Evaluating the Effects of Fans on the Boston Bruins
Photo from the Boston Herald
The Boston Bruins are one of the oldest and most successful franchises in the NHL. The team was founded in 1924 as one of the Original Six NHL franchises. The Bruins have amassed a very large and loyal fan base over 90 plus years of existence, and those fans have had a very large effect on the team.
The Boston Bruins have one of the best fan bases in the entire NHL. Galanis (2015) reports, "Forbes ranked the NHL’s best fans for the second straight year, and B’s fans cracked the top five with a third-place finish." One area that these great fans have effected the team is financially. Professional sports are completely reliant on fans to make money. Revenue comes from the sale of tickets, merchandise, advertising, and television contracts. None of those things would exist if fans did not want the product. Luckily for the Bruins, their fans buy tickets and merchandise, and also watch on television. Bruins fans are a major reason why Forbes (2015) said that the Bruins are the fifth most valuable NHL team, worth $750 million. Bruins fans have had a major impact on the team financially.
The fans have also had an effect on the team through the use of social media. Rogan (2013) says, "If professional sport teams are able to identify and connect with their fans, they are more likely to gain positive feedback and attention, therefore enhancing the success of the organization as a whole" (p. 5). The Boston Bruins use social media extensively to connect with their fans. They are one of the few NHL teams to have over 1 million Twitter Followers (Boston Bruins). This allows fans to interact with the organization, and then the organization can react to the feedback they receive from fans. Bruins fan's use of social media also effects the team.
Finally, the fans effect the product the Bruins put out on the ice. Boston has a history of being one of the toughest teams in the NHL, and that is what the fans want. Some of the Bruin's most successful years came in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Bruins were known as "The Big Bad Bruins" during this time period. That is because they were one of the toughest teams in the NHL. They had guys like Wayne Cashman, Terry O'Reilly, John McKenzie, Stan Jonathan, John Wensink, and many other tough hockey players. Fans connected with that style of play because it represented the city of Boston; strong, hard-nosed, hard-working, and gritty. The Bruins have to put that type of product on the ice, or the fans will become upset. Still today, Bruins fans love gritty, hard-working players such as David Backes, Matt Beleskey, and Adam McQuaid.
The fans of the Boston Bruins have a big effect on the team itself. They affect the team financially, through social media, and on the ice. Bruins fans are some of the best in the league, and that is something to be proud of in Boston.
Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) | Twitter. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from https://twitter.com/nhlbruins
Forbes. (2015). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mlm45fmeki/5-boston-bruins/#383e7f072da9
Galanis, S. (2015, November 3). Bruins Fans Ranked Third-Best In NHL By Forbes, Beat Out ... Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://nesn.com/2015/11/bruins-fans-ranked-third-best-in-nhl-by-forbes-beat-out-canadiens-fans/
Rogan, S. (2013). The Boston Bruins’ Use of Social Media to Engage Fans in Promotions. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1071&context=sport_undergrad