How many fans cheer on franchises from outside state borders?
The rise of modern sports broadcasting has allowed games to be shown all across America, and social media allows fans to voice their support from the other side of the country.
So which teams get the highest percentage of their support outside their home state?
To determine where fans are supporting their teams from, Betting.com have compiled 1,000,000 tweets from NFL hashtags and analyzed the geotagged information to compile where fans are tweeting from.
Where Are Fans Tweeting From?
|Team||State||% of Tweets||State 2||% of Tweets||State 3||% of Tweets|
|Baltimore Ravens||Maryland||47.11||New York||5.87||Texas||5.39|
|Buffalo Bills||New York||38.55||Pennsylvania||8.29||Maine||6.49|
|Carolina Panthers||South Carolina||32.25||North Carolina||29.90||Georgia||8.17|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Ohio||25.20||Kentucky||15.94||New York||9.26|
|Green Bay Packers||Wisconsin||35.82||Illinois||9.73||California||7.47|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Florida||33.14||New York||8.84||Kansas||5.48|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Kansas||31.77||Missouri||14.02||Texas||5.37|
|Las Vegas Raiders||California||31.35||Nevada||20.08||Colorado||7.62|
|Miami Dolphins||Florida||32.34||New York||11.72||Pennsylvania||7.70|
|Minnesota Vikings||Minnesota||43.96||South Dakota||10.48||Illinois||4.89|
|New England Patriots||Massachusetts||37.70||New York||7.52||California||5.30|
|New Orleans Saints||Louisiana||52.43||Pennsylvania||7.68||Florida||4.72|
|New York Giants||New York||35.23||New Jersey||15.37||Pennsylvania||10.36|
|New York Jets||New York||42.27||New Jersey||18.61||Florida||6.55|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Pennsylvania||39.14||New Jersey||7.61||Maryland||4.98|
|San Francisco 49ers||California||39.42||New York||7.26||Pennsylvania||6.64|
|Seattle Seahawks||Washington||48.64||California||11.53||New York||4.93|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Florida||54.50||Missouri||12.03||Ohio||5.05|
For most teams, their home state is the place that most fans are tweeting from, but this is not always the case.
The Packers vs. Bears rivalry is renowned as one of the most competitive in the NFL; the neighboring states have been battling for years. However, Green Bay natives are making the move to Chicago, with 9.73% of Green Bay tweets originating from the city, close to a third of the number tweeting from the home state.
The Giants and Jets share a stadium but differ in where their fans are found. The Giants’ extra success means they are drawing in more fans from across the US; in contrast, the Jets have 10% more fans from within New York and New Jersey. The Giants also find 10% of their fanbase in the state of Pennsylvania, home of rivals the Eagles.
Despite their hometown of Kansas City being in Missouri, the Chiefs have double the number of fans, 31.77%, tweeting from the other side of the border in Kansas. A city so close to a state border will always mean fans are divided, but with no other teams close to the state, it isn’t a surprise Kansas natives root for the team across state lines.
Another border city is Cincinnati, with fans mostly tweeting from their native Ohio; its close proximity to Kentucky means Bengals fans are spread across the two states. With 15.94% of tweets coming from Kentucky, the state is only 10% behind Ohio in its share of fans.
How Many Fans Stick By A Moving Franchise?
Franchises moving to new cities will always change the dynamic with fans; the new city has to adapt to having a new team to support. So for some teams, their move can result in a fanbase spread across state lines.
The Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas in search of a new stadium back in 2020, but data reveals their fans are still most prominent in California. With 10% more support coming from the Golden State than from Nevada, where the team currently resides. The most recent team to have moved, perhaps over the coming years, Nevada may overtake California and be the fanbase of the Raiders moving forward.
Conversely, the Rams returned to LA in 2016 following a 20-year stint in St Louis. However, their support is firmly located in their now-home state, with 55% of tweets being from California. Missouri doesn’t even rank second on the list for tweets about the team, St Louis seemingly forgetting its Ram’s history quickly.
The NFL’s newest franchise, the Houston Texans, can definitely count on their fans being local. 80% of the tweets were sent from within Texas, over double the percentage of local support received by fellow Texas-based franchise, the Dallas Cowboys.
The franchise that left Houston for Memphis in 1996 hasn’t managed to generate the same kind of passion from fans. The Titans receive only 57% of their tweets from Tennessee, with a further 9% coming from neighboring Mississippi. Their old home in Texas contributed just 4% of tweets.
European Support For Patriots
|Team||% of tweets from Europe|
|New England Patriots||9.43%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8.28%|
|New Orleans Saints||5.72%|
|New York Giants||5.02%|
With more and more NFL games being played across the Atlantic, Europeans are choosing which franchise they want to get behind. With four games taking place in 2022 and more to come in 2023, there is a big market for teams to appeal to prospective new fanbases.
The New England Patriots are the most supported side, close to 10% of tweets about the team were from Europe. With so much recent success, it is unsurprising that fans are flocking to the team.
Just behind the Patriots are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It may be surprising for a team with relatively small levels of success compared to other franchises to rank so highly, but Tom Brady’s time out of retirement has brought worldwide attention to the Florida team, UK Google searches for him skyrocketed during March as he made his announcement.
Another unsurprising European favorite is the LA Rams. 2021 Super Bowl champions and located in one of the most well-known cities on earth, it is no surprise the Rams are being cheered on by fans outside the US.
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