August 24, 2020

AtlasIndex: New report shows which NFL teams providing most value on social

nfl stadium at night

On the verge of an NFL season that promises to be unique in many ways – most notably with dramatically fewer fans in the stands – teams are finding different ways of staying in touch with their fans. What matters most is how effectively the team engages with its fan base and that it provides proper asset valuation to its sponsors.

SportsAtlas has taken some of those metrics and provided an AtlasIndex Score, which compares various metrics against the league’s average for that data point. Using that information, it’s easier to spot trends and see which properties are excelling – and which ones are not – in terms of keeping their fans engaged as the season approaches.

For example, by looking at the top five teams on the Twitter Engagement AtlasIndex, the Cincinnati Bengals are at the top of the list. Which makes sense, considering that no. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow has energized that fan base. But what’s more interesting is to see that the three of the five teams in that top group had losing records last year, which means that they’re engaging well with their fans despite headwinds on the field. Those teams have a better chance of turning that engagement into sponsor revenue or merchandise sales despite not having a strong on-field product in 2019.

In looking at the YoY Growth AtlasIndex, that’s a little more straight-forward. The Chiefs lead the pack, which is hardly a surprise considering they’re coming off a Super Bowl win. But the Buccaneers (Tom Brady’s arrival), Ravens (Lamar Jackson’s MVP season) and Titans (surprising run to the AFC title game) also have great stories to tell.

In analyzing the Ticket Transaction Value, we see how teams stack up to their competitors at the box office. We also see that some teams are going to feel the pinch of empty stands more than others. Those teams will need to capitalize on their social audience and sponsored content even more in an attempt to make up lost revenue. The Patriots and Cowboys, respectively, are the top teams in terms of total fan engagement and ticket transaction value, but both have shown smaller growth as a percentage of their overall social footprint than most of their peers this year.

For more insights like these and detailed sponsorship mapping of the entire sports industry, set up a demo here.

TeamTotal Followers AtlasIndexYoY Growth AtlasIndexFB Engagement AtlasIndexIG Engagement AtlasIndexTW Engagement AtlasIndexTicket Transaction Value
Atlanta Falcons0.90x0.70x0.78x1.18x0.53x1.01x
Baltimore Ravens0.88x2.50x1.08x1.20x1.18x0.85x
Buffalo Bills0.43x1.45x2.31x1.19x1.62x0.62x
Carolina Panthers1.15x0.28x0.87x0.59x0.20x0.86x
Chicago Bears1.15x0.55x0.46x0.74x0.54x1.60x
Cincinnati Bengals0.40x0.78x1.64x1.61x3.23x0.47x
Cleveland Browns0.67x0.95x0.54x0.90x0.90x0.92x
Dallas Cowboys2.63x0.84x0.52x0.93x0.73x1.72x
Denver Broncos1.29x-0.25x0.77x0.91x0.46x1.50x
Detroit Lions0.62x0.51x0.51x0.55x0.41x0.68x
Green Bay Packers1.52x0.83x0.43x0.95x0.53x1.47x
Houston Texans0.85x0.74x0.35x0.50x0.25x0.96x
Indianapolis Colts0.62x0.51x0.66x1.07x1.26x0.65x
Jacksonville Jaguars0.29x1.07x0.71x0.96x0.66x0.58x
Kansas City Chiefs0.96x4.27x3.52x1.34x2.79x1.11x
Las Vegas Raiders1.05x0.60x1.32x0.88x1.12x0.65x
Los Angeles Chargers0.53x0.60x0.85x0.95x2.11x0.58x
Los Angeles Rams0.48x1.97x1.58x1.06x0.79x0.87x
Miami Dolphins0.71x0.44x0.49x0.54x0.69x0.74x
Minnesota Vikings0.76x1.25x0.75x1.59x0.77x1.00x
New England Patriots2.65x0.60x0.34x0.69x0.37x2.13x
New Orleans Saints1.21x1.31x1.05x0.98x0.95x1.50x
New York Giants1.29x0.25x0.37x0.77x0.69x1.03x
New York Jets0.64x0.00x0.84x0.95x1.41x0.85x
Philadelphia Eagles1.50x0.42x0.80x1.02x0.78x1.35x
Pittsburgh Steelers2.03x0.47x1.12x1.94x0.43x1.04x
San Francisco 49ers1.38x1.83x1.39x1.19x1.26x1.07x
Seattle Seahawks1.44x0.66x0.87x0.90x0.88x1.28x
Tampa Bay Buccaneers0.42x3.02x1.77x1.23x1.35x0.64x
Tennessee Titans0.42x2.26x1.34x0.95x0.84x0.79x
  • Total Followers AtlasIndex = Sum of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followers, indexed against league average
  • YoY Growth AtlasIndex = Growth in total followers from Aug. 2019 to July 2020, indexed against league average
  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Engagement AtlasIndex = Interactions per average post, indexed against league average
  • Ticket transaction value calculated using average costs across both the primary and secondary markets from the 2019 season. For the primary market, the average cost represents the weighted average price across each team's general seating categories. The average weighted price factors number of seats sold for each category with the cost for each seating category to "weight" pricing by percentage of the total number.
In the analysis below, the teams with larger bubbles do the best job of driving engagement with their social followers. The further right on the x-axis, the greater the total following. The higher up on the y-axis, the greater the YoY follower growth. So, for example, the Patriots and Cowboys unsurprisingly have the largest overall social followings, but based on YoY growth, the Chiefs are leading the pack.  The passion of Steeler Nation comes through in their impressive 1st-place ranking in engagement, despite the lack of on-field success last season.
It’s important to assess the correlation between these various metrics and to determine what opportunities there are for teams, and their brand  partners, to capitalize on growth and strong engagement.  Let’s walk through a few quick examples to keep an eye on over the coming season:
  • The Raiders rank 8th in Team Engagement AtlasIndex, but 18th in YoY Growth AtlasIndex.  Can they translate this strong engagement and the move to Vegas into greater fan growth, thus leading to improved revenue opportunities (through sponsored content, merchandise sales, etc.)?
  • The Buccaneers rank 2nd in YoY Growth AtlasIndex, but 20th in Team Engagement AtlasIndex.  Will content around Tom Brady help reinvigorate and reengage the fan base, leading to heightened engagement similar to the effect Joe Burrow has had on the Bengals?
  • Who will be this year’s Tennessee Titans?  And how can the Titans, as well as any 2020 doppelganger, turn surprising on-field success into not only growth in followers but sustainable, long-term success?

Team Engagement Index: Mapped Against Total Followers and YoY Follower Growth

Team Engagement Index: Mapped Against Total Followers and YoY Follower Growth