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View Full Version : 5 Years Later: Has the World Series Victory Brought A New Generation Sox Fans Aboard?


Thome25
02-16-2011, 06:12 AM
I wanted to discuss this topic because after half a decade, we might be able to see some of the effects of the World Series victory.

In the 80's and 90's Reinsdorf alienated an entire generation of fans by putting the Sox on pay television. As a result, the Sox weren't easily at the fingertips of alot of potential fans.

Winning records and almost always being in contention in the 1990's and 2000's has helped ease some of those effects.

Now that we're 5 years removed from the World Series hopefully we are starting to see the reverse effect of this alienation.

I'm sure there were some young, impressionable, potential Chicago baseball fans who were on the fence about who to root for and went the Sox way as a result.

Hopefully, the Sox success helped spawn a new generation of Sox fans who we will start to see crop up in the years to come.

So, in your opinion and experience has the WS victory helped to bring new Sox fans aboard 5 years later?

Why? Why Not?

MODs: Can you please fix the end of the title to read "5 Years Later: Has the World Series Victory Brought A New Generation OF Sox Fans Aboard?"...THANKS!!

gogosox675
02-16-2011, 08:01 AM
I'm not a Chicago resident, but I can say that the 2005 team went a long way toward choosing the Sox over the Cubs as my favorite team. Everyone in my family is a Cubs fan and I was too for a long time. However, it was really exciting to watch the Sox dominate the playoffs and see the World Series in Chicago. I have always had some rooting interest in the Sox, but it has grown more since 2005 and I don't root for the Cubs anymore.

hawkjt
02-16-2011, 08:22 AM
Between the good run in this decade(3 division titles,World Series,winning teams,Ozzie) and the marketing thrust toward families,along with the ballpark improvements, I think the Sox have positioned themselves pretty well as the ''family baseball option'' in town and I do see a lot of kids at the ballpark that will be lifelong Sox fans,hopefully.

When the economy comes back completely(hopefully that does happen) I think the family fans will come back even more....the fans on the other side of town are probably less affected by the economy,but Sox fans are,because young families have less disposable income than the yuppies up north.

So in a word, yes. The World Series run did add to the fan mix. Plus,I feel like they have attracted more hispanic fans in recent years,maybe due to Ozzie and good latin players like Alexei.

ewokpelts
02-16-2011, 09:39 AM
I wanted to discuss this topic because after half a decade, we might be able to see some of the effects of the World Series victory.

In the 80's and 90's Reinsdorf alienated an entire generation of fans by putting the Sox on pay television. As a result, the Sox weren't easily at the fingertips of alot of potential fans.

Winning records and almost always being in contention in the 1990's and 2000's has helped ease some of those effects.

Now that we're 5 years removed from the World Series hopefully we are starting to see the reverse effect of this alienation.

I'm sure there were some young, impressionable, potential Chicago baseball fans who were on the fence about who to root for and went the Sox way as a result.

Hopefully, the Sox success helped spawn a new generation of Sox fans who we will start to see crop up in the years to come.

So, in your opinion and experience has the WS victory helped to bring new Sox fans aboard 5 years later?

Why? Why Not?

MODs: Can you please fix the end of the title to read "5 Years Later: Has the World Series Victory Brought A New Generation OF Sox Fans Aboard?"...THANKS!!when the sox went to sportschannel, they got MORE viewers, as cable was more readily available in chicago by then. My family got cable in 1989, and instantly watched more sox games on tv than in the years before.

sportsvision MAY have hurt the fan numbers, but like fenway has said recently, they almost had no choice.

Hitmen77
02-16-2011, 10:40 AM
I wanted to discuss this topic because after half a decade, we might be able to see some of the effects of the World Series victory.

In the 80's and 90's Reinsdorf alienated an entire generation of fans by putting the Sox on pay television. As a result, the Sox weren't easily at the fingertips of alot of potential fans.

Winning records and almost always being in contention in the 1990's and 2000's has helped ease some of those effects.

Now that we're 5 years removed from the World Series hopefully we are starting to see the reverse effect of this alienation.

I'm sure there were some young, impressionable, potential Chicago baseball fans who were on the fence about who to root for and went the Sox way as a result.

Hopefully, the Sox success helped spawn a new generation of Sox fans who we will start to see crop up in the years to come.

So, in your opinion and experience has the WS victory helped to bring new Sox fans aboard 5 years later?

Why? Why Not?

We already talked about this somewhat on the "Sox town" thread in reaction to Cowley's :stirpot: column.

I do think the WS win along with other things hawkjt mentioned (better marketing to families, renovated ballpark, etc.) have made an impact. It's only been 5 years, so some of the youngsters won over by the 2005 championship are still youngsters. In about another 5 years, they'll start becoming paying customers themselves.

when the sox went to sportschannel, they got MORE viewers, as cable was more readily available in chicago by then. My family got cable in 1989, and instantly watched more sox games on tv than in the years before.

sportsvision MAY have hurt the fan numbers, but like fenway has said recently, they almost had no choice.

At this point, TV broadcast advantage the Cubs once had is just about gone. Both teams split time between WGN and CSN and a vast majority of the market has basic cable today.

