The Branding and Marketing of Two NFL Teams in Los Angeles

By: Elliot Silva

Chargers, Rams Marketing Battle Could Accompany A Double Relocation, is a fantastic media article that focuses on the challenges that two teams, specifically the Rams and Chargers, face as they coordinate plans to both move to Los Angeles as early as the 2016 football season. This will be the first time in history that two football teams share the same home city, let alone potentially the same stadium. However, researchers think that both franchises can be successful in LA due to its large population, above-average median family income, and the passion for sports in the region.

The problem lies in the fact that there are now four football teams in California, and many already have an attachment to one team. Sports fans can all agree that passion for a team cannot be easily switched, if at all. In places such as LA, sports has permeated itself within the community and switching loyalties to a team would invoke a change in lifestyle. Bill Sutton, a marking consultant, recognized this problem and suggests a strategy to target individuals under 24 years old, who may still be neutral concerning sports teams. Personally, I think that moving to LA may be beneficial in the long run, but will require a lot of marketing, especially within the first 3 years before their stadium is built. The hardest part will be gaining a fan base that will stay loyal throughout their lives.

Knowing that the Rams only brought in $209 million in revenue last year (28th lowest in the League), do you think the move is a wise decision or more money could be put into reviving the team image in St. Louis? What strategies would you implement to support your decision?


Marcin, T (2016). NFL Los Angeles Fan Base Map: Chargers, Rams Marketing Battle: Could Accompany A Double Relocation. International business times. 11 February 2016.

27 thoughts on “The Branding and Marketing of Two NFL Teams in Los Angeles

  1. ssceery February 15, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    It’s amazing that the Rams are the lowest in the league at $209 Million and just goes to show how large and expansive the scope of the NFL teams actually is. While $209 may seem like an incredible amount, when compared to teams like the Cowboys and New England Patriots, I think it does make sense for them to redirect the team to LA to target a new segment and market. The question will become for both teams (and really all four in California)…how to differentiate?


  2. Ashley Wright February 16, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    I find it very difficult to understand why the NFL would allow so much activity in one state. Although California is one of the biggest states, the fan base of any sports team is a strong commitment and is often associated with geographic area and family tradition. When teams move from one area to another, they will likely keep their distant fan base, however the question to ask is how many of those loyal fans that are halfway across the country are going to travel in order to fill your stadium on a regular basis? As a business it can be easier to to make a statement and collect a customer base in a new area given the competition and population, but as a sports team recruiting a new fan-base at your new location with so much existing competition is going to be the most challenging task that the Rams are going to face. From a business standpoint, I do not think that the location of their big move was the best decision.


  3. Kathy Makiver February 18, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Elliot, I thought that you did an excellent job in your presentation tying the situation with the Rams and the Chargers into brand positioning. As someone mentioned in class, having two teams in the same sport both playing at the same stadium seems chaotic and may create difficulty in both teams building their brand. The teams should conduct thorough marketing research to decide what is the best situation for the future.


  4. Derek Lawton February 23, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    I think it may be hard for the Rams to integrate at first since there are 4 NFL teams in California. I think it will be beneficial for them in the long run though. I do not think that they could do much worse than their ranking as the 28th least profitable team right now. It will take some time to gain fans loyalty since they are subject to so much competition. Also, the loyal St. Louis Rams fans are halfway across the country so it may be hard for them to travel to LA to catch games. If they were the only team in LA they would not have a problem at all. The real question is if both teams in LA can become profitable.


  5. Alicia February 23, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    I think the biggest challenge for the team that is relocating will be gaining new fans. The St. Louis Rams were previously in Los Angeles, so it is possible that they still have some fans out there even though it was a long time ago. Additionally, studies have showed that most of the fans in the California area are already fans of either one of the 3 California teams (San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego) or the Dallas Cowboys, aka “America’s team”. Therefore, I think it will be pretty difficult for them to grow a loyal fan base out there. On the other hand, Los Angeles is a very large city that contains at least one professional sports team for every other sport except football. Thus, I believe that if you are going to relocate a team anywhere, Los Angeles is a more than appropriate choice.


