Study Says Ravens Fans are AFC North’s Most Loyal

Street Talk 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

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Derek Arnold

About 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 tells anybody who asks that he has the best job in the world.
Follow Derek on Twitter: @BMoreBirdsNest 

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