As long as we eventually fill our stadium, and beat them on the field, who has a greater number of fans doesn't matter much to me.
Who has more fans, the Giants or Jets? Does anyone really care?
As a Jets fan, it absolutely matters, due to the way the team is treated in the local media, and - by virtue - extending to the national perception of the team.
It's not about number of fans, it's about volume of schadenfreude. In any two club city people are going to see a winner and a loser. It's the paradigm which we as humans are genetically programmed to interpret, and humans also LOVE spotting patterns. There's no way to avoid the narrative forming of a "good" team and an "inept" team.
As it pertains to the NFL since you mentioned that, and I've posted this to death on the Jets forums, but if you look at any reasonable measure of success over the last ten to fifteen years the Jets are by no means a "bad" team. I think the stat is that only eight teams since 2002 have had more playoff appearances than the Jets. And yet it's difficult to tell anyone around the country I'm a Jets fan without them saying, "Oh, I'm sorry."
Why is that? Because in a two team area, when the Giants are the dominant team, degree of dominance does not matter. People see it as a black and white situation. It's what we are genetically programmed to do; it's the easier to digest narrative. One team has won two super bowls recently. The other must be an inept loser. This concept of dominance/submission is absolutely and hopelessly binary in our minds. The media follows suit, and you have a self-sustaining cycle of negative loserish press about the secondary team in the market, and affirmational hero worship for the primary team in the market.
That's why the media battle and establishing primacy between Subway Token FC and RBNY absolutely matters. Once the narrative is formed, every bit of momentum including the cognitive perception of neutral fans starts to re-affirm the narrative. I completely agree with the thinking behind the original post, and believe RBNY are (as usual) missing a huge opportunity.