  6. Sean O'Neill February 23, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Having two teams play out of the same stadium is not foreign territory in the NFL. The Jets and Giants have been playing in the same stadium for years, first at the Meadowlands, now at the $1.3 billion MetLife stadium. While there are a number of teams in California, we must not forget the Rams were originally located in L.A. before relocating to St. Louis. It is a risky move, but the troubled relationship between the city of St. Louis and the Rams organization was bound to be a problem at some point. Los Angeles is a market that has been dying for a team to come back, and this was the right time for the Rams to go home.


  7. Sean McSweeney February 23, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Although I think that both of these teams will eventually find success sharing a city, it will take a lot of time. One reason I say this is because both the Rams and the Raiders have already had previous stints in LA that did not work out. Also, both of these teams have relatively small fan bases to begin with. A problem I see happening is that the Rams are getting better every year and the Chargers are trending in the opposite direction. If the Rams do well, all these fans that are still figuring out which team to root will become Rams fans and this will hurt the Chargers, which is a team that’s already hurting. The fans will just cheer for whatever team is better off the bat.


  8. Samantha February 23, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    I don’t believe that having four teams playing the same game in the same state is a good idea. There is not a niche to fill because there is already other NFL teams playing in California. The fans already have their teams and they are loyal. Moving the Rams and taking them away from where their fans are doesn’t make sense. However there are some possibilities at gaining a profit with this new stadium. The marketers need to emphasize all the new things that the stadium has to offer. There has got to be new technological advances such as charging stations and etc. The marketers need to show the Californians that visiting the stadium on game day will be an experience and it does not matter if you are a fan or aren’t one. At the end of the day I believe the Rams should stay where they are.


  9. cimminoc February 23, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I believe the move to Los Angeles will be very beneficial to the Rams. Los Angeles is dominated by popular celebrities that could bring a great deal of attention to the team. We often see celebrities interact with sports teams in LA. For example Magic Johnsons ownership of the Dodgers, or the countless celebrities that sit court side at Lakers games. Also, the fact that the Rams were previously located in LA makes it a homecoming for some older fans. They have an opportunity to market towards the older loyal fans as well as new younger fans that may not have established loyalty to a team already. Los Angeles brings many opportunities that would not be present in St. Louis.


  10. Justin Flory February 23, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I think that the Rams needed to get out of St. Louis and have a fresh start. The question is obviously whether it will work out in LA with all of the teams located in California. If a second team does actually move into the same stadium with the Rams I think there will be no issues with that. The New York Giants and the New York Jets share MetLife Stadium, and that relationship appears to work out just fine. It will be interesting to see if each team can build a fan base big enough to sustain the team. A lot of that will have to do with how successful the team is. The best way to attract fans is winning games.


  11. Matt Kelling February 23, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    I think that the Rams needed the relocation because the St. Louis economy makes it very hard for the Rams to succeed and make the profits that they need to. It may be difficult for the teams to split the stadium but currently there is one other stadium being shared and that is met life stadium that is shared by the New York Giants and the New York Jets. I believe the chargers have lost a lot of fans due to Ladanian Tomlinson leaving and the lack of success in the playoffs. If they could win a Super Bowl I believe the Chargers could stay located in San Diego.


  12. Shane Pacheco February 24, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    From what I’ve seen on the news I understand why they’re looking to relocate. However, I can’t wrap my head around another team in the LA area, I understand that there’s a large population and its a good socio-economic area but getting fans to the game would be difficult. The amount of money they are planning to spend will most likely double by the time they see a return on their initial investment, especially since the amount of money they need to invest in marketing and on payroll (players). I think it would have been smarter for them to move into an area of the country that has less football fans and cultivating that areas people into becoming a Rams fans.


