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Giants No. 4 In 2017 NFL Brand Rankings

Yes, the Cowboys are No. 1

Each year at the beginning of the summer, the “NFL Fan Base and Brand Rankings” are released. Teams are ranked by specific criteria and then slotted from best to worst.

Michael Lewis of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University is the creator of the unofficial annual list. He is an associate professor of Marketing with an MBA, a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree. His expertise governs issues of consumer loyalty as well as methods for customer evaluations.

Lewis’ list concentrates on three strategic areas concerning NFL fan bases: Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity. And with these three areas he is able to formulate a calculation that determines which NFL clubs have the greatest fan bases. Interesting enough, he does not justify how smaller market teams such as Green Bay, Cincinnati and Jacksonville have an equal footing with the larger market franchises like New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.

But Lewis confides that his system of evaluation is relatively simple: take those three categories, place a number from low to high for each team, add the numbers together and then divide by three. The club with the smallest numbers are the best while a higher average nets the bottom of the directory.

First off, some explanation regarding each of the three categories. Fan Equity is noted as a fan’s willingness to support their team through the gate and merchandise sales, plus the purchase of premium tickets. Social Equity gauges the verbosity of how fans stand up for their team online plus “liking” their club amongst social media channels. Road Equity is a documentation of how clearly fans attend road games.

Every NFL team was ranked, with the NFC East a strong showing. Here’s the list:

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. New York Giants
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. New Orleans Saints
  7. Chicago Bears
  8. Denver Broncos
  9. Green Bay Packers
  10. San Francisco 49ers
  11. Indianapolis Colts
  12. Baltimore Ravens
  13. New York Jets
  14. Miami Dolphins
  15. Washington Redskins
  16. Buffalo Bills
  17. Carolina Panthers
  18. Seattle Seahawks
  19. Atlanta Falcons
  20. Oakland Raiders
  21. Detroit Lions
  22. Houston Texans
  23. Minnesota Vikings
  24. Los Angeles Chargers (via San Diego)
  25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  26. Cleveland Browns
  27. Arizona Cardinals
  28. Cincinnati Bengals
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars
  30. Tennessee Titans
  31. Los Angeles Rams
  32. Kansas City Chiefs

The only category that the Cowboys did not place first in was Social Equity (No. 2). The fact that Dallas is first annually in Road Equity is no surprise as the vast amount of fan presence in 1978 inspired writer Mike Ryan of NFL Films to label them “America’s Team.”

With the Social Equity category, the Eagles ranked sixth, the Giants 12th while the Redskins came in a paltry 29th. Every NFC East team did very well concerning the Road Equity group. While the Cowboys were number one, the Eagles were right behind them at the second slot with the Giants number four and Washington ninth. Giants fans are always highly visible at each and every Cowboys home game and make up a good portion of the gate.

Several enigmas are also listed, such as how the Chiefs have full houses every game yet rank dead last in Lewis’ list. Kansas City easily has the lowest ticket prices in the league in order to sell out their home games. Both the Broncos and Panthers ranked in the Top 5 of the Social Equity column, yet drew extremely poor with road presence. The 49ers netted the second slot in the Fan Equity classification, but had mediocre and poor rankings in the other two categories. One would think that the Seahawks and their self-proclaimed “12th Man” would dominate any list of rabid fandom. But apparently they only do well in their own stadium and are absent in others.

Whether this list is accurate or not, one thing rings true: NFC East fans are diligent in the support of their teams.

And they hate each other for it.