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Emory study finds Patriots have NFL’s best fans

An Emory University study has determined the Patriots have the best fans in the NFL.
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An Emory University study has determined the Patriots have the best fans in the NFL.​

Professor Michael Lewis developed a “Dynamic Fan Equity” model that incorporates fans’ willingness to spend and activity on social media to gauge consumer behavior. The system controls for factors including market size and short–term performance variation to try and gauge the value of a team’s fan community.

The Patriots, Cowboys, Broncos, 49ers and Eagles compose the top five, in that order. 

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From the study:

The Patriots victory is driven by fans willingness to pay premium prices, strong attendance and phenomenal social media following. The final competition between the Cowboys and the Patriots was actually determined by the long-term value of the Patriots greater social following. The Patriots have about 2.4 million Twitter followers compared to 1.7 for the Cowboys. Of course this is all relative a team like the Jaguars has just 340 thousand followers.

The bottom five are the Bills, Rams, Chiefs, Raiders and the Jaguars, with Jacksonville in last.

At the bottom we have the Bills, Rams, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars. This is a similar list to last year. The Jags, for example, only filled 91% of capacity (ranked 27th) despite an average ticket price of just $57. The Chiefs struggle because the fan support doesn’t match the team’s performance. The Chiefs capacity utilization rate ranks 17th in the league despite a winning record and low ticket prices. The Raiders fans again finish low in our rankings. And every year the response is a great deal of anger and often threats.

Read the full study results here.