ATLANTA (CBS46) – Most NFL teams claim to have the best fans in the business. But which fanbase in the NFL is the best? That’s the question Emory University Professor Dr. Mike Lewis sought to answer with his 2019 NFL Fandom Report.
At the top of the rankings were five teams, the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers. One common theme among the teams, except for the Cowboys, is all have recently won a Super Bowl and experienced great success in the postseason.
Dr. Lewis said he uses data on: “attendance, revenues, social media following, and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest.” He uses three measures of fan engagement: fan equity (focusing on home ticket revenue); social media equity (support by joining social media communities); and road equity (how teams draw on the road after adjusting for team performance.”
While the NFC East is well represented (Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys); Lewis wondered if the Patriots will remain near the top, “when (Tom) Brady and (Bill) Belichick move on.”
On the other end of the spectrum were the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams. Lewis puts an asterisk on the Rams as they only recently moved to L.A. and are finally winning again, which will both help their rankings. He also said Kansas City is built to move up the rankings based on the team’s on-field performance.
If you’re wondering where your hometown Atlanta Falcons are on the list, they currently sit 13th, ahead of teams including: the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, and Buffalo Bills to name a few.
Atlanta is hurt by fan equity, or how much are fans willing to spend on the team and on social media equity. So, if Falcons fans want to move up these rankings, they need to open their wallets and help grow the Falcons’ social media footprint. Of course, another Super Bowl run wouldn’t hurt either!