FRISCO — The Dallas Cowboys fans are the best in the NFL according to a study by Michael Lewis at Emory University.
The top five fan bases (team brands if you prefer) are the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Giants and Steelers. The Cowboys excel on all the metrics. They win in terms of Fan Equity (a revenue premium measure of brand strength), Road Equity and finish second in social media. The underlying data (I will spare everybody the statistical models) reveals why Dallas does so well. The Cowboy’s average home attendance (reported by ESPN) is more than 10,000 higher than the next team. The Cowboys average ticket price is also well above average and they have the second most Twitter followers after the Patriots. The other thing to note is that the Cowboys achieve these year in and year out , even in years when the team is not great.
The Cowboys lead the league in Lewis’ studies according to fan equity (home revenues relative to expected revenues based on team performance and market characteristics), social media equity (how many fans are online about the team), and road equity (how many fans show up for road games).
Lewis’ bottom-five franchises were Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.
The Chiefs are the tough one on this list. The Chiefs fill their stadium but at relatively low price. Keep in mind that the analysis includes factors such as population and median income. In addition, Kansas City was ranked 29th in terms of Road Attendance last year and the social media following (Twitter) is middle of the road. The fundamental issue is that that the Chiefs produce these below average fan-based results while performing well above average on the field.
Lewis findings reinforce, at least for 2017, that the Cowboys still are America’s Team.