You can tell it’s the offseason, because all kinds of weird lists are popping up all over the internet. Some are the ones you see every year: power rankings, position rankings, player rankings and whatnot. When a category to rank teams comes along that I’ve personally never heard of, it gets my attention.
Earlier this week, I brought you some information from a study that determined the rank of payroll efficiency for the Minnesota Vikings over the last 15 years. Now, another study has been done that ranks teams based on their “fan equity”.
A study done by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics determining fan equity was interesting to me. To me equity is an interesting term. Putting a value on fandom is something that I’ve never even considered to be possible because I was looking at it from my personal point of view. However, when you expand it to a global scale, you can understand how much money and time people are willing to invest in their sports teams is definitely a way that you can measure fan bases.
Here is how Emory Sports got their numbers to rank the teams:
“In terms of the nuts and bolts of what we are about to present, we use fifteen years of data on NFL team performance, ticket prices, market populations, median incomes, won-loss records and multiple other factors. We create statistical models of box office revenue, and then see which teams over- and under- perform the model’s predictions. For a much fuller description, and some limitations about what we are doing click here.”
Now that you (sort of) understand how the teams are ranked, let’s take a look at where the Minnesota Vikings stand. Overall, they ranked 18th in the NFL in this measure. That makes them a touch below average, but much of that has to do with the market size and lack of championships to pull in bandwagoners who purchase merchandise. Here are the top five fan bases in terms of equity:
- Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy cheers with the crowd prior to kick-off against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
- New England Patriots
- New York Giants
- Baltimore Ravens
- New York Jets
Meanwhile, the bottom five teams on the list all had something in common. The Bills, Jaguars, Raiders, Browns and Dolphins all have competition in their home state and haven’t had the best success recently. That can really hurt when trying to sell out stadiums and have fans buy merchandise.
As far as the division goes, the Minnesota Vikings ranked below fellow NFC North squads Chicago (#6) and Green Bay (#7), but finished well ahead of the Detroit Lions (#25).
What do you guys think? Can fandom be measured by how much money people spend? Or do you feel (as I do) that being a fan is more about love than money? Let me know what you think in the comments below.