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Steelers fans ranked only ninth best

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 11:00 AM Written by 


Steelers fans are not going to like this. They perceive themselves as the best in the world. Research done by the Emory University business school, based on a complicated formula, has come up with findings that show the Steelers fans are not even the best in the NFL. In fact, they’re not the best in the AFC North.  For what it’s worth.

By Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi, Emory University


The NFL is America’s favorite professional sports league, but which of its teams has the most loyal and supportive fan base?  This is not a straightforward question.  A ranking based on attendance would be skewed toward teams that play in more populated metropolitan areas, and a ranking based on profitability or revenues would be biased in favor of teams that are currently enjoying more on-field success.


In our series of fan base analyses across leagues, we adjust for these complicating factors using a revenue premium model of fan equity.  The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors.  


The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables.  We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model.  Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases. We provide more details on the methodhere andhere.

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