Earlier this week, while perusing every ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and NFL-related blog article I could find (hey, it’s not every week your hometown team makes the Super Bowl!), I came across some fascinating information regarding NFL loyalties as measured by Facebook “likes.”
Facebook’s Data Science team released this nationwide analysis of NFL team “likes,” color-coding every county in the U.S. to reflect the team that had the most fans in that particular county. Take a look:
Source: Facebook Data Science (https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-science/nfl-fans-on-facebook/10151298370823859)
As media professionals, we evaluate numerous sports-related proposals in many different markets. Though in some cases, sports associations are obvious “no-brainers” based on geography, it is not always clear cut. For example, Media Works places media in both Dallas and Houston, and I have always wondered how rest of the state of Texas cheers come football season – at what point between Dallas and Houston does the tide change? The Cowboys have been around much longer than the Texans, so I figured they’d have a slightly higher fan base … but look at all that Cowboy land! Not only does nearly all of Texas root for Dallas, but nearly all of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas do too.
According to the summary, over 35 million Facebook users have “liked” an NFL team page, and the number grows each year during the playoffs. In the media world, where data is a huge factor in making media-based decisions, sample size can be very important. A pool like that showing so many states where Cowboy loyalty dominates is a dream come true!
The author also provides maps showing remaining teams through each round of the playoffs. Below is a preview of how the country will be cheering this Sunday for the Super Bowl. Looks like the Ravens are the underdogs, but I hope the East Coast ends up happier than the West Coast!