With the first World Series matchup between 100-win teams since 1970, fans on both sides are ready for a Series win—the LA Dodgers last won in 1988 and the Houston Astros look for their first ever win. Last year’s World Series brought over 150 million interactions on Facebook alone, and we expect a massive amount this year, whether on Instagram Stories in the ballpark, Snapchats from the bar, or furious tweets from the couch.
But what else gets Dodgers and Astros fans excited? How can teams keep that social excitement going long after the dust has settled? We jumped into the Umbel platform to take a look at a large sample of followers from each team, using Facebook brand affinities to find out what makes each team’s fans unique and what gets them going.
Both Dodgers and Astros fans love McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, but their hearts truly belong to local fast food chains.
For the LA Dodgers, it’s Cali favorite In-N-Out, which is the top fast food affinity for fans. That shouldn’t be too surprising, earning the highest loyalty rating earlier this year across the nation for fast food restaurants.
Astros fans go for regional chain Whataburger (or as local Houstonians pronounce it, “Waterburger”…don’t ask). While In-N-Out hasn’t made it to Houston yet, Whataburger has over 50 locations in the city.
There are a few artists that show up high in affinities across both Astros and Dodgers fans, including top 40 hitmakers like Taylor Swift, Eminem, and The Weeknd. Once we compared the two side-to-side though, we found some unique affinities in each.
One of Dodgers fans’ top artists is Tupac Shakur. Tupac, who was one of the top West Coast rappers in the 90s, has nearly twice the following among Dodgers fans than Astros fans. Dr. Dre, who featured on Tupac’s “California Love,” also has twice the following.
Country legend George Strait has a huge following among Astros fans. The King of Country is the third highest affinity for Astros fans, but barely registers for the Dodgers.
For theme parks and events, unsurprisingly Disneyland, just an hour from Dodger Stadium, makes the top of the list for LA fans. It has nearly three times the followers of other local attractions Universal Studios and Six Flags.
Yeehaw! Astros fans live up to cowboy stereotypes, with RODEOHOUSTON high above Walt Disney World (second) and Disneyland (a far third, and surprisingly above Texas-headquartered Six Flags).
Dos Equis, which ranks highest in beer affinities for Dodgers fans, also ranks among fans of other California teams like the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and the Golden State Warriors.
Like with most other MLB teams, Bud Light tops beers for the Houston Astros. Anheuser-Busch, who brews Bud Light has a tight partnership with the MLB, including customized team cans.
When analyzing followers of a baseball team, you might expect the top athlete to be from that team, but Astros fans and Dodgers have in common that the biggest stars aren’t in baseball.
Nearly a quarter of Dodgers fans like Kobe Bryant on Facebook. Bryant, who made the Lakers his home for nearly twenty years still holds a special place in LA sports fans’ hearts.
J.J. Watt has had a much shorter career so far, but still tops out for Astros fans. He was going into his seventh season with the Houston Texans this year before a leg injury took him out of the season.
No matter who comes out on top this Series, the teams that use this data strategically (e.g., drive fans to favorite foods during the series—looking at you, Dodger Burger, have George Strait sing the national anthem, run a RODEOAUSTIN sweepstakes), are able to understand fans, and know what they want will be the ones to keep them engaged and buying tickets all season long.