I'd say beginning about 10 years ago when the Cubs started shifting games away from WGN to cable, it really stopped being a major issue of more people getting access/exposure to Cubs telecasts over Sox telecasts. Yes, the Cubs still have more games overall on WGN, but it's no longer much of a factor in winning over kids as new fans.

Lip Man 1
02-16-2011, 11:29 AM
I think five years is still to small a time frame to see any real results. Brooks Boyer in his interview with me for WSI had this to say on the topic:

"It is really going to be interesting to see how the next generation of fans break because of us winning the World Series. That really increased the number of Sox fans in the area and that could cause a big number of kids to become Sox fans.

I think in another five years some of these kids will be going to games by themselves, in another fifteen they might start bringing their kids to games.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
02-16-2011, 12:45 PM
I think the World Series helped, but continuing to win is what is going to do it. One World Series followed by ten years of sub .500 teams won't do it, but a World Series plus lots of exciting pennant runs (which we've had three of) and hopefully more trips to the post season will help. The Cubs going on a string of losing seasons would help too.

BainesHOF
02-16-2011, 06:57 PM
In a word, yes. I see so many more people of all ages wearing Sox gear than, say, 10 years ago. I also think some casual fans chose to be associated with a winner and have maintained a general good feeling about the team. Plus Konerko, Buehrle and Pierzynski have had quite a positive effect on the Sox brand.

The scale should continue moving toward the Sox this season.

mbwhitesox
02-16-2011, 10:30 PM
I think the World Series helped, but continuing to win is what is going to do it. One World Series followed by ten years of sub .500 teams won't do it, but a World Series plus lots of exciting pennant runs (which we've had three of) and hopefully more trips to the post season will help. The Cubs going on a string of losing seasons would help too.

This hits the nail on the head. Lots of teams have one magical year then disappear back into mediocrity. The fact that the Sox have continued to be competitive in the years after the WS run helps a lot, though I believe they need to add a few more playoff appearances.

In my personal experience I've always been a Sox fan but watching the WS run in 05 with my little sister (now age 18) and taking her to games in subsequent seasons has definitely transformed her into a Sox fan hopefully for life. Her friends are all Cubs fans tho :?:

It'sADunnBomb
02-16-2011, 10:45 PM
The world series win had some say in me becoming a Sox fan. I wasn't a sports fan at all before 2006. I watched the 05 WS and thought hey a Chicago team won a championship. I didn't even know the Sox existed until the 05 playoffs, seeing as my entire family are cub fans. My mom won 5 tickets 10 rows behind the visitors dugout at her job picnic in 06. I've been a die hard Sox fan ever since. The atmosphere at the cell was the most intense thing I ever experienced. The game I attended was against the twins, we lost but is was the best ever. I wouldn't say I was a bandwagon fan, since the world series didn't have much an influence on me. It was my first game that did it for me.

Thome25
02-17-2011, 06:08 AM
I think the World Series helped, but continuing to win is what is going to do it. One World Series followed by ten years of sub .500 teams won't do it, but a World Series plus lots of exciting pennant runs (which we've had three of) and hopefully more trips to the post season will help. The Cubs going on a string of losing seasons would help too.

This hits the nail on the head. Lots of teams have one magical year then disappear back into mediocrity. The fact that the Sox have continued to be competitive in the years after the WS run helps a lot, though I believe they need to add a few more playoff appearances.

In my personal experience I've always been a Sox fan but watching the WS run in 05 with my little sister (now age 18) and taking her to games in subsequent seasons has definitely transformed her into a Sox fan hopefully for life. Her friends are all Cubs fans tho :?:

You may be right. Winning may be the main factor in the cultivation of future Sox fans.

However, after having lived in a couple of different cities and having visited several others, no city in this country lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps sports the way Chicago does.

Because we live and die with our teams and we bleed their colors, winning isn't always the deciding factor in Chicago IMO.

In addition, becoming a fan of a certain Chicago sports team is a birth right that is passed down through families. I know that there's still alot of fans out there who grew up in a Cubs household and became a Sox fan and vice versa but, IMO they may be the minority.

As a young potential Chicago baseball fan, experiencing the White Sox World Series victory with several generations of your family who also happen to be the type of Chicago sports fans that I mentioned above is enough to stick with you for the rest of your life regardless of the W-L record the Sox had the 10-15 years following the victory.

Based on these factors, the WS Victory is the perfect recipe to create lifelong, die-hard White Sox fans who live and die with this team.

cards press box
02-18-2011, 05:51 PM
I do not have any empirical data to support this but I suspect that every Chicago kid who was between 8-14 in 2005 will always be a little bit of a Sox fan at heart because of the 2005 World Series.

tony1972
02-18-2011, 06:17 PM
I agree...it seems a lot of those under 15 prefer the Sox over the Cubs.

I was born in the 70's (Gen X) and I know growing up in the 80's and 90's...most people my age overwhelmingly favor the Cubs over the Sox. It's definitely more of a 50/50 split now for those under 20 years old.

Just a side note: Last season did mark the first time in history the Sox have drawn 2 million plus 6 consecutive seasons. So, at the very least, attendance has stablized. Even in bad seasons, the Sox still get 25,000 a game. Who could have said that 10 or 15 years ago?