Work to be done to rebuild Rams fan base, experts say

Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:45pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Los Angeles celebrated the return of the National Football League and the Rams, who had called the City of Angels their home for 49 years, but some experts say there is much work to be done to re-establish a fan base.

The country's most popular professional sports league, it has been 21 years since the United States' second-largest media market had a team in the NFL.

Still, a number of pumped up fans were elated that the NFL on Tuesday approved the shift of the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles starting next season.

Dressed in Rams gear, members of the "Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams" Facebook group rallied in the Hollywood Park parking lot, site of the future stadium, and rejoiced after the NFL decision.

"It's surreal that this is finally a reality," Tom Bateman, 44, told the Los Angeles Times.

"It's pretty amazing. It's a dream come true."

But having gone more than two decades since the Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles following the 1994 season, the returning Rams will require a strong marketing campaign to mark out their territory in a crowded entertainment marketplace.

"It’s certainly going to be a challenge, since football has skipped a generation there," Bob Dorfman, executive creative director and sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco told Reuters in a telephone interview.   Continued...

An aerial view of the former site of the Hollywood Park Race Track in Inglewood, California- the site of a proposed 80,000 seat NFL Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports