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View Full Version : Are the White Sox beginning to develop a national following?


tony1972
04-24-2009, 10:13 AM
One thing I've noticed (a recent phenomenon..maybe the past 4 years) is when I watch out of town games there are in increasing number of Sox fans at the games. I almost never saw this 10 years ago.

I am not just talking about when they play locally such as Detroit, etc. But even in cities such as New York, Anaheim, Seattle..you see more and more Sox fans sitting in the stands.

Could this be part of the WGN effect that benefited the Cubs in the 1980's and 1990's. The Cubs and White Sox are the only two teams that exist that have their games televised on a regular basis nationally. Since the Sox did not start doing this until 1990...maybe the effect is just starting to show recently?

I think this is due to (a) winning the World Series in 2005 (b) WGN (c) Ozzie Guillen as manager...his popularity (d) even the President being a Sox fan..

Thoughts? Are we in the early stages of developing a strong coast to coast following that the Cubs were in the mid 80's?:scratch:

chisox616
04-24-2009, 10:17 AM
I think it's just Sox fans either on business or they're just displaced. If the Sox ever play the Cards I know sure as hell I'll be there rockin' my Big Hurt jersey, but I wasn't born in Missouri; I lived in Naperville for the first half of my life.

Dibbs
04-24-2009, 10:17 AM
I don't think it is a national following. I just think we travel well as a fan base.

Rohan
04-24-2009, 10:21 AM
But there is probably some aspect of truth to the development of a wider base of fans.
After teams win the world series they tend to pick up a few fans here or there and it usually isn't seen til about a decade to half a decade later.

guillensdisciple
04-24-2009, 10:35 AM
To note on the commercialization of the White Sox; it has become pretty "cool" to have the word "White Sox" displayed somewhere on your body.Young Jeezy, Obama, Kanye, Derrick Rose all have shown White Sox gear. I don't know if that has a significant result on our fan base, but it does seem to have gained us a bigger appeal in terms of merchandising.

Having Obama in there will get us a lot more fans. I don't know if I am as happy about that as I would like to be, but as long as our fan base doesn't become like the Cubs fan base I will be fine.

asindc
04-24-2009, 10:42 AM
As a relocated fan, I think it is a combination of the enthusiasm generated from the 90s teams and the 2005 team, the fact that more people are relocating than in generations past, and there are more ways (WGN, internet radio, WSI and other sites, MLB.com, etc.) to stay involved with the team than ever before.

As we know, we Sox fans have to be diligent in our support of our team, especially if you live outside the Chicagoland area. I feel somewhat fortunate that I live in an area where there are knowledgeable baseball fans who understand the history of the game well enough to have a sense of the Sox' place in it. Also, the Baltimore and Washington fans are much less obnoxious (surprise, surprise) than are the Boston, New York, or Philadelphia fans.

One other thing (somewhat off topic) I have noticed: There seems to be a growing bond between fan bases of teams not named Yankees, Cubs, Mets, or Red Sox. Everyone else I talk to is just as annoyed at the disparity in national coverage those teams get versus all other teams. If you think we get the short-shrift on national coverage, try being the fan of a team that is not in a major media market and is not competitive.

Rohan
04-24-2009, 10:54 AM
To note on the commercialization of the White Sox; it has become pretty "cool" to have the word "White Sox" displayed somewhere on your body. Obama, Kanye, Derrick Rose, and many other rappers wear White Sox gear. I don't know if that has a significant result on our fan base, but it does seem to have gained us a bigger appeal in terms of merchandising.

Having Obama in there will get us a lot more fans. I don't know if I am as happy about that as I would like to be, but as long as our fan base doesn't become like the Cubs fan base I will be fine.

I don't think any famous people sporting White Sox gear or having a president who's a white sox fan play any role in the growth of a fan base. If you really stop think about it, you'll realize that no one cares...

Madvora
04-24-2009, 11:14 AM
I don't think any famous people sporting White Sox gear or having a president who's a white sox fan play any role in the growth of a fan base. If you really stop think about it, you'll realize that no one cares...
Right. The Phillies won the last World Series. That doesn't make me care about them at all. Baseball fans are fans of their own teams. I think this whole perception of national games on TV creating fans is a myth.

