The Arizona Cardinals may have been the worst team in the NFL last season, but the team doesn’t have the worst fans.
Emory professor Michael Lewis, a professor of marketing and faculty director of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center at the Goizueta Business School, recently released his annual ranking of NFL fan bases and the Cardinals’ fans come in at No. 25.
They also came in at No. 25 in 2018.
In 2015, Cardinals fans were ranked No. 19. In 2016, they slipped to No. 25. In 2017, they were No. 27.
Hey, at least it’s not No. 32.
That spot belongs to Arizona’s NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams.
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The Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs are the other teams whose fan bases are ranked behind the Cardinals.
How did he come up with the rankings?
Lewis wrote that he used “data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest.”
Lewis added that he used those models to determine which fan bases “are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.”
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Lewis said that he used three measures of fan engagement to craft his list: fan equity (which he described as home box office revenues), social equity (which he described as engagement level in social media communities) and road equity (which he described as measured fan support on the road). Then, using those three components, Lewis generated what he called a “Brand Equity Factor” to rank all 32 teams.
Of the bottom five teams in the rankings, Lewis wrote: “These teams all suffer from the same issues,” Lewis wrote, “relatively weak pricing power and limited social followings.”
The top fan bases in the NFL, according to Lewis’ study are the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.