Cubs Fans Celebrate a Win 108 Years in the Making

It’s Game 7 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Every Cubs fan in the world is waiting in anticipation with a one-run lead, one out away from a World Series victory. 

Chicago Cubs win World Series 2016

There have been generations of friends and families going to Cubs game and loyal fans of a team that had been shut out for 108 years. Parents taking their kids to their first game and friends gathered around radios and television sets building a bond based on baseball. Everyone wearing their favorite Cubs t-shirts, hats and official Cubs memorabilia in hopes of a win.

There have been highs and lows for each Cubs fan during every nail-biting moment, but the highs had never culminated with a championship.

Times were the Cubs were very close, and times where hope never flourished. However, the love for the Cubbies kept each fan with some hope that someday it would be their day. The infamous Billy Goat curse plagued the team for many years, and for some, it’s the reason why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in so long. Baseball is partly a game of omen, jinxes and curses. But for Cubs fans, it’s bigger than that.

Cubs fans are not just celebrating a team they have watched their entire life, but the memories they have gained while watching them with loved ones. Many are gone and many have aged, but the love for the game and the team still roars young. This is more than just being a fan it becomes a family game for generations.

So with one out to go, Montgomery pitches. It’s hit for a ground ball, picked up by Kris Bryant and thrown to first for the final out. It’s the beginning of the “someday” grandparents, parents, friends and siblings have spoken about for decades.

Tonight, it’s more than just a win, but a family reunion.

Cubs fans, young and old, have waited their entire lives for this moment to celebrate their team as World Series champions. It took an epic comeback and a Game 7 for the ages to make that happen, and the priceless reactions from these Cubs fans truly encapsulate 108 long years of suffering done away by a special 2016 Chicago Cubs team.

The History of the Chicago Cubs W Flag over Wrigley Field

When the Chicago Cubs win, the main sight around Chicago is a storm of white flags bearing a plain blue “W” on them. But the casual fan may not know why.

The origin of the Cubs “W” Flag has simple roots, coming to fruition in the late 1930s. Beginning between 1937 and 1938, a flag bearing the “W” would be raised over the scoreboard following a Cubs win, while a flag with the letter “L” would fly if the Cubs lost.

Chicago Cubs W flag Wringley Field

(Source: Chicago Tribune historical photo 1938)

It began as a way for Wrigley Field staff to let Chicagoans know the result of that day’s Cubs game, whether they were passing by the stadium on foot or traveling on public transit. Before fans could check the Internet, social media or even a transistor radio, the raised flag was their way of finding out the Cubs’ fate that day. Right after a win by the Cubs at Wringley Field, the white flag with blue W is raised above the center field scoreboard. The next morning, the flag is taken down during the morning commute hours, which give all Cubs fans the chance to know if their favorite cubbies have won the game.

In the 80 years since, the “W” Flag has become a central symbol for Cubs fans, just as much as the brick and ivy outfield walls or the outfield bleachers. It’s still used in the traditional sense – flown above the scoreboard, on cars or front porches of Cubs fans after a win – but has transcended its intended meaning to become an insignia of Chicago Cubs fandom.

The “W” Flag is no longer just a symbol to signify whether the Cubs won. It’s a rallying cry, a signal of Cubs pride worn on t-shirts and hoodies and emblazoned anywhere that Cubs fans are.

Chicago Cubs W on Tshirt

(Source: Fanatics at Chicago Cubs Majestic Youth W Flag T-Shirt – Royal)

2016 has been a special year for the Cubs, who advanced to their first World Series since 1945, but also for the “W” flag. Chicago’s 103 regular-season wins were the franchise’s most since 1910, decades before the “W” ever came to existence.

The Cubs haven’t just pumped joy into one of sports’ most passionate and longest-suffering fan bases throughout this historic season by hoisting a National League pennant. They’ve also given the “W” its most use in the flag’s extensive history.

If the “W” is raised four more times above the Wrigley Field scoreboard, it will mean a 108-year drought has ended and Wrigleyville will be rocking like never before.

Cubs fans can shop at Fanatics.com for their W Flags, Cubs T-Shirts, Jerseys and Hats along with Cubs World Series Gear as the Cubbies go for their third World Series crown.

No time is being wasted at Fanatics: Printing Cavs Shirts On Demand

No time is being wasted at Fanatics in the wake of the Cleveland Cavaliers winning their first-ever NBA Championship.

Cavaliers Championship T-Shirts are already being printed at Fanatics fulfillment centers following LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and company finishing off the Golden State Warriors to wrap up the greatest NBA Finals comeback in history. Take a look below, as we detail the printing process for the Cavs’ champs T-Shirts.

The Cavaliers brought the first major professional sports championship to Cleveland since 1964 with a 93-89 triumph in a road Game 7 against the Warriors. In doing so, the Cavs became the first team in NBA Finals history to battle back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the championship.

A championship that Cavs fans have been waiting decades for, and envisioned since James was drafted by his hometown team in 2003, is undeniably sweet for the loyal Cleveland sports faithful. How it came about, though – James reclaiming his throne averaging  36 points in three must-win games, Irving showing his clutch gene and the team redeeming last year’s Finals loss to Golden State – has to make the champagne taste even sweeter.