If people think about how they view other teams, rather than how other people view your team, it makes perfect sense.

Jim Shorts
04-24-2009, 11:25 AM
The Baltimore/DC area sure seems to have a nice stable of Sox fans representing. Tampa is somewhat understandable, but seeing so many fans at Camden was pleasing.

DumpJerry
04-24-2009, 11:27 AM
This is due to the popularity of WSI.

thedudeabides
04-24-2009, 11:35 AM
As a relocated fan, I think it is a combination of the enthusiasm generated from the 90s teams and the 2005 team, the fact that more people are relocating than in generations past, and there are more ways (WGN, internet radio, WSI and other sites, MLB.com, etc.) to stay involved with the team than ever before.
As we know, we Sox fans have to be diligent in our support of our team, especially if you live outside the Chicagoland area. I feel somewhat fortunate that I live in an area where there are knowledgeable baseball fans who understand the history of the game well enough to have a sense of the Sox' place in it. Also, the Baltimore and Washington fans are much less obnoxious (surprise, surprise) than are the Boston, New York, or Philadelphia fans.

One other thing (somewhat off topic) I have noticed: There seems to be a growing bond between fan bases of teams not named Yankees, Cubs, Mets, or Red Sox. Everyone else I talk to is just as annoyed at the disparity in national coverage those teams get versus all other teams. If you think we get the short-shrift on national coverage, try being the fan of a team that is not in a major media market and is not competitive.

This is a good point. The team is located in a huge metropolitan area and with that population size, your going to get a lot of people moving out of the area. Especially in a tough economy where many people will take a job where you can get it. On top of that, the fans of all Chicago sports teams really do seem to travel well.

Hitmen77
04-24-2009, 11:35 AM
National following? Uh, no. Not even close. (and that's how I like it, by the way).

But I do agree with other replies that the Sox seem to be developing a wider fan base. You see it even here in Chicago. I think the combination of winning the World Series and the significant improvements to The Cell have boosted our fan base.

Interesting question about the "WGN effect". For some reason, I don't think being on WGN has much of an impact on any national following for the Sox. This is their 20th season on WGN in the cable/satellite age...plenty of time for any national following to take effect.



One other thing (somewhat off topic) I have noticed: There seems to be a growing bond between fan bases of teams not named Yankees, Cubs, Mets, or Red Sox. Everyone else I talk to is just as annoyed at the disparity in national coverage those teams get versus all other teams. If you think we get the short-shrift on national coverage, try being the fan of a team that is not in a major media market and is not competitive.

Interesting point. What I have noticed (at least regarding the Cubs) is that more and more people in other National League towns are getting sick and tired of obnoxious Cub fans. I'm not saying that a majority of people feel this way (yet), but I have noticed a growing number of people who have rejected the once seemingly unanimous "lovable Cubs" myth.

chisox77
04-24-2009, 12:24 PM
It's just nice to see that the White Sox have fans who are willing to wear the gear.

White City
04-24-2009, 12:34 PM
Here's the underlying trend to watch: A lot of people are losing their jobs in this economy. Going to a ball game is getting harder and harder to justify in most family budgets.

However, White sox fans are handsome and possess superior intelligence. So we are still doing great, and are becoming easier to see in the stands during telecasts.

Warren Buffett once said that when the financial tide ever came in, we would find out who is swimming naked -- and who is wearing stylish Chicago White Sox swim trunks. That time is now.

soxfanatlanta
04-24-2009, 12:42 PM
Interesting question about the "WGN effect". For some reason, I don't think being on WGN has much of an impact on any national following for the Sox. This is their 20th season on WGN in the cable/satellite age...plenty of time for any national following to take effect.


Very true, IMO. Look at the coverage the Braves got when they were televised regularly on TBS; I did not notice any more Atlanta fans during that span.


However, White sox fans are handsome and possess superior intelligence. So we are still doing great, and are becoming easier to see in the stands during telecasts.

Warren Buffett once said that when the financial tide ever came in, we would find out who is swimming naked -- and who is wearing stylish Chicago White Sox swim trunks. That time is now.

