Study Says Ravens Fans are AFC North’s Most Loyal

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A study by two students in Emory University’s Sports Marketing Analytics program says that Baltimore Ravens fans are the eighth most loyal in the NFL, and the most loyal among fans of the AFC North squads.

According to their research, Dallas Cowboys fans are the most loyal, followed by New England Patriots fans, New York Jets fans, and New Orleans Saints fans. Supporters of the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears come in just ahead of the purple faithful at #6 and #7, respectively, while Steelers fans and and Titans fans round out the top 10.

As for the rest of the division, Cincy and Cleveland fans come in at #19 and #20.

While any list that ranks Ravens fans above Steelers fans is obviously accurate, just how did the students come to their conclusions? Here’s what they say:

A ranking based on attendance would be skewed toward teams that play in more populated metropolitan areas, and a ranking based on profitability or revenues would be biased in favor of teams that are currently enjoying more on-field success.

In our series of fan base analyses across leagues, we adjust for these complicating factors using a revenue premium model of fan equity.  The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors.  The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables.  We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model.  Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases.

So basically, they use fan demographics, team success, and a few other things to predict box office revenues for that team, then compare that prediction to actual revenue. If actual revenue exceeds their model, than a fan base is “more loyal.”

Here’s the entire list:

1. Dallas Cowboys

2. New England Patriots

3. New York Jets

4. New Orleans Saints

5. New York Giants

6. Indianapolis Colts

7. Chicago Bears

8. Baltimore Ravens

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Tennessee Titans

11. San Diego Chargers

12. Denver Broncos

13. Washington Redskins

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Carolina Panthers

16. Houston Texans

17. Philadelphia Eagles

18. Minnesota Vikings

19. Cincinnati Bengals

20. Cleveland Browns

21. Kansas City Chiefs

22. St. Louis Rams

23. Seattle Seahawks

24. Buffalo Bills

25. Miami Dolphins

26. San Francisco 49ers

27. Jacksonville Jaguars

28. Detroit Lions

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30. Arizona Cardinals

31. Atlanta Falcons

32. Oakland Raiders

I don’t know how much stock I put in these rankings (except, of course, Ravens fans being above Steelers fans). Some of the teams seem much lower than their reputation suggests – Green Bay, Oakland, Buffalo, and Cleveland jump out – while others seem to get a bit too much credit.

For instance, take the Patriots (#2) and the Giants (#5). New York and Boston are both metropolises, with huge populations to draw from. Both squads have won multiple Super Bowl titles in the last decade-plus. Is revenue at the Giants and Patriots box offices really exceeding the model’s predictions by that much?

Well, apparently so.

As far as Cowboys fans being number one – sure, why not? They haven’t won anything since their 90′s dynasty, but that blue star is still everywhere. Good on ya, “America’s Team.”

To conclude, let’s just focus on what matters here – the Ravens come out ahead of the Steelers – and Browns, and Bengals – yet again.

What do you think of the loyalty rankings produced by this study?

h/t USA Today Sports

This entry was posted in Blog View by Derek Arnold. Bookmark the permalink.

About Derek Arnold

Derek Arnold
RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek’s work has...more

9 Raves on “Study Says Ravens Fans are AFC North’s Most Loyal

  1. skaughtz on said:

    I’m okay with all of them but the Pats and Giants, for exactly the reasons you stated. Boston fans especially would burn Gillette Stadium to the ground with Brady and Belichick inside if it guaranteed another championship for the Red Sox. I don’t quite get why the Colts are higher than us, but having permanently distanced myself from that franchise I can’t argue anything other than to say that Bob Irsay can rot in hell.

  2. Dave on said:

    Over all seems reasonable except for a few.

    I agree that the Green Bay Packers should be higher in the list. (After all, many fans are co-owners of the team and have a vested interest). On the other hand, its not an extremely large population compared to some other areas.

    The Colts? I don’t believe it.

  3. Jay on said:

    Colts really higher than us? If it wasn’t for Peyton they would have moved decades ago, we all know that. They are soft fans, we are much more loyal and hard core! Cowboys are basically bandwagonners just like the Steeler fans. They are everywhere and we have the quality vs quantity thing vs both of those teams. The Saints wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Brees revitalizing them and I seriously doubt the Patriots would be there if it wasn’t for Bellicheat and Marcia Brady. Silly Tuck Rule and videoing their first Super Bowl makes me discount that first Super Bowl victory and well can’t stand Kraft for wanting to put a football team in London. Would you still call it the NFL?????

  4. Chris on said:

    I don’t put much stock into any list that has the Colts fan base in the top 10. During their suck for luck campaign you could hear a pen drop in that stadium. Indy is historically a very fickle fan base. They got no love for their team unless it is winning. Hate the Steelers as we may, because goodness knows they have a ton of bandwagon fans, they also have a ton of diehards that are there through thick and thin.

  5. Erika on said:

    I agree with this for the most part, but two HUGE areas missing from their analysis would have to be the amount of people that watch the games on TV or online as well as the revenue from licensed/unlicensed products. Just because the stadium revenue isn’t over the predicted value doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching the game or purchasing products, both high indicators of loyalty.

  6. Unibomber on said:

    That’s fine and all but those ranking are obviously crap. I remember us going to Foxboro last year and taking over the stadium by half time. And if they (patriots) had just one losing season, watch out. You’ll be trampled by the defectors.

  7. jws on said:

    What a joke! Do not know who these “KIDS” are but where do they get their accuracy from to release all these stats? What are the bases for these numbers? The most loyal fans are the ones that go to away games and buy NFL gear. Steelers ( I am not a fan), Ravens, then Patriots , Giants followed by all the rest. I deal with many people where I live with so many fans and their teams that are loyal to their teams when writing for my website. The facts as far as winning this year…. not fan loyalty is ;
    Denver ( where were they on this survey?) ,Ravens, Denver, Cinn, Texans ( no fans? ),patriots with Pittsburg fans wanted to make the playoffs but a 50% winning season at best many have a chance at wild cards like K.C. ( that as far as fan loyalty must be ranked high with all their straight sell outs). Surveys are like opinions, everybody has one!

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