Just who has the most rabid following of fans in the NFL? And, as you might imagine, we’re also curious which teams are at the bottom of such a category, too? All of it was laid out in an annual study by Emory University in Atlanta and it includes, where the Bucs, the Dolphins and the Jaguars rank?
As a quick aside, if you’re a Jaguars fan, you’re pretty much always understanding of where you’re going to rank on one of these lists. This is particularly, with the Jags having been perennial losers for so long and the small market size they play in in North Florida.
That being written, it’s also not surprising to see the teams at the top of Emory’s list include the ultra-successful Patriots, as well as iconic brand name teams like the Cowboys and the Steelers. And, other obvious large-market teams like the Eagles and the Giants topping their list:
The @dallascowboys, @Patriots, @Eagles, @Giants, & @steelers top this year's #NFL rankings by Prof. Lewis. The @Bengals, @Jaguars, @Titans, @Chiefs, & @RamsNFL are on the bottom of the list. https://t.co/Fe2PePPDKF pic.twitter.com/zHvcmUgVss
— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 24, 2019
Where did the Bucs and the Dolphins rank? And just how far down the list are the Jags on the heels of having an awful 2018? Let’s take a look in a second, but first here’s the methodology behind what Emory did.
As one of the researchers who wrote the article supporting their findings, Michael Lewis lays out that they were specifically looking for three criteria to rank the teams. Those would be “Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity.”
Fan Equity is more on how much money does a team make revenue-wise from its fan base and its home games? Social Equity is the engagement of a team through social media, no matter wins or losses. And, Road Equity, according to the Emory study, focuses more on teams drawing on the road after adjusting for their performance.
Anybody that knows anything about that last component knows, whenever the Patriots, the Steelers or the Cowboys show up, there are legions of their fans guaranteed to be in your stadium and spending money.
So with that in mind, here’s a look at the full list:
— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 25, 2019
The Dolphins came in middle of the pack at 14th overall in the Emory study. It’s further interesting that they ranked 9th in Road Equity, even though Miami hasn’t been a perennial playoff team for years, and Dan Marino is long gone.
As for the Buccaneers, eight losing seasons in the last decade has beaten-down the home fan base and their ranking of 25th in the Fan Equity category helped put Tampa Bay at 23rd overall on the list. It is interesting that the Bucs scored very well, as a Road Equity in the Emory study, ranking as 11th in their methodology.
Then the Jaguars came in at 29th overall with a 30 in Fan Equity, and a likewise 30 in Social Engagement. Clearly, the Jacksonville market size is one of the smallest in the NFL and a bad 2018 season, even off of a playoff year two years ago, killed a lot of “the buzz”around the team.
You further take into account that the Jaguars have had a floundering quarterback in Blake Bortles at the helm, when so many other teams have a star that fans will gravitate to, and it’s obvious why Jacksonville was being hindered. They hope to now have that corrected with former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles having signed with Jacksonville in free agency.
It is interesting on the Emory Fandom list that the two at the bottom are the Chiefs and the Rams. That stirred up debate on the “NFL Total Access” show on Tuesday night, including analysts David Carr and Willie McGinest being puzzled by the Raiders and Chiefs being ranked so low on the list:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 26, 2019
It’s hard to grasp how Emory in their methodology has the Chiefs at 29 for Fan Equity when Arrowhead Stadium is known as one of the most raucous environments and the Chiefs were really good and sold out a year ago.
It’s much easier to understand that the Rams with competition in Los Angeles for the likes of: the Lakers, the Dodgers and obviously, Hollywood and entertainment would be dead last in Fan Equity or Social Engagement. Yet they were in the study. And, this despite the fact that L.A. won the NFC, and went to the Superbowl a year ago.
The bottom line is that winning is the key to everything, especially with fan support. And, for the three teams in Florida, or the rest of the NFL, you are only one good season away from changing your standing on lists like these.
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