:?:

tick53
04-24-2009, 12:52 PM
I wish it was true but I doubt it. They have probably picked up more fans in the hinterlands of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, etc due to the WGN games but were not quite a national craze.

soxinem1
04-24-2009, 02:00 PM
To note on the commercialization of the White Sox; it has become pretty "cool" to have the word "White Sox" displayed somewhere on your body. Obama, Kanye, Derrick Rose, and many other rappers wear White Sox gear.

Obama and Rose are rappers??:smile:

downstairs
04-24-2009, 02:13 PM
Every White Sox fan I've met in my 3+ years in New Orleans is a Sox fan because they used to live in Chicago.

DaveFeelsRight
04-24-2009, 02:23 PM
There's this one guy on Making The Band 4 who always wears a White Sox hat. And He's from Chicago.

Thome25
04-24-2009, 02:23 PM
The Baltimore/DC area sure seems to have a nice stable of Sox fans representing. Tampa is somewhat understandable, but seeing so many fans at Camden was pleasing.

Count me in as one of the fans who represents in the Baltimore/DC area. I don't see too many White Sox fans out and about in this area though. (As a matter of fact, I might as well be one of the only ones.)

Perhaps most of the fans at Camden Yards were Chicago-area fans travelling around with the team?

Thome25
04-24-2009, 02:27 PM
As a relocated fan, I think it is a combination of the enthusiasm generated from the 90s teams and the 2005 team, the fact that more people are relocating than in generations past, and there are more ways (WGN, internet radio, WSI and other sites, MLB.com, etc.) to stay involved with the team than ever before.

As we know, we Sox fans have to be diligent in our support of our team, especially if you live outside the Chicagoland area. I feel somewhat fortunate that I live in an area where there are knowledgeable baseball fans who understand the history of the game well enough to have a sense of the Sox' place in it. Also, the Baltimore and Washington fans are much less obnoxious (surprise, surprise) than are the Boston, New York, or Philadelphia fans.

One other thing (somewhat off topic) I have noticed: There seems to be a growing bond between fan bases of teams not named Yankees, Cubs, Mets, or Red Sox. Everyone else I talk to is just as annoyed at the disparity in national coverage those teams get versus all other teams. If you think we get the short-shrift on national coverage, try being the fan of a team that is not in a major media market and is not competitive.


Very well said!! :thumbsup:

35th&Shields
04-24-2009, 02:31 PM
Obama and Rose are rappers??:smile:

I was about to post the same thing.

Obama wearing the Sox hat regularly, more than his just being a fan, has made Sox stuff more cool. Timex Ironman watches became very popular because of Bill Clinton's use of them and blue colored ties became popular because of George W. Bush. Maybe the same thing happens with Sox hats?

Nellie_Fox
04-24-2009, 03:41 PM
I saw a guy in the department office today wearing a Quentin shirt. I asked if he was from Chicago, and he said no, but his mother was and her family are Sox fans so he became one too.

I gave him the web address for WSI.

guillensdisciple
04-24-2009, 04:40 PM
Obama and Rose are rappers??:smile:

I noticed that the moment I typed it, and hoped I could get away with it. Little did I know that the WSI grammar police would catch me no matter what.

Hahaha, consider it corrected:redface:.

NDSox12
04-24-2009, 04:46 PM
I've been going to Sox games in Baltimore for the last eight years. I actually don't think I've ever seen fewer Sox fans at Camden Yards than there were on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Granted, that is mostly due to the fact that it was a mid-week series in April and the weather sucked.

If anything, I'd say the Sox fan "presence" was more a result of how few Orioles fans were there (and to some extent, same goes for Tampa). I think I saw that the crowd on Wednesday was the second smallest in Camden Yards history.

soxinem1
04-24-2009, 05:06 PM
I noticed that the moment I typed it, and hoped I could get away with it. Little do I know that the WSI grammar police will catch me no matter what.

Hahaha, consider it corrected:redface:.

I thought The Chosen One and Rose had new careers!!!:smile:

Whappeh
04-24-2009, 05:15 PM
I'm all over the games when they are in FL...

I'm a Florida born Sox fan... only been to Chicago once.

peridot
04-24-2009, 05:20 PM
I'm surprised by how many White Sox fans I run into here in Birmingham, and doubt it has anything to do with the Barons. Some are from Chicago and some aren't. I see more Yankees and Red Sox gear than anything else despite Atlanta being the local team.

