Detroit Tigers: Are the Fans Loyal?
The Detroit Tigers have not won a World Series since 1984. This is way too long a time between championships, yet the fans of the players in the Old English D have stuck with the team through thick and thin.
This loyalty has been officially recognized. Craig Calcaterra with NBC Sports has reported that the St. Louis Cardinals have the most loyal fans in the MLB. Detroit Tigers fans finished in the fourth spot in 2015 and 2016. Is this an accurate ranking? And, how is loyalty measured?
The organization, Brand Keys, that ranked teams is known for its ability to analyze customer loyalty. This consulting company has worked with recognizable brands from all industries, evaluating their customer loyalty and how to improve it. By using this consultant, companies can decide where to put their money to grow their customer base.
It is important to remember that even though baseball is a fantastic game, it is a business. Mike Ilitch may love baseball, but he owns the team to make money. And, fortunately for him, Detroit Tigers are big business with loyal fans.
The consulting firm used four factors to determine loyalty. They included “(1) Pure Entertainment; (2) Authenticity; (3) Fan Bonding; and (4) History and tradition.” In their findings, the Cardinals were the top team. Second and third belonged to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants respectively. The Tigers were fourth and the Washington Nationals were fifth.
Should the Tigers be in a higher spot? I think so.
As a Tigers fan since the early 80’s, I can honestly say that I am satisfied with the position in the top five. The Tigers do offer some outstanding entertainment, especially considering the hits from Miguel Cabrera, the pitching ups and down from Justin Verlander, and the emotions of players like Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, and Jose Iglesias. Even when the team plays horribly, it is hard to turn away because fans never know what is going to come next.
More from Detroit Tigers News
- Detroit Tigers: Eric Haase deserves a starting role next season
- Detroit Tigers: Peyton Graham could be sleeper pick of the 2022 draft class
- Detroit Tigers set new franchise record for ineptitude
- Detroit Tigers: Ryan Kreidler increasing his value for the long term
- Report: Detroit Tigers sending multiple top prospects to Arizona Fall League
The Tigers do appear to a thoroughly authentic group of men who appear to love the game. They are who they are and fans can see it. When they are having fun, it is obvious. It is also obvious when they are all in a funk. The show is real.
As a social media junky, it is safe to say that the Tigers do work hard on fan bonding. Look no farther than Verlander’s Instagram account. Daniel Norris is another who regularly engages with fans. Remember the game where Miguel Cabrera gave his bat to the opposing fan last year? And J.D. Martinez is always on hand to sign an autograph. The players are open books and they know they need the fans, with the recent exception of Joe Nathan.
Lastly, the Tigers are full of tradition. Other than those odd uniforms from the 1980s, the Tigers have one of the most recognizable and classic uniforms in the game. The Hall of Fame members like Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, Hank Greenberg, and all the rest defined baseball in their generations. At the mention of “Al Kaline“, heads turn to see the Tiger great. Even the radio voices are iconic – Ernie Harwell, George Kell, Dan Dickerson.
It is easy to be a fan of teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. They have won the World Series in the past decade. The challenge is to be a fan of a team that hasn’t.
Next: Detroit Tigers: Is Inconsistent the New Norm?
In my highly biased opinion, Detroit Tigers fans are the best fans in the MLB.
Read more about the Detroit Tigers at Motor City Bengals.