Major league sport is adored across the country, with each of the NBA, NFL, and NHL promising fast-paced drama and high-stakes excitement. But what about when the season ends, and the weeks are no longer brimming with sporting action?
With the NFL break well underway and the ice hockey and basketball seasons following suit, sports betting site Betway decided to reveal the major league fanbases who continue to offer the best support over the summer. Of course, it goes without saying that while those supporters who score highly can be considered seriously committed, this doesn’t mean that those who score poorly aren’t.
So, without further ado, read on to discover which NBA, NFL, and NHL franchises have the most dedicated fanbases.
The most supportive NBA fans
Comparing social media and online activity during the 2022 offseason, we can reveal that the Golden State Warriors have the most dedicated fans, with a supporter score of 98.54 out of 100. This news will unlikely come as any consolation for supporters, who will still be lamenting their team missing out on the NBA Finals later this month.
In fact, the Warriors recorded more Google searches between July and mid-October than any other franchise (42.4 million), and the highest rate of social media growth. Their profile actually grew by an astonishing 29.6 per cent in the offseason alone – though, this may have something to do with the team previously earning a fourth NBA championship in eight years.
Next up, the Boston Celtics have the second-most supportive fans, with an index score of 79.82, helped along by supporters posting an incredible 631,885 times in the months before the 2022/23 season started. The Celtics were also the subject of over 34.3 million Google searches and saw their social media profile grow by 17.82 per cent during the offseason. This followed a relatively successful 2021/22 campaign, that saw the team reach just their third NBA Finals in 36 years.
In third, we have the iconic Los Angeles Lakers, who record a supporter score of 62.58. Delving into the data, the Lakers top the chart when it comes to the number of offseason fan posts (almost 650,000), while also seeing over 15.3 million team-related Google searches. With a legacy of high-performing and star-studded line-ups – even if they have only won one championship since 2010 – it’s no surprise that the Lakers are consistently near the top of every list.
The most supportive NFL fans
With the Super Bowl done and dusted, NFL fans have a long time to wait until the regular season starts again. But that doesn’t mean commitment levels drop, and there are actually a few close contenders for the most supportive fanbases during the offseason.
With a supporter score of 59.43 out of 100, the fans of the Buffalo Bills take top spot. This comes as the Bills’ official social media profiles recorded a 44.63 per cent increase in followers between February and September 2022, ahead of other New York franchises the Jets (14.27 per cent) and Giants (11.95 per cent). Incidentally, the Bills were also the subject of 1.5 million Google searches during the last offseason, the fourth most of any team.
This rise in popularity is likely due to the team’s table-topping success, following consecutive AFC East titles (which has since become three in a row), with all eyes now firmly fixed on finally winning the ultimate prize.
Next up, the Dallas Cowboys come away with a supporter score of 59.01. They earn their place among the more supportive fans, thanks to a remarkable 453,514 team-related social media posts during the offseason period, as well as more Google searches than any other franchise (3.35 million). In contrast, state rivals the Houston Texans scored just 19.37.
In third, last year’s losing Super Bowl finalists the Philadelphia Eagles earn an offseason supporter score of 58.11. Despite not winning so much as a division title since 2019, fans were clearly buoyed and in strong spirits ahead of the new season, posting no fewer than 675,021 times between February and September 2022. This contributed to the team’s official social media channels recording an impressive growth of 21.53 per cent, placing the Eagles behind only the Bills and Bengals.
The most supportive NHL fans
Looking at NHL franchise support during the offseason, one team in particular is way out in front. With an index score of 92.11 out of 100, we can officially crown Colorado Avalanche fans as the best in the league.
Diving into the data, the Avalanche recorded more Google searches between July and October 2022 (1.5 million) and a greater influx in social media followers than any other team (22.29 per cent) – though, many of those may have jumped on the bandwagon following playoff and Stanley Cup success last summer!
Next up, the New York Rangers registered an index score of 63.44. While they sit quite some way behind the Avalanche, Rangers fans have earned a place among the best supporters, thanks to the sheer number of team-related fan posts in the offseason (469,146) – more than any other hockey franchise – and boasting the fourth-greatest rate of social media follower growth (14.2 per cent) in the same period. Incredibly, the franchise has only managed to reach (and lose) one championship game since 1994, highlighting the fanbase’s continued commitment despite a lack of success.
In third, trailing closely behind, we have the Edmonton Oilers, with a supporter score of 56.03. Crunching the numbers, between July and October 2022, only the Avalanche recorded more Google searches than the Oilers (1.22 million), while they also registered the fourth-most fan posts (248,091) and grew their social media following by almost 10 per cent. Again, just like the Rangers, this has all come despite a lack of recent success.
Although the sporting season is almost over for another year, it’s incredible to see the support each franchise receives even in the offseason. As we wait for yet another season to begin, check out all the latest sporting news.
To determine which NBA, NFL, and NHL teams have the most supportive fans during the offseason, we sourced three metrics:
- Total number of fan posts during offseason: the number of social media posts mentioning each team. Data collected using the social listening tool Linkfluence.
- Total Google searches during the offseason: data collected using Google Keyword Planner.
- Online fanbase growth (as a percentage): data collected using HypeAuditor.
For each factor, each franchise was ranked against the other teams in their respective sport and assigned a relative value between 0-1. Scores for each factor were combined, to give each team a score between 0-3, which was multiplied by 33.33 to provide a score out of 100. Each NBA, NFL, and NHL team was then ranked against the other teams in their sport.
Data is correct as of 05/22/2023.