View Full Version : FanSection Reveals Which NFL Teams Have the Most Die-Hard Online Fans

01-20-2009, 08:49 PM
FanSection Reveals Which NFL Teams Have the Most Die-Hard Online Fans

NFL teams have amassed impressive fan followings -- the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, which ranks professional sports team franchises according to brand loyalty, includes four NFL teams in its top five and seven in the top 20. The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts are also among the top 20 FanSection communities further demonstrating that the NFL is king in American sports.

As sports teams' online presence continues to become more of a factor in offline success -- cultivating and engaging die-hard fans online who will drive sales and TV viewership offline -- fan participation on the Web will be a key metric for determining team brand loyalty. FanSection has kept a close eye on its NFL fan communities throughout the playoffs and uncovered some rising trends.

Trends Across NFL Teams

As they prepare to face off in Super Bowl XLIII, Pittsburgh Steelers fans appear to have a decided advantage over Arizona Cardinals fans in the FanSection community, outnumbering them 374,727 to 31,888.

Steelers fans are rallying support more than their counterparts, as demonstrated by the 30,000 Super Bowl fan waves they have passed on to their friends compared to 4,000 by Cardinals fans.

Of the playoff teams, the Steelers, Giants and Colts showed the most consistent fan base -- monthly active users have fluctuated no more than 10 to 15 percent -- indicating fans are accustomed to the playoffs. Conversely, Eagles and Cardinals fans rallied around their teams' surprising playoff run -- monthly active fans increased by 600% and 1500% respectively.

The FanSection Top Fives for the '08-09 NFL season

Most popular NFL playoff teams by total FanSection fans along with their increase since August 2008:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - 374,727 fans - 110%

2. Philadelphia Eagles - 304,266 fans - 194%

3. Indianapolis Colts - 233,138 fans - 51%

4. New York Giants - 225,642 fans - 71%

5. San Diego Chargers - 122,441 fans - 111%

Most active fans along with key examples demonstrating engagement:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - over 400,000 fan waves

2. Dallas Cowboys - over 40,000 discussion posts

3. Philadelphia Eagles - over 300,000 fan waves

4. Washington Redskins - over 20,000 discussion posts

5. Green Bay Packers - over 20,000 instances of game day smack talk

About FanSection


Watercooler, Inc.'s FanSection community is the largest online community of passionate sports fans with over 600 communities and 17 million users across top sites including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, hi5, and Yahoo!. Users visit the FanSection community to engage with other fans, play trivia games, and interact with opponents.

Quotes, attributable to Watercooler executives:


"The passion of fans is what drives the sports industry, and the ability to gauge how fans are interacting with team brands is invaluable," said Kevin Chou, CEO of Watercooler. "FanSection allows us to see the trends in fan engagement, conversations and visceral reactions that determine which teams are getting the most support, and we are beginning to work with teams from various leagues on how best to use that data. We also work with our advertising partner, Federated Media, to develop integrated campaigns with marketers and advertisers that allow them to more effectively target sports fans."

"Sports fans don't always act the way we expect," said Bryan Bennett, senior director of marketing for Watercooler. "For example, the New England Patriots have the largest NFL user base, but are virtually non-existent when it comes to community engagement. Given last year's playoff run and a very respectable record this season, it's surprising. Clearly superior user numbers aren't always the best indicator of how fans will rally support around their favorite teams."

Please contact Marie Williams at watercoolerpr@shiftcomm.com or 415-591-8416 to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

01-21-2009, 09:40 AM
No surprises...but what a weak showing by the Cards. Pathetic.

01-21-2009, 09:47 AM
No surprises...but what a weak showing by the Cards. Pathetic.

They are mostly a bunch of Bandwagoners. Arizona isn't a place where people grow up and raise a familyit's a place people go when they retire, for a winter vacation, go to college, and go for spring training baseball.

01-21-2009, 04:38 PM
Hey, thanks for posting our press release. Steelers fans are definitely kicking the crap out of Cardinals fans in our Facebook applications. If you're on Facebook and want to join other Steelers fans, click here: http://apps.facebook.com/steelers. There's a great forum there called Game Day Central where you can talk smack with Cardinals fans.