. Ever since the inception of the Raiders, there has been nothing truly like a Raiders fan. The Raiders wear the silver and black, instilling fear in their opponents. Raiders fans are so gruesome to an extent that there was a poem written in the 1970s expressing their unique personalities. This poem, which became a hit on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer states:
“The Autumn Wind is a Raider,
Pillaging just for fun.
He’ll knock you ’round and upside down,
And laugh when he’s conquered and won.”
Raiders fans, especially fans apart of the Black Hole abide by this poem each and every day. Symon Perriman, the CEO of FanWide, the largest fan club network worldwide, stated when he was asked about the Black Hole said, “The Black Hole is one of the most popular and enthusiastic fan clubs in the world”. The Raiders have been playing well this season, especially their rookie-star running back Josh Jacobs. Josh Jacobs broke the record for the most rushing yards in Raiders history through the first 4 games (295 yards). Do not be surprised if the Oakland Raiders make a playoff push with the agression and passion every member of the Black Hole and Raider Nation have.
The Atlanta Hawks have an established social media portfolio, considering Atlanta is a formidable media market (10th according to Nielsen). The Hawks Facebook page, with 1.6 million followers, is 25th in the league. Having said that, the Hawks have about 1.2 million Twitter followers, which ranks 15th among NBA teams and 1 million Instagram followers, which is right at the average among NBA teams. Combining the three major social media outlets, the Atlanta Hawks have approximately 3.8 million followers. Hawks fans all around the world have access to vital basketball information as well as interactive fan-based content through the Hawks social media accounts.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a solid social media presence, considering Los Angeles is a 2nd largest media market in the United States (according to Nielsen). The Clippers have about 1.47 million Twitter followers, which ranks above average among NBA teams. The LA Clippers Instagram page, with 2.3 million followers, is well above the average of NBA teams and its Facebook page, with almost 3.8 million likes, is 13th in the league. The sum total of followers across the three social media outlets of the Clippers totals approximately 7.57 million. These accounts provide Clippers fans with interactive fan-based content, scores, team updates, and more.
The Sacramento Kings social media presence certainly makes Kings fans feel #SacramentoProud. With Vivek Ranadivé, founder of TIBCO, at the helm of the Kings franchise, the Kings are at the forefront of technology in the NBA. Considering Sacramento is 20th in regards to media market size in the United States (according to Nielsen), the Kings have successfully constructed a social media following on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The @Kings Twitter, home to the NBA’s “loudest fans,” has about 1.05 million followers, which ranks just below the average among NBA teams. The Sactown Kings Instagram page, with 1.2 million followers, provides interactive posts for fans like Kings Trivia as well as updates and the latest news for everything @Kings. The Kings Facebook page, with almost 7.5million likes, ranks 8th in the league, an astonishing number relative to its media market size. The sum total of followers across the three social media outlets of the Kings totals approximately 9.75 million. The social media platform of the #SacramentoKings provides an outstanding method for Kings fans to connect with the team regardless of where they live.
Since the inception of the Orlando Magic, there has always been a buzz around Magic basketball. Magic fans are known for their loyalty and hope. Ever since the dominance of Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal in the late 1990’s to the dominance of Dwight Howard in the late 2000’s, Magic fans have always had reasons to be excited. Although there was a long period of less than stellar performances, Nicola Vucevic and the 2018 Magic seem to have ended the lackluster era as they reached the playoffs in the 2018-19 season. One reason why Magic fans love their team because it is the only professional sports team in the big 4 (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB) that play in Orlando.
Due to their location in the nation’s capital, the Washington Wizards gather a lot of fan interest. In DC, there are a lot of Washington Wizards fans. The Wizards draw many fans to watch their games due to the phenomenal history of the Washington Bullets, especially in the 1970’s. Within that decade, the Bullets won 4 conference championships, as well as one NBA championship in the 1978 season. If you want to feel like you are in DC a part of every Washington Wizards game, there are several ways to stay connected. There are many fan clubs that include day to day news and rumors about the Wizards’ most recent transactions and reports, many of which are on Instagram. The most prominent fan page accounts are @wizardsnations and @wizardswave.
As Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley lead the Utah basketball squad into an exciting period of winning basketball, Utah fans and NBA fans everywhere have begun to #TakeNote. The Jazz are serious contenders in the NBA, and they also have developed a highly competitive social media presence as well. Considering Utah is 30th in media market size in the United States (according to Nielsen), the Jazz have created highly pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The Jazz Twitter Page, with 937 thousand followers, posts engaging content for Jazz fan in Salt Lake City and around the world. The Sactown Kings Instagram page, with 858 thousand allows Jazz fans to follow Spida Mitchell and the rest of the Jazz players throughout the year. The #UtahJazz Facebook page, with more than 1.8 million likes, is another excellent resource for Jazz fans everywhere. The sum total of followers across the three social media outlets of the Jazz totals approximately 3.595 million. All three social media accounts of the Jazz allow Utah fans to #TakeNote regardless of where they live.