Master of Science in Sport Management Online

The States/Teams with the Most Engaged Sports Fans

If you visit any sports bar in America, you’ll find at least a few highly engaged sports fans with their eyes trained on 50-inch television screens. However, some states and teams rise above the others for engagement and interest. Below, learn about some of the best examples of dedicated sports fans and states.

Indiana Sports Teams Boost Engagement Through Social Media and Data-Driven Marketing

Image via Flickr by Alberto Cabello Mayero

Some sports fans cultivate their own excitement surrounding a sports team, but in many cases, they get some help. For instance, Indiana takes fan engagement seriously, according to Tech Point editor Joshua Hall, launching social media campaigns and leveraging big data to sell more tickets to games and events.

Hall reported that the secret to success for Indiana’s sports teams might be in the teams’ willingness to collaborate. Instead of competing against one another, the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, and Indy Eleven show mutual support.

Tom Dunmore, Indy Eleven’s vice president of marketing, told Hall, “Everybody is competing for entertainment dollars just like the multiplex, but we have sold out our soccer games the same nights as sold out Pacers and Indians games.” Future sport managers and other sports professionals can follow Indiana’s lead and build robust social media marketing strategies.

Los Angeles Is Home to the Most Engaged Soccer Fans

While football and basketball might represent more popular options, soccer still captures fans’ hearts. Forbes staff writer Christina Settimi reported that the numbers don’t back up America’s reputation for poor soccer engagement. She names Los Angeles as the U.S. city with the most dedicated soccer fans, citing its considerable Hispanic population as one contributing factor. Los Angeles is home to both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Chivas USA, as well as many private leagues.

The Wisconsin Badgers Steal the Show in College Football Fan Interest

Not all dedicated fans stick with professional sports like the Pacers and the Galaxy. Fans of the Wisconsin Badgers — the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s football team — don’t let frigid Wisconsin winters keep them away from the stadium. They have several traditions that keep fan excitement high even on the coldest of nights, according to Alan Siegel of USA Today.

Siegel calls Madison the best college football town, citing the availability of good food and the picturesque nature of the town as reasons for its engagement level.

The Green Bay Packers Have the Most Dedicated Fan Base in Football

Wisconsin doesn’t lead the pack in college football fans only. The Green Bay Packers have “the most engaged local fan base in the NFL,” according to ESPN staff writer Rob Demovsky. The Packers dominated the Nielsen Scarborough ratings for four straight years and have ranked high on the list since 2006.

The Nielsen Scarborough ranks NFL teams based on the percentage of local adults the team can reach. The Packers came in at 84 percent with the New Orleans Saints trailing at 78 percent.

Sports fan engagement varies from one state to another — and often among individual teams. A dedicated fan base boosts revenue and keeps the game fun.