According to a recent study from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, San Francisco 49er fans rank 26th in NFL fan equity.
Now, you might be wondering two things. First, what the heck is fan equity? And second, how do you even rank fan equity? The folks at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics define fan equity as measuring an NFL team’s loyalty and support from the fan base. The way they go about measuring this is by…well, I will let them explain:
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 method here and here.
Whew! Got that? Good.
Don’t worry if you were confused at first, because I was too. It took me about five reads to grasp how they ran their analysis. Equally confusing is how are the 49ers Faithful ranked all the way down at No. 26, sandwiched between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars?
Reading the study was very interesting, but it would have been helpful if they had provided a breakdown of each team and the analysis they found. One interesting tidbit about the list is all four of the NFC West Division teams rank in the bottom 10.