Warriors, Sharks Championship Fever Extends Beyond the Bay Area

The Bay Area is currently the hottest place to be for sports fans, with the two championship hopefuls – the Golden State Warriors and the San Jose Sharks – within a 50-mile radius of one another. In fact, the Bay Area is now the top-selling market in the country for licensed merchandise for Fanatics, recently surpassing Los Angeles. While there’s been a 75 percent jump in Bay Area merchandise sales on Fanatics.com over the last two weeks, championship fever is spreading well beyond the reaches of Bay and to all edges of the Golden State.

Warriors-SharksCaliforniaCountyMap-7

Golden State has unsurprisingly painted a majority of the state gold, but the Sharks are well represented. San Jose is the top-seller for the Sacramento area along with most of Northern California, while the Warriors are holding down most of the Bay Area.

Warriors fans across the nation are rocking the same Strength in Numbers Playoff T-Shirt as the fans and players at Oracle Arena, making it their top-selling product. Meanwhile, Sharks fans are celebrating their first-ever conference title by making the Western Conference Champions T-Shirt the team’s most popular product.

Warriors-SharksCalifornia-SideBar3 (2)

The Warriors’ numerous star players like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have made Warriors jerseys a hot item from men to women and kids. As for the Sharks, their fans are loading up on Custom Sharks Jerseys and Hats while they make a title run.

The Sharks rank second in NHL sales just behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final awaiting Thursday’s Game 5. San Jose looks to follow the Warriors’ recent magic, as Golden State dug out of a similar 3-1 deficit to win the Western Conference Finals.

Whether you’re in the Bay Area or anywhere else, Fanatics.com is the #1 stop for Warriors gear, Sharks merchandise and any NBA Finals gear or Stanley Cup apparel you need as your teams vie for championships on the ice and the hard court.

Stephen Curry Tops NBA Player Sales in 48 of 50 U.S. States Entering NBA Finals

Despite a record-breaking 73-9 season, the Golden State Warriors had to make more history en route to the NBA Finals by becoming the fourth team ever to erase a 3-1 series deficit to win a conference title. But that did nothing to slow down one of the most rabid fan bases in sports.

Stephen Curry fever is taking over not just the Bay Area following his part in an epic comeback against the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the Western Conference Finals, but the entire nation. For the month of May, Curry was the top-selling jersey in the NBA and best-selling NBA player in 48 of the 50 U.S. states on Fanatics.com.

Apart from the obvious – LeBron James owning Ohio and Kevin Durant taking Oklahoma – Curry was the most popular jersey in every other state through the first full month of the NBA Playoffs.

Stephen Curry is the top-selling NBA athlete for May 2016 in 48 out of 50 states, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant each assuming one state.
Stephen Curry is the top-selling NBA athlete for May 2016 in 48 out of 50 states, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant each assuming one state.

Klay Thompson: Much More than a Sidekick

Curry may dominate the league’s jersey sales, but it isn’t taking away from his fellow Splash Brother’s explosion in merchandise sales – not one bit, actually.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson is booming in popularity with a more than 350% increase in sales compared to the same time last year. Often forgotten in the wake of Curry’s greatness, Thompson has completely stepped out of the shadows in this postseason.

Without Thompson, it’s safe to say the Warriors wouldn’t even be here. Thompson canned 11 three-pointers for 41 points in a must-win Game 6 on the road in Oklahoma City, including 19 fourth-quarter points to complete the comeback and save the Warriors’ season.

Golden State and NBA fans certainly took notice.

Strength in Numbers

When winning consecutive conference titles, most fan bases sell more merchandise for the initial title than the second one. But the Warriors don’t have most fan bases.

Compared to last year’s West title, Warriors merchandise sales are up more than 180% on Fanatics.com. While repeat champions don’t typically see an increase in sales from the first title, Golden State is a rare exception as they continue to make NBA history while captivating the casual sports fan.

While Golden State’s reign on the NBA strengthens, so does the breadth of their fans. As shown by Fanatics research on Warriors fandom in the Bay Area and Warriors fandom outside the Bay Area, the team’s ascension into the NBA’s elite is reflected by their fan base growing virally across the nation.

After ending a 40-year NBA title drought with a championship in 2015, the Warriors’ thirst for rings has been far from quenched. And with a full-strength Cleveland Cavaliers side coming to town this time around, you can bet a Finals repeat would be even sweeter than the first for Golden State Warriors players and fans that can’t wait to stock up on more jerseys, shirts and hats to potentially celebrate a back-to-back championship.

Sources

http://www.nba.com/2016/news/05/25/teams-to-overcome-3-1-series-deficits-in-playoffs-boston-celtics-los-angeles-lakers-washington-wizards-houston-rockets-miami-heat-detroit-pistons-phoenix-suns/

http://www.nba.com/games/20160528/GSWOKC/gameinfo.html

Methodology

We looked at Fanatics merchandise sales data across the United States throughout the month of May 2016, comparing when necessary to the same time period as the Warriors’ Western Conference Finals clinch over the Houston Rockets in 2015 to garner year-over-year sales increases.

