Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi of Emory University are attempting to use sports marketing analytics to rank the best fan bases in the NBA. The Portland Trail Blazers finished fourth in their study, trailing only the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics.
Basically, what we do is estimate a statistical model of team box office revenues as a function of the team's winning percentage, team payroll, market population, arena capacity, number of all-stars, and other factors that capture the quality of the team's product and revenue potential in a given year.
Home Revenue = f(win%, Payroll, Market Population, etc...)
We then compare team's actual home revenue with predictions from our model to discern teams that out- or under-perform.* We call this quantity "Fan Equity."
Fan Equity = Reported Home Revenue - Predicted Home Revenue
Portland is probably the most interesting case. A quick look at attendance data from ESPN shows that the Trail Blazers regularly exceed capacity for entire seasons. Portland is a small market, but a market with passionate and supportive fans. Portland also likely does well because they are the only "pro" game in town.
Thanks to occassia who got there first in the FanShots.
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-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter