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Sox Appeal

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 4, 2006 10:15PM

2006_08_sports_sox_love.jpgA new poll conducted by Scarborough Research shows that the White Sox are rapidly gaining popularity in Chicago -- even approaching the Cubs. If the trend continues, the Sox may even pass up the Cubs in popularity very soon.

"[A]ccording to data collected by Scarborough Research, a syndicated firm numerous professional sports teams use, 53 percent of Chicago consumers watched a Sox game on television, attended a game or listened to one on the radio last year, during their World Series-winning season." In comparison, the Cubs enjoyed 56 percent penetration in the market.

Chicagoist had already sensed this trend based on the ratio of Sox to Cubs apparel we'd seen people wearing -- even in our north side neighborhood. There was a time, not too many months ago, when we might as well have been walking around "kick me" sign on our behind when wearing out Sox cap. But no more. We see as many Sox hats as we do Cubs hats, except maybe on Cubs game days.

The World Series certainly had a great deal to do with this surge in popularity. How many of those viewers were bandwagon jumpers? How many continue to watch or attend games this year? And how have the Cubs numbers changed in recent years? According to a similar poll just two years ago, the gap was 24 percent when the Cubs were at 59 and the Sox 35. So that's quite a change!

The poll also looked the fan penetration for the other Chicago sports teams as well. The Bears are currently tied with the Cubs at 56 percent, while the Bulls come in at 40 percent and the Blackhawks were completely ingored by 90 percent of the city.

While the Sox look likely to pass up the Cubs, they might still only be the second team in town. Should the Bears build upon last year's playoff team, they could soon approach their popularity of the 80's, so strong it was even parodied on Saturday Night Live.

Photo via Chicagoist Photos