Kobe vs. Curry: A Race Around the World

Kobe Bryant has long ruled the NBA’s booming global market, which is being felt more than ever throughout his legendary retirement. Spending much of his childhood in Italy and making trips to China every offseason, Bryant’s worldwide pull is no surprise – but the numbers will still shock you.

A whopping 20 percent of Bryant’s total sales throughout April on Fanatics.com have come from outside the United States. Nearly half of that is from China and Hong Kong, the latter of which is Kobe’s second-most popular market behind Los Angeles.

Check out all the countries Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry have sold to in April 2016.
Countries Kobe Bryant (purple) and Stephen Curry (blue) have sold to in April 2016 on Fanatics.com.

April provides the perfect opportunity to compare the Black Mamba’s global reach with Stephen Curry, basketball’s new dominant force whose Golden State Warriors just broke 73 wins. In April sales, the Los Angeles Lakers star sold products in 87 different countries, just barely edging out Curry’s 86. The Black Mamba holds a decided edge in Asia and Europe, but Curry has a slightly larger reach in South America and Africa.

While their global maps cover much of the same territory, Kobe made sales in Thailand, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, Curry beat out Kobe by selling products in Peru, Guyana, Kenya, Greece and Cambodia. Global reach, indeed.

Even with MLB’s Opening Day this month, Bryant absolutely dominated China’s overall sales. Kobe Bryant products alone have accounted for more than 38 percent of China’s total sales on Fanatics.com throughout April.

As LeBron James once said during Team USA’s 2008 trip to the Beijing Olympics, “I thought I was famous until I got here with Kobe.”

Thank you Guangzhou #rise #muse

A photo posted by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Curry’s international breadth is growing along with his game. His sales in April have accounted for 12 percent of overall Stephen Curry merchandise sold on Fanatics.com, with our neighbors up north in Canada (where Curry spent three years as a teenager while father Dell Curry played for the Toronto Raptors) and friends down under in Australia as his top-selling countries outside the USA.

For an American player whose total merchandise sales on Fanatics.com are up more than 300 percent this season compared to last year’s MVP run, such a large chunk of sales outside the U.S. just might put him in line to be basketball’s next premier global icon.

Nobody will replace the global footprint that Kobe Bryant left on the game of basketball. And like many legends, his merchandise will continue to sell long after he hangs his sneakers up for good. But novelty breeds excitement, and the euphoria surrounding Curry has reached far beyond America’s borders.

Given the NBA’s continued investment in their global brand, Curry’s growing popularity abroad should only continue as he keeps breaking records.

#RoarBacon Because Everything is Better with Bacon

From an innocent social media typo to Roar Bacon T-shirts, you really can’t make up the story of how the St. Louis Blues’ new motto has galvanized a “hungry” fan base.

Back on November 4, the St. Louis Blues mounted a furious 6-5 road comeback in overtime over the Chicago Blackhawks in the rivals’ first meeting of the season. The Blues’ Instagram account wanted to alert their followers that the team had “roared back.” Their phone’s autocorrect feature had other ideas, and the hashtag began nationally trending – Roar Bacon was born.

Well that was something. #OurBlues roar bacon with three second-period goals to tie the game 5-5. #STLvsCHI

A photo posted by St. Louis Blues (@stlouisblues) on

So Blues fans would have their fun, make some memes and move on, right? Not quite.

From a pig’s visit to the Blues locker room to Roar Bacon-themed menu items at home games, the Blues kept riding the wave of #RoarBacon – and the team kept responding. When the Blues battled back in Chicago on Sunday in a 3-2 win to take a 2-1 series lead in their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup, it marked the Blues’ third road comeback over the Blackhawks this season – the third chapter in the Roar Bacon saga.

So Roar Bacon is more than just a funny motto – it’s a rallying cry that defines the composure these Blues need to eliminate the Stanley Cup champions and make a run at the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. And if we know anything about St. Louis-Chicago rivalries, there’s no other team that the Notes would rather beat on their way to it.

After going viral early in the season, #RoarBacon has been channeled more and more by Blues fans during the playoffs. The postseason’s first week saw more than 900K impressions on Twitter for the delicious hashtag and around 640K alone during Sunday’s Game 3 comeback.

Roar Bacon tweets

Source: Sample data from Keyhole.co

Social media celebrities are taking notice, with ESPN’s Darren Rovell showing off the new Roar Bacon T-Shirt on Fanatics:

After it tapered off following November, it’s no surprise to see the uptick in search popularity for the term Roar Bacon as the Blues show their grit again in these playoffs.

Roar Bacon isn’t completely precluded to the land of The Gateway Arch. Among the 13.5K Google searches made for the motto in November, well over half came from outside the St. Louis area. So the #RoarBacon fever is spreading, and folks across the nation want to know its origin.

Call it sports’ most successful Internet typo if you want, or a quirky motto that induces stomach growling. But for the St. Louis Blues and their fans, Roar Bacon has evolved from an early season Internet trend into a motto that is defining their Stanley Cup run.

Roar Bacon t-shirts are for sale on Fanatics.com in LadiesMen & Kids sizes