Welcome back to part 2 of Sports on the Decline. I wrote earlier this week about a certain type of sports that are kind of on the decline. Which, if you did not read the first part or the title, is individual sports. If you want to see the evidence on individual sports not being popular, read part 1 HERE. Today, lets look at why individual sports are not popular in today’s society, in contrast to how popular they were a century ago.
No Regional Market and Pride
Individual sports are just that, individual. These players do not belong to a certain franchise, or team. These players, like in tennis, or golf, are all by themselves. So this makes it harder to get fans. In team sports, the NFL, or NBA can market the region. If you live where I live, they will market the Kansas City Chiefs. If you live in Michigan, they will market the Lions, Tigers and Pistons. It is simpler to market, and really effective. Almost 80% of fans or more (theorizing) like the team in their region. Most of the people who live in Seattle like the Seahawks, but not as many like the New Orleans Saints. If you live in Texas, you are more than likely to like either the Mavericks, Spurs, Texans and/or Cowboys. Sports Fans can get behind a team, because they are from their region. It is about having pride from the state or city you live in, and supporting your area’s team. In individual sports, you cannot invoke this “Regional Pride” because the players do not identify themselves to a certain region. This makes it harder for, lets say the PGA, to gain more fans. Because in the NFL, or NHL, you can have fans who know nothing about hockey, but they will still support their region’s team. In individual sports, you cannot get the “Does not care, but still supports” fan, because there is no reason for them to. They only see a random person on the screen, why would they care? This is one reason for the difficulty that individual sports has.
Not as many moving parts
Not to say that individual sports itself are less complex, but if you look at team sports, they have the whole drama of salary cap, head coaches, general managers, etc. You do not see this drama, or moving parts in individual sports. Again, individual sports are just that, individual. This creates less complexity, although some individual sports can be complex in their own right. Some sports fans (me including) like to analyze franchises, and the salary cap, and the drafts. It gives the sports fans more connection, and analyzing of a sport when you have these additional moving parts. Since individual sports does not have this “franchise or front office”, there are less moving pieces, and less for sports fans to analyze (which is not good).
Less Life-time Fans
By this, I mean fans that are obsessed with the sports for a long time. You see this with football, and basketball, baseball, and soccer. This point sort of ties into the first one, because you are a fan of a team franchises, and teams/franchises are not going anywhere anytime soon (unless they are the Houston Oilers, or Super-Sonics). Teams stay around for a long time. You here of the stories of sports fans who have been going to a team’s stadium for 50 years, or they have been a season ticket holder since the 80’s. Mainly, team sports have more sports fans that stay fans of their team for a longer time period. In individual sports, you are not a fan of a team (because there isn’t any), you are a fan of a certain person. If you were a fan of Mike Tyson, and you really liked him, once he is gone, you are kind of left with nothing. You were a fan of a player, and once they decide to retire, you no longer have anyone to root for. In team sports, if the point guard retires, you still can root for your team. So this makes it harder for individual sports, because their fans like certain players, and once those players retire, those fans either move to another player, or they move on to another sport (both happens).
Well, there you have it, Sports Reaction Nation, that is why individual sports are on the decline. Now this points are more stereotypical of the sports, it does not always happen like that, but it does for the most part. Have a great weekend, and I will see you next Monday, and remember, be the best sports fan you can possibly be.
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