  13. Ronald Zampanti February 28, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    I think it is a good idea to relocate. It is likely that the majority of the fans in St. Louis will remain Rams fans if the team moves to Los Angeles. Along with that population, the population in Los Angeles is large. Though there are four teams based in California, I believe there will be enough neutral fans who will be attracted to this “new” incoming team. People are often attracted to something new and I believe the Rams organization will gain a lot of attention, especially in the first year or so. In the first three years of being in LA, I would recommend the marketing team to advertise a lot through social media’s that are used primarily by young adults and teens to gain the attention of that younger age group who are not yet loyal fans to one particular team.


  14. Andie-Jane Phinney March 1, 2016 / 1:21 am

    Though moving both teams to Los Angeles might gain great things, and bring in a profit. I do believe the biggest issue is going to be gaining the fans. Like stated in the post, ” many already have an attachment to one team. Sports fans can all agree that passion for a team cannot be easily switched, if at all”. This statement I do believe to be true because when it comes to sports, people become very loyal to a team. Have growing up in New England and being a Patriots fan, I know I could never change teams if you will. (Though I am a very loyal yankees fan) In the long run, this could be a great decision, but right now the main focus is to work on the marketing ideas to find ways to gain the fans, as well as stay loyal to these teams.


  15. Meg March 1, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    It is an interesting marketing problem that the NFL teams in California are now facing. I would like to know more about the marketing plans the teams have to gain fans and to keep their respected fans. The Rams and the Chargers need to make a strong connection to people in California in order to attract fans, but I do not really agree with Bill Sutton’s decision to”target individuals under 24 years old, who may still be neutral concerning sports teams.” From teen to early 20, most people already have a strong affiliation to a sports team. The people that do not have a strong affiliation at that point in their lives are usually not the people you want the most, as they usually wouldn’t be the people to constantly buy game tickets and apparel. I would try to market to kids and preteens in order to attract younger fans.


  16. Chansamone Voralath March 27, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    It definitely will be difficult for Rams to excel in California in term of gaining and keeping loyal fan base. Their current fans from halfway across the country will have a hard time travelling to LA to watch them play, and California already has three existing NFL teams and strong fan base for each team. However, as someone mentioned in class that everyone loves a winning team, if Rams can become successful in what they do by winning, I have no doubt that they will win the hearts of the Californian fans base too.


  17. Jennifer Buonarosa April 1, 2016 / 10:57 am

    I think elliot did an excellent job on this topic. It will be very interesting to see how they market both teams and generate a positive revenue. I am sure some of their fans will follow but I would expect they may lose a bunch as well. People want to root for their home team and St. Louis is no longer their home team. On the other hand if St. Louis right off the bat starts winning game after game and heads into the super bowl, this could be a different story. There are a lot of bandwagon fans out there that would jump on board. It will be interesting to see what the new season 2016 season will bring. Great Job Elliot!


  18. CJ Enos April 3, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    As a Football fan loyal to my home team, if the NFL were to bring another team to the New England area I would not immediately change loyalty. I think having too many teams concentrated in one area is a bad move for the NFL. I would look to relocate in an area that does not have a lot to take market share from never mind three existing teams for the same NFL brand. Sharing a stadium won’t be an issue in my mind. Look at the Jets and Giants who play out of the same stadium. I personally think this is a bad move on the NFLs part. Great article Elliot.


  19. Meghan Gulbrandsen April 4, 2016 / 10:55 pm

    Considering how big the NFL is in our society, it is a very hard concept to disgust having two football teams in this league who share the same home town. When it comes to sports, most of the time you are loyal to your city and with that you support and are a fan of your local team. This is for various reasons such as having pride in where you live and being able to go to these games on a regular bases by having them right there in your home town. This idea of having two different teams rattles many because then some people will be torn who to root for and what one team represents where they are from. It is always important for sports teams as well as companies to keep a loyal fan base, so if teams move around then this can cause a decline in this fan base as a whole.


