There are few fanbases that eat, sleep and breath their team the same way the Oakland Raiders’ fan base does. However, according to a business professor from Emory University, the Raiders’ fan base is ranked 17th best in the league. The Denver Broncos are the only AFC West team ranked ahead of the Raiders and the Kansas Chiefs are ranked second worst. The study by Dr. Mike Lewis measured things like fan equity, social equity and road equity to determine the rankings.
“Each year, I do a quantitative analysis of NFL fandom,” said Lewis in his piece. “The analysis is grounded in economic and marketing theory, and uses statistical tools to shed light on the question of which teams have the most loyal or ‘best’ fans.”
Lewis goes on to say that “team brands” might be a better way to look at these rankings. Essentially, what teams are most profitable. Things like passion are hard to measure in science, which Lewis will likely be made well aware of by many irked fan bases. The Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Giants and Steelers were the big winners as they all ranked in the top five. A lot of the teams ranked in the bottom half of the list have one thing in common and it’s that they haven’t been consistently good for quite a while. Winning helps build a brand and the fact the Raiders are ranked as high as 17 after only one winning season in over a decade could be considered a win.
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The study is more so an economic study. The Raiders are ranked number 18 on Forbes’ NFL Team Valuation list, which likely didn’t help them in Lewis’ study. With a move to Las Vegas looming and a shiny new stadium being built, that should drastically help the Raiders become a more valuable franchise. While Raider nation probably doesn’t care about what a bunch of professors and businessmen think of their fan base, they should be happy that they at least ranked ahead of hated rivals like the Chargers and Chiefs.
To endure as many years of misery and losing as the Raiders fan base has is admirable. The Raiders have fans all over the country and they aren’t going anywhere. Raider fans are used to getting hate from multiple outlets, so they’ll just have to go out and prove them wrong. Once the Raiders make their way to Vegas and start putting up more wins, they’ll fly up lists like these ones in no time.