May 15, 2016
On the Scale of Self-Assuredness (where 0 = Just Spitballin’ and 10 = I’ve Got It!), writer rates this idea as a 9.
Fans often seek to prove their loyalty and knowledge of their favorite team. Many tangible ways exist to show their loyalty – purchasing tickets, merchandise, memorabilia, etc. To show their knowledge, fans must rely on intangible – and sometimes undignified – means, desperately trying to work the topic into conversation at every opportunity.
But teams can offer a most tangible means to the same end, by literally certifying deserving fans as their most knowledgeable followers. Teams would identify their most knowledgeable fans by administering a test about the team, addressing the following topics and more:
- Team leaders (single-game, single-season, and career, in various statistical categories)
- Memorable games and individual performances in the team’s history
- Team’s postseason history
- Players’ acquisition history (the method by which the player joined or left the team)
- Team’s playing venues
- Team’s jersey styles and individual jersey numbers through the years
- Players’ nicknames
- Team’s coaches
- Team’s broadcasters
- Team’s minor-league affiliates
- Topics related to the sport/league in general (not just the particular team)
Teams could administer the test, for a charge, on select days throughout the year. Test day would turn into an event – taking the test itself (completing, say, 100 multiple-choice questions in 30 minutes, either electronically or paper/pencil), then enjoying a meal and meet-and-greet with select players/team representatives while results are tabulated, and then the announcement of the few test-takers who have earned certification.
Select fans would receive an official DieHard Card with photo, which would entitle them to discounts on tickets/concessions/merchandise/etc., invitation to special events, a brief on-field ceremony before an upcoming game, and most importantly – a tangible means to prove their knowledge during their next barroom debate.
The DieHard Card’s appeal (or vulnerability) will depend on teams’ willingness (or unwillingness) to maintain its exclusivity.