Brand engagement with NFL teams is more than “likes” and “tweets”
Brand Valuation firm AbsoluteBrand LLC, in collaboration with CalibraxKPI, released the results of their first annual “NFL Brand Buzz” study identifying and ranking brand engagement – or buzz - associated with each NFL team. The Seahawks are the most loved NFL team, followed closely by the Patriots, with the Colts and Bronco tied for third. The Chicago Bears were the most hated team in the study.
This is the first study of NFL teams that measures online fan engagement as a proxy for how fans and the media feel about each team as a brand. To complete the study, AbsoluteBrand analyzed objective statistics about each team, such as win percentage, and combined it with CalibraxKPI’s market research to rank each team. CalibraxKPI’s unique approach to research focuses on what people do online vs. simply on what they say. While many people voice their opinion via written comment, everyone is voting simply by reading and clicking, this data takes that into account to cut through the haze of buzz and fully understand relative brand engagement. For example, comments on https://www.facebook.com/SeahawksSuck would weigh negatively while https://www.facebook.com/SeattleSeahawksMemes with 150,000 likes, weighs positively, importantly, it is not just what’s said on sites like this but how many people read the positive and negative comments which matters to our ranking.
According to Elise Neils, Managing Director of AbsoluteBrand, “This is the first time a study has truly quantified fans’ overall feelings about NFL teams because we are looking at what is said and what is read. We aren’t surprised that Seattle ranks number one as defending Super Bowl Champion with a popular quarterback like Russell Wilson adding brand buzz.”
The study demonstrates that winning helps positive communications, but that brand strength is more than marketing; fan and media reaction in is key to building or destroying a brand. According to Brian Cusick of CalibraxKPI, “winning does not limit negative opinions, or stop people from engaging with ‘trash talk’ content. It doesn’t really matter how many people trash a team because that comes with the territory of sport, what matters is the presence of offsetting positive engagement.”
For example, the Patriots are facing negative press about Deflate-gate, however the positive feelings in social media comments more than compensate from detractors. Additionally, small market teams are not penalized in this study for less media coverage since the ratio of positive to negative comments drive the overall ranking.
The Panther’s have a strong love/hate ratio because their hate score is low, especially for a playoff team, among the lowest of all the teams. This is likely a sign that people don’t bother to actively hate them. Having made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the Panthers do not have controversy or the hate factor that successful teams earn. According to Cusick, “The Panthers are not yet so important that they are worth hating,”
The Bears are the most trash talked team in the league according to study. The core fans still love the team and they did score well on words such as “love”, and “like”, however negative media and fan comments outweighed the positive activity. Neils says “This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever attended a Bears game where the fans openly boo their own team.”
AbsoluteBrand LLC is a brand consultancy that specializes in brand valuation and brand strategy. It advises the worlds top brands on understanding the drivers of brand demand to exploit brand value. www.absolutebrand.com
For more information on this study or Brand Valuation please contact:
Elise Neils, Managing Director
CalibraxKPI is a market research firm that seeks to understand the emotions behind a brand with a proprietary, patent pending web-based tool. www.CalibraxKPI.com