For the past three years, we have tried to answer the question of which teams have the "best" fans. "Best" is a funny word that can mean a lot of things but what we are really trying to get at is what team has the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans. The twist is that we are doing this using hard data, and that we are doing it in a very controlled and statistically careful fashion.
By hard data we mean data on actual fan behavior. In particular, we are focused on market outcomes like attendance, prices or revenues. A lot of marketing research focused on branding issues relies on things like consumer surveys. This is fine in some ways, but opinion surveys are also problematic. It’s one thing to just say you are a fan of a local team, and quite another to be willing to pay several thousand dollars to purchase a season ticket.
They acknowledge that their system isn't quite perfect, as there are too many variables to account for, so they supplement their financial data with social media data:
Our "Social Media Equity" measure is again based on an analysis of how strong each team’s social media following is after controlling for team quality and market characteristics. Social Media Equity therefore has some beneficial properties. Most importantly, it is not constrained by stadium capacities or team pricing policies. It also provides a means for capturing national level brand equity.
So where do the Texans rank?
The world's youngest NFL franchise clocks in at a respectable, though disappointing, 12th and 15th place, respectively. It's not that bad considering the Texans have only treated us to three winning seasons and two playoff berths.
It's interesting to note that teams like Oakland and Detroit are bottom 10 on the financial scale, but top 10 in social media. I suppose there's a lot more to talk about when your team is a garbage heap.
Read their full analysis of the data here --including their Top 10 most "Bandwagon" teams-- and react down below. Also detail how you plan on helping the Texans raise their score this year. Must be in essay form, double spaced with bibliography at the end. Good day.