From teams to venues to players and even mascots, the sports industry is all in on social media. And for good reason: fans are eating it up. 175.5 million sports fans interacted with posts for Super Bowl LI alone and the majority of younger fans use social media to consume sports as opposed to mainstream sites or apps. All teams are not made equal on social media, however.
Umbel’s CEO Lisa Pearson recently ranked the pro teams with the largest followings for Adweek…with a couple of caveats. First, we limited ourselves to two teams from each sport, mostly because soccer is massive enough that it would otherwise dominate the top 10. We didn’t stop there, though.
For each team, we pulled fan insights out of the Umbel platform, including:
Top like: The most common like among the team’s Facebook fans (using an anonymous subset of followers).
Second favorite team: The sports team with the highest affinity among the team’s fans (other than the team itself, of course).
Social MVP: The player with the highest affinity on the team’s roster—teams should really care about this one. The average value of the top player, Cristiano Ronaldo, on our top team, Real Madrid, produced an average value of $1.6 million for sponsors for a single post.
What’d we find? First off, fans love players almost as much as they love their teams (though NHL players don’t have the popularity of other sports). Next, while some teams’ second favorite teams are other local teams in other sports, others like the Miami Heat like rival teams almost as much, showing the power of star players moving around. Also, Yankees fans love Eminem—yep, even more than Derek Jeter.
Check out our infographic with the top 10 below, and subscribe to our blog to get our league-specific social power rankings in the coming weeks.