  20. kentma April 11, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    I agree that two teams in LA and four teams in California is a little over kill. While the City of Los Angeles is definitely big enough to handle two teams, I think from a marketing perspective it is a cannabilistic approach. I think that some fans who are not necessarily attached to either team, could easily migrate to the other team given there would be two teams in the same city. I don’t think the teams would feed off each other very well, I think they would take away from each others business making the marketing for the teams that much harder.


  21. alexzahlaway April 14, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    This is a really unique situation and to me it seems like it will be extremely difficult for the Rams to find success after this move. I think even the Chargers will find this difficult and they are only moving up the coast so it will be interesting to see how they brand themselves in order to gain fans/followers in the new location. One thing I realized is that most people seem to be focused on building a brand in the new area but I feel like an even bigger risk could be the long term loss of support in their original location (St. Louis) and in turn sales. With this move they are losing the attendance of their loyal fans as well as things like merchandising because the kids growing up no longer have this team playing down the street so they may be more likely to follow someone else and in the future this could be detrimental. All in all it seems like a very difficult situation to be in but great post!


  22. Aidan Kelly April 14, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    I agree with these comments in the sense that having two teams, of the same sport, in the same city is excessive. It is difficult to bring a new team to a town that already has so many sports and such loyal fan bases. I think that leagues need to really think of cities that do not have any teams to root for and attack those markets. If the NFL were to bring a new football team to the Boston area it would go horribly. The Patriots have such a strong following and so much tradition of winning that it would be difficult for the new team to gain fans.


  23. Julie Wusenich April 17, 2016 / 1:11 am

    It will be a challenge to ensure all the teams are successful and have a fan following when they are based in the same city and venue – there are only so many teams one fan will follow and the current fan base won’t be able to travel to games on a regular basis, so who will fill the stadium?


  24. Colleen Flynn April 28, 2016 / 2:49 am

    Two NFL teams sharing the same stadium in LA seems a little difficult to me. I understand that the Rams probably needed to locate for financial reasons, but trying to fit two NFL teams into one city, let alone one stadium might be a force. It will certainly be hard for fans who try to be loyal to their city’s team, which now would have two. Also, finding loyal committed fans that might now switch to support one of the two incoming teams will be hard. I don’t think they should be too discouraged in the first years of the move because loyalty and a solid fan base takes time. And I think the Rams and the Chargers will definitely have to prove themselves. I think it will definitely be one of those circumstances where many will have to wait and see what actually plays out.


  25. Sam Walsh May 5, 2016 / 3:35 am

    Having two NFL teams in one stadium might seem to be pushing it, but the league has already experienced success with this, as the Jets and Giants share MetLife Stadium. Also, LA’s two basketball teams share a stadium, so it would not be a new concept for Los Angeles sports fans. With past ties to the city already, the transition for the Rams will probably be smoother than anticipated in terms of developing a presence in a sports-crazed city.

    In class we had discussed how the Rams could get new fans to buy in and create some buzz. I think they accomplished that by trading up to get the first pick in the draft, then taking a quarterback, the NFL’s glamour position, who just happens to be born and raised in California and played his college football at the University of California at Berkeley. Jared Goff may not end up being the franchise quarterback they envision him to be, but in simply trading up to select him, the Rams likely grew their fan base substantially, not only in the Los Angeles area, but the Bay Area as well.


  26. Tyler Finigan May 5, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Bottom line is, if the Rams win games, people will root for them and they will generate a lot of revenue. Like Sam mentioned, the Rams have already generated a lot of buzz by trading up to get the first pick and selected the California quarterback Jared Goff. The Chargers still have a year or two to decide if the want to share the stadium with the Rams, then that choice falls to the Raiders. Recently, owner Mark Davis went to Las Vegas to talk about relocating his Raiders there; and he said he’d be willing to pay $500 million for a dome stadium. As of right now, it is looking like LA is going to have just one team. I personally wanted them to bring back the LA Raiders, who were a dominant force in the league.


  27. Hechuan May 7, 2016 / 12:49 am

    From current situation, I think both of the teams can do a good job. But what they need to think about more is how to attract more fans, which is very difficult. I think they can try use social media to expand their brand.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s