I'm not from Chicago, but having grown up in a constantly moving military family I'm not really from anywhere. My favourite sports teams are from all different cities and decided based on their histories and watching them play.

DSpivack
04-24-2009, 06:19 PM
I've been going to Sox games in Baltimore for the last eight years. I actually don't think I've ever seen fewer Sox fans at Camden Yards than there were on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Granted, that is mostly due to the fact that it was a mid-week series in April and the weather sucked.

If anything, I'd say the Sox fan "presence" was more a result of how few Orioles fans were there (and to some extent, same goes for Tampa). I think I saw that the crowd on Wednesday was the second smallest in Camden Yards history.

Was at Camden Yards thursday, probably the smallest crowd I've ever seen for a major league game. Sad.

ChiSoxFan81
04-24-2009, 06:27 PM
Was at Camden Yards thursday, probably the smallest crowd I've ever seen for a major league game. Sad.

It was the second smallest crowd ever at Camden yards. If the Cubs were there, it would have sold out.

guillen4life13
04-24-2009, 07:39 PM
I can say that Miami has a few Sox fans. TCM, Viciedo and Jose Contreras bring a lot of Cuban fans to support the team.

asindc
04-25-2009, 02:46 PM
I've been going to Sox games in Baltimore for the last eight years. I actually don't think I've ever seen fewer Sox fans at Camden Yards than there were on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Granted, that is mostly due to the fact that it was a mid-week series in April and the weather sucked.

If anything, I'd say the Sox fan "presence" was more a result of how few Orioles fans were there (and to some extent, same goes for Tampa). I think I saw that the crowd on Wednesday was the second smallest in Camden Yards history.

If you had been attending Sox-Balt. games at Camden Yards in the 90s, then you might agree that there are more Sox fans attending games there now than ever before. Back in the 90s during the Frank years, there might be 1,000 Sox fans in the park out of 40,000. Now, if the crowd is 15,000, about 2,000/2,500 or so are going to be Sox fans. Last year in August during the playoff race, I would say there were about 3,000 Sox fans there out of about 20,000. There has definitely been an increase over the years in Sox fans at Camden Yards.

PKalltheway
04-25-2009, 06:32 PM
Very true, IMO. Look at the coverage the Braves got when they were televised regularly on TBS; I did not notice any more Atlanta fans during that span.

I certainly did. I don't think their fan base grew exponentially, but it would be naive to think that their fan base did not grow during that time, especially considering their success.

I probably wouldn't have become a Sox fan if I never got the chance to watch even a limited number of their games on WGN. When I was younger, I used to mark on my calendar when Sox games would come on WGN. I don't know, maybe I'm just the exception and not the rule....:dunno:

Quentin08
04-25-2009, 11:00 PM
I think we tend to notice Sox fans on the road because the crowds have been so small. It's easier to pick out the Sox jerseys when most of the seats are empty. For some reason, the Sox play in front of small crowds on the road; they're not a big draw. They're currently the 2nd lowest road draw, drawing an average of 20,360 on the road.

Oblong
04-26-2009, 12:04 AM
There was a picture in one of our Detroit papers the other day, one of those "Who's partying around town" type features. Some lady got her picture taken with Piston Rodney Stuckey in a club. He had a Sox hat on.

kitekrazy
04-26-2009, 12:06 AM
Some people wear sports gear because it looks sharp. Ever since the Sox changed their logo sales in sportswear have increased.

Shoeless_Jeff
04-26-2009, 12:28 AM
Some people wear sports gear because it looks sharp. Ever since the Sox changed their logo sales in sportswear have increased.

I'm reminded of Dr. Dre sporting a Sox hat in the video for Nuthin' but a "G" Thang. Holy crap that was 16 years ago! I was too young at the time to get the urban style thing he was representing, I just figured Dr. Dre was a White Sox fan.

nedlug
04-26-2009, 02:00 AM
It's just nice to see that the White Sox have fans who are willing to wear the gear.

The one thing I've noticed different between now and, say, 10 years ago at the park is how many folks actually wear WS gear. I was amazed at how many more people wear white sox stuff than back in the day.