Every NFL team claims to have the best fans in the league, but what determines great fandom? Is it those hardy Green Bay Packer fans that sit in frigid December temperatures with their shirts off? What about Cleveland Browns fans, who support a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2002 (before that, they hadn't seen the postseason since 1994)?
Students from Emory University's Sports Marketing Analytics program think that they've come up with the correct formula.
In our series of fan base analyses across leagues, we adjust for these complicating factors using a revenue premium model of fan equity. The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors. The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables. We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model. Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases. We provide more details on the method here and here.
According to their formula, the Broncos rank 12th in the league. The Cowboys, Patriots, and Jets sit in the top three spots, respectively. The Raiders are ranked 32nd. You can check out the entire list here.
Take it for what it's worth, but everyone in Broncos Country knows that Broncos fans are the best, analytics aside.