The Emory Sports Marketing Analytics program (their motto: “Bringing Analytics to Sports Marketing.” Well, duh.) recently published the first of a multi-part study of how fans perceive their teams, sort of an :If you sell it, will they buy” exercise.
Who are the best fan bases in Major League Baseball? A quick Google search of “best MLB fan bases” produces more than a million results. Specific rankings are published by entities ranging from news organizations to ticket brokers. In general, these rankings are based more on subjective opinion than data and analysis. In contrast, we take a 100% data-driven approach.
That said, we readily acknowledge that fan base analysis is a complex topic. Our core metric is something we term “fan equity.” This metric is based created using a revenue-premium model of brand equity. This model is driven by the financial support shown by fans conditional on team performance and market characteristics. This approach has significant advantages in that it is based on spending behavior and not driven by short variations in winning. But, the revenue-premium approach is not perfect. Therefore, this year we will be publishing a number of rankings (and providing descriptions of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach).
First up: “Fans & Social Media Equity.”
Wow, as a Mets devotee, that doesn’t look good. This is how the report calculated fan equity: “The basic approach is to develop a statistical model of team revenues based on team performance and market characteristics. We then compare the forecasted revenues from this model for each team to actual revenues. When teams actual revenues exceed predicted revenues, we take this as evidence of superior fan support.”
The next Emory post will consider an “analyses of fan base sensitivity to winning and pricing.” I predict the Mets will not top the list.