The NBA is a multibillion-dollar industry, with millions of fans tirelessly following their team home and away each season.
But have you ever wondered which teams have the most dedicated supporters?
To reveal the most (and least) committed fan bases, we’ve compared each NBA team across a range of factors, including game-day attendances, social media activity, and Google search rates, and given each team a weighted and ranked score out of 100.
Which NBA Fans Are the Most Dedicated?
Analyzing six key supporter criteria, we can reveal that the Los Angeles Lakers (78.24) have the most dedicated fans of any NBA franchise. The joint-most successful team of all time, with an incredible 17 Championship titles, including a victory as recently as 2020, the Lakers have earned a strong following over the years.
This is evidenced by the franchise recording an average of 96.2% away fan attendance during the 2021 season, second only to the Chicago Bulls (97.3%), as well as seeing more supporters searching in Google each month for spare tickets than any other team (34,000 queries) and the highest rate of online interest – the Lakers are the only team to record over one million Wikipedia page views since October 2021.
Ranking second for fan dedication, the Chicago Bulls earn an index score of 66.56. While the Bulls’ golden era came in the 90s, a period that saw them storm to six titles in eight years, they’ve retained and gained a lot of support since. As well as boasting the best away support in the NBA, the Bulls also saw the highest rate of social media growth since the start of the 2021 season, with 18.14% more followers now than in October 2021.
In third, the Golden State Warriors come away with an impressive index score of 62.43, thanks largely to their popularity online (786,658 Wikipedia page views since October 2021) and high average away attendance (96.1%).
Rounding out the top five most dedicated NBA fan bases, we have New York neighbors, the New York Knicks (56.99), and Brooklyn Nets (52.38). The Knicks recorded the fourth-highest average away attendance last season (94.5%), as well as the second-highest rate of monthly Google searches for spare tickets (25,000), while the Nets have the fourth-highest social media engagement (1.60%) and third-highest growth in social media followers since October 2021 (16.17%).
Which NBA Fans Are the Least Dedicated?
At the other end of our fan dedication index, the franchise with the least fanatic supporters is the New Orleans Pelicans (23.94). The Pelicans rank second-bottom for fan engagement on social media, just 0.20% during the regular season, as well as seeing the second-worst follower growth on social media since October 2021.
Oklahoma City Thunder fans aren’t much better, though, with a supporter index score of 25.76. The franchise recorded an average away attendance of just 87.2% last season, the joint-second worst across the entire NBA, although the team did have relatively strong home attendances when considering their poor form, giving them the NBA’s third-highest game day dedication score (56).
Also featuring among the worst franchises for fan dedication, we have the Minnesota Timberwolves (26.02), who place in the bottom five teams for game day supporter dedication (27.70) and general online interest (209,605 Wikipedia page views since October 2021).
Finally, the Indiana Pacers (26.07) and Atlanta Hawks (28.07) complete the bottom five teams for fan commitment. The Pacers reported the third-lowest average away attendances during the 2021 season (87.2%), as well as generating the third-lowest rate of fan engagement on social media (0.25%) and fewer Wikipedia views than any other team, while the Hawks’ low ranking is in part down to recording the second-fewest monthly Google searches for spare tickets (1,500).
With the regular season nearly finished for another year, it’ll be interesting to see which fans are still celebrating come the NBA Finals in June.
For even more expert insight into the world of basketball, check out the latest NBA picks and NBA betting odds.
To determine which NBA teams have the most dedicated fans, we considered six factors over the course of the 2021 regular season:
- Average away attendance: The average fan attendance percentage for away games. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 10.
- Gameday dedication: The difference between overall attendance rate and win percentage. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 10.
- Social engagement: Average Instagram fan engagement rate. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 10.
- Monthly searches for tickets: Average monthly searches on Google for game tickets. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 10.
- Social media growth: Social media follower percentage growth or decline. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 5.
- Online interest: Each team’s Wikipedia page views. Each team was ranked and given a weighted score out of 5.
Each team’s scores for each factor were then combined to give a total out of 50, which was then doubled to provide a score out of 100.
Finally, all teams were ranked to reveal the franchises with the most and least dedicated supporters.
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