Quantifying the blowback

Yesterday I dismissed the notion that the A-Rod stuff would have a negative impact on the Yankee brand, as it were. I still believe that, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some repercussions in fanland. I am far too old and lame to understand how social networks actually work, but THT’s own Bryan Tsao — whose day job is to design sports-related apps for you young hipsters to plug into the Facebook and the Prodigy and the GEOS and whatnot — has noticed something interesting:

Well, it just so happens that here at Watercooler, we have a New York Yankees fan community across the major social networks that allow users to express their fandom. And here is a table with the total number of users with our application installed, along with the number of new users added per day for the past two weeks [table delted here because I keep messing up the formatting, but click through to see it]

So while users have continued to add the app, the number of new users from this past weekend represent a 20% drop from the number of new users from a week before, despite 71% of Yankees fans in our app saying that they accept A-Rod’s apology for using steroids. Of course, there could be structural factors causing a decrease in the rate of new fans. However, while a check of MLB-wide stats also shows in a decline in the rate of new fans, the fall in rate is only 5.5% across all baseball apps in our social networks.

I’m not sure what’s better: democracy or statistical analysis.

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  1. Pete Toms said...

    Hmmm…I’ve thought this would have no negative impact on the Yanks fanbase nor MLB because the MR and Balco have not…but this is interesting….

  2. Henry Quinn said...

    Yeah, this is sort of interesting, but the shifting comparisons beg certain questions.  I’m most concerned with the sudden shift from focus on week-over-week to simple yanks vs sox additions—what we want is a sox vs yanks wk over wk.  That ‘twice as many new sox fans’ claim is only meaningful if it was less than twice as many last weekend, a piece of info not included in the post.

    I believe that yankees fans are laying low.  I just don’t think this info is enough to show it—there’s no context here.  Maybe last week was a big week in Yankees adds (i remember something about a book being written?) and the dropoff is a figment of that going away.

    Sorry.  I hate to be a spoiler, but I do this sort of thing for a living.  This doesn’t look like much to me.

  3. Eric R said...

    Oh, and I can top Prodigy…  I was a subscriber of ‘Quantum Link’ in the 80s.  In 1991 the changed their name to something silly like ‘America Online’.

    The best part was that connection speeds were so slow that every month they’d MAIL you a 5.25” floppy with the ‘web graphics’ on it, so it could loadthem off of super fast floppy discs rather than the slow internet.

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