Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 17
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Social study: How leagues, teams stack up

SportsBusiness Journal and Hookit teamed up to see which teams and leagues have the most socially engaged fan bases. For this study, Hookit analyzed all Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts made by approximately 1,255 leagues, federations and teams from June 16, 2016, to June 15, 2017. Overall, nearly 7 million posts were captured from that period. A composite score was established by Hookit that took into account factors such as how often fans viewed the posts, how often they shared them, the average number of likes, new followers added and many more.

OVERALL GLOBAL FINDINGS

Most-engaged fans by league/federation

Rank Property Composite score
1 NBA 2.48
2 English Premier League 2.17
3 NFL 1.81
4 IOC 1.56
5 Indian Premier League (cricket) 1.45
6 MLB 1.43
7 MotoGP 1.40
8 La Liga Santander (Spain) 1.33
9 Formula One 1.29
10 World Surf League 1.28
11 NHL 1.27
12 International Cricket Council 1.23
13 UFC 1.16
14 USA Gymnastics 1.06
15 FIFA World Cup 1.05
16 U.S. Soccer 0.92
17 Street League Skateboarding 0.90
18 Supercross 0.88
19 Bundesliga 0.86
20 (tie) ATP Tour 0.84
20 (tie) USA Basketball 0.84
22 ONE Championship (Singapore-based MMA) 0.82
23 (tie) Italian Serie A 0.80
23 (tie) PGA Tour 0.80
25 USA Swimming 0.78

Top-ranked teams

Rank Team Composite score
1 Real Madrid 5.40
2 Barcelona 3.79
3 Manchester United 2.92
4 Chelsea 2.11
5 Golden State Warriors 1.84
6 Arsenal 1.83
7 India men’s national cricket team 1.63
8 Bayern Munich 1.51
9 Liverpool 1.47
10 Cleveland Cavaliers 1.42
11 New England Patriots 1.38
12 Juventus 1.34
13 Borussia Dortmund 1.31
14 Manchester City 1.29
15 (tie) Dallas Cowboys 1.25
15 (tie) Besiktas (Turkish soccer) 1.25
17 France men’s national soccer team 1.22
18 AC Milan 1.20
19 Chicago Cubs 1.19
20 Mumbai Indians (cricket) 1.18
21 Chicago Bulls 1.17
22 Galatasaray (Turkish soccer) 1.16
23 (tie) Fenerbahce (Turkish soccer) 1.14
23 (tie) Paris Saint-Germain 1.14
25 Los Angeles Lakers 1.11
Most interactions and views
Rank Property/team Total interactions, video views
1 NBA 7,678,772,267
2 NFL 3,509,746,696
3 Real Madrid 2,722,114,361
4 Manchester United 2,664,454,811
5 Barcelona 2,341,042,823
6 World Surf League 1,706,610,996
7 IOC 1,385,423,614
8 MLB 1,217,586,354
9 Golden State Warriors 1,019,017,974
10 Arsenal 1,004,299,267

Most posts

Rank Property/team Posts
1 Ecuador men’s soccer team 44,086
2 NFL 36,888
3 NBA 34,188
4 Vélez Sarsfield (Argentine soccer) 30,202
5 NHL 28,278
6 PGA Tour 27,386
7 Monterrey (Mexican soccer) 23,047
8 NASCAR 22,112
9 MLS 21,871
10 MLB 21,557
Most interactions per post
Rank Property/team Interactions per post
1 Real Madrid 118,688
2 Barcelona 78,035
3 Manchester United 51,180
4 India men’s national cricket team 37,280
5 NBA 30,272
6 English Premier League 25,891
7 Golden State Warriors 23,219
8 Chelsea 22,364
9 Bayern Munich 22,323
10 Arsenal 21,502

Total followers

Rank Property/team Followers
1 Real Madrid 177,953,982
2 Barcelona 174,300,600
3 Manchester United 102,805,279
4 NBA 82,349,549
5 English Premier League 66,935,354
6 Chelsea 66,202,710
7 Arsenal 57,671,145
8 Bayern Munich 55,945,650
9 FIFA World Cup 49,549,043
10 NFL 49,302,124

