“America’s Team” has America’s best fans, while the Kansas City Chiefs have one of the worst fan bases in the NFL.
Those are two of the conclusions drawn by a new study — and it has created quite a bit of controversy.
The NFL Fandom Report 2019, conducted by Mike Lewis, a professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, said the Dallas Cowboys have the best fan base, followed by the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.
In this annual evaluation, Lewis looked at three measures of fan engagement: Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity.
“Fan Equity focuses on home box office revenues … Social Media Equity focuses on fan willingness to engage as part of a team’s community … Road Equity focuses on how teams draw on the road after adjusting for team performance,” he wrote on his website.
“To get at an overall ranking, I use a statistical tool that looks at the correlation across the three metrics to create a ‘Brand Equity Factor,'” Lewis said.
The top five are unchanged from the past two years. Rounding out the Top 10 are the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.
It’s the bottom five that have generated the most buzz: the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, with the defending NFC champion Rams ranking last.
“These teams all suffer from the same issues — relatively weak pricing power and limited social followings,” Lewis wrote.
“The Chiefs are the team that will generate push back,” he said. “The Chiefs have had some success and they have significant star power. The problem is that the Chiefs lack pricing power and do not have much of a social following (I use Twitter). However, the Chiefs and Browns are probably the best positioned teams to make moves up the charts the next few years.”
Lewis was right about the pushback over Kansas City at No. 31.
Reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes couldn’t believe it.
Wait what?!? Heck no https://t.co/mazHQB2emE
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 24, 2019
Even fans from other teams shot down the idea that Chiefs fans are second-worst in the league.
Whoever wrote this article has never been to Arrowhead
— Jordan Payton (@LEGIQN) June 24, 2019
@GageKiesling as a life long Broncos fan even I know Chiefs fans at 31 makes this study a joke
— Ryan Goodwin (@rgoodwin5) June 24, 2019
Spend a Sunday in the fall at Arrowhead and tell me the Chiefs have the 31st best fans in the NFL https://t.co/YNYHkt9LVi
— Austin Hurst (@ahurst07) June 25, 2019
Yeahp even as a @Patriots fan I 100% agree. This has to be a joke
— Keith Klay Roop (@Klaylurkin) June 24, 2019
One reason the Chiefs’ ranking was so surprising is that Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Chiefs fans are actually in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2014, they broke the Seattle Seahawks record by reaching 142.2 decibels — the loudest ever.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 30, 2014
The Chiefs might have a low “Brand Equity Factor” based on the metrics this study uses, but Arrowhead is the last place any opponent wants to play because of the noise produced by Kansas City’s rabid fans.
That should count for a lot more than social media posts.
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