The Rams are coming and the Chargers may be next. However, just because those teams have the opportunity to call Los Angeles home, certain success on and off the field isn’t promised. In fact, without proper preparation and understanding of the market, the team(s) may struggle to compete with the multitude of options available to those living in southern California. Here are few things the new franchise(s) should keep in mind to help ensure business success.
The uniqueness of the Los Angeles market is partially tied to one of its biggest industries, film and television. Celebrities, award shows, and major events are commonplace, which can make it difficult to stand out even if you’re a NFL franchise. When the city’s sports franchises have found their most success, they’ve created a “must see” event feeling surrounding their games. The “see or be seen” dynamic has worked well for the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, and Kings as they all have their signature celebrities attached to their brands. Creating the hottest ticket in town won’t be that difficult the first season or two and into the opening of the new venue, but sustaining that buzz and excitement will be necessary for continued prosperity.
While the Rams have a history with Los Angeles, it’s been over twenty years since they’ve been a part of the community. Any lingering affiliation southern California residents may have had with the team has probably long since dissipated, except for with the most hardcore fans. Given the high price of an NFL ticket, and expect the Rams tickets to be much more expensive than they were in St. Louis, it’s unlikely that the majority of the fan base will be coming to the games. That means the franchise must make inroads throughout the region by going into the community and engaging fans where they live. Charity events, camps, and appearances throughout the city to help bring the Rams and NFL football to everyone will likely provide greater returns than just relying on fan engagement at games.
Finally, the actual game day experience must be memorable to keep fans coming back. Whether that’s creating an unrivaled pre and post game environment for tailgating fans and/or producing an in-venue atmosphere that is one-of-a-kind, L.A. football must be at the forefront. Angelenos are used to the pageantry of the Rose Bowl game and the passion of the USC-UCLA football rivalry. A run-of-the-mill football experience will not continually draw them to the stadium in Inglewood or their temporary Coliseum home. Striking the right balance to highlight the game and the experience will be essential for sustained success.