The Dawg Pound is going to be barking over this one.
In the latest NFL Fandom Report by Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, the Cleveland Browns fans rank toward the bottom of fanbases at No. 27 overall.
The primary purpose of the study was the find the NFL’s “best” fans by studying a variety of factors. Among those were fan equity, social equity and road equity.
Professor Michael Lewis, who posted the report, gave a brief rundown of what went into the rankings.
My approach to evaluating fan bases uses data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest (more details here). The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing
The categories are fairly self-explanatory. Fan equity is how much fans actually invest in their team with dollars, from jerseys to season tickets. Until recently, the Browns haven’t had too much to cheer about, having suffered a winless season in 2017. However, with young and established stars like Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett on the roster, this could change in a big way the coming years.
Social equity is based on social media reach of a team’s fan base. The Cleveland fans made the most headway in the area, ranking No. 16 thanks to their active social media presence.
Road equity is based off of how a team draws while away from their home stadium. While the Dawg Pound is loaded up on Sundays at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns aren’t the greatest of draws at away stadiums. However, just like the categories above, this is likely to change in a hurry with the expectations and excitement surrounding the Browns.
The Steelers are the top ranked AFC North squad at No. 5 overall, followed by the Ravens at No. 18. The Bengals are one spot below the Browns at No. 28.
The Los Angeles Rams, who are entering their fourth year back on the West Coast following a relocation from St. Louis, received the worst ranks nearly across the board. Surprisingly, the Kanas City Chiefs and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes were also among the basement dwellers.
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