Holy listicle — The Green Bay Packers placed 14th in a new study of football fan consumer loyalty, behind the Dallas Cowboys (1), the New England Patriots (2), the New York Jets (3), the New Orleans Saints (4), the New York Giants (5), the Indianapolis Colts (6), the Chicago Bears (7), the Baltimore Ravens (8), the Pittsburgh Steelers (9), the Tennessee Titans (10), the San Diego Chargers (11), the Denver Broncos (12) and the Washington Redskins (13).
The study drew economic data from teams to estimate their potential for making big bucks in the box office — and then compared those estimates to actual sales. Strong performers that rose above the model’s expectations excelled at tickets sales despite having lower median income among fans, fewer local residents to draw from in the first place, a smaller stadium or a losing record. The metric included no survey data or other qualitative measures of fan passion because the authors of the study, two professors at the Emory University Goizuita School of Business in Atlanta, said there was no way to accurately compare the results of such surveys. Anyone interested in taking a football poll would have been inherently biased, and selecting a reliable definition of “passion” was a whole other issue. Are shirtless screaming fans more passionate than the old-timer who has quietly attended every game for the past 25 years?
Emory’s findings have been controversial, even among the study’s authors, according to this blog post that accompanies the release of the rankings. “Professor Tripathi grew up as a Redskins fan and is terribly disturbed by the results of the study,” the authors say.