Most new followers added

Rank Property/team New followers added, past 12 months
1 Real Madrid 36,073,054
2 Barcelona 29,141,416
3 NBA 14,668,746
4 Manchester United 14,281,311
5 IOC 10,527,666
6 NFL 10,151,283
7 Club America (Liga MX) 10,093,742
8 Juventus 9,972,356
9 English Premier League 9,595,407
10 Bayern Munich 9,054,259

Most posts shared

Rank Property/team Total shares
1 NBA 26,065,918
2 NFL 22,333,636
3 Manchester United 19,823,861
4 Real Madrid 18,668,192
5 Golden State Warriors 12,445,628
6 Barcelona 12,096,766
7 World Surf League 11,398,740
8 Dallas Cowboys 10,831,269
9 Chelsea 10,129,256
10 Chicago Cubs 9,891,217

RESULTS FROM U.S. AND CANADIAN PROPERTIES

Most-engaged fans by league/federation

Rank Property Composite score
1 NBA 2.48
2 NFL 1.81
3 MLB 1.43
4 World Surf League 1.28
5 NHL 1.27
6 UFC 1.16
7 USA Gymnastics 1.06
8 U.S. Soccer 0.92
9 Street League Skateboarding 0.90
10 Supercross 0.88
11 USA Basketball 0.84
12 PGA Tour 0.80
13 USA Swimming 0.78
14 USA Volleyball 0.76
15 (tie) MLS 0.73
15 (tie) Professional Bull Riders 0.73
17 (tie) NASCAR 0.70
17 (tie) WTA Tour 0.70
19 WNBA 0.66
20 (tie) USA Track & Field 0.65
20 (tie) USA Wrestling 0.65
22 USA Baseball 0.64
23 (tie) Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 0.63
23 (tie) NHRA 0.63
25 Monster Jam 0.61
26 USA Softball 0.60

Top-ranked teams

Rank Team Composite score
1 Golden State Warriors 1.81
2 Cleveland Cavaliers 1.40
3 New England Patriots 1.38
4 Dallas Cowboys 1.25
5 (tie) Chicago Cubs 1.18
5 (tie) Chicago Bulls 1.18
7 Los Angeles Lakers 1.12
8 (tie) San Antonio Spurs 1.04
8 (tie) Seattle Seahawks 1.04
8 (tie) New York Yankees 1.04
11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1.03
12 Green Bay Packers 1.00
13 U.S. women’s national soccer 0.99
14 Los Angeles Dodgers 0.98
15 Chicago Blackhawks 0.96
16 (tie) San Francisco Giants 0.94
16 (tie) Pittsburgh Penguins 0.94
16 (tie) Boston Red Sox 0.94
16 (tie) Carolina Panthers 0.94
20 Oakland Raiders 0.93
21 Boston Celtics 0.92
22 (tie) New York Giants 0.91
22 (tie) Toronto Blue Jays 0.91
24 Houston Rockets 0.90
25 Oklahoma City Thunder 0.89

Most interactions and views

Rank Property/team Total interactions, video views
1 NBA 7,678,772,267
2 NFL 3,509,746,696
3 World Surf League 1,706,610,996
4 MLB 1,217,586,354
5 Golden State Warriors 1,019,017,974
6 NHL 940,435,718
7 UFC 679,301,066
8 Cleveland Cavaliers 674,350,727
9 PGA Tour 554,730,839
10 Chicago Cubs 441,525,440

Most posts

Rank Property/team Posts
1 NFL 36,888
2 NBA 34,188
3 NHL 28,278
4 PGA Tour 27,386
5 NASCAR 22,112
6 MLS 21,871
7 MLB 21,557
8 Colorado Rockies 20,804
9 San Diego Padres 19,993
10 Seattle Mariners 19,952

Most interactions per post

Rank Property/team Interactions per post
1 NBA 30,226
2 Golden State Warriors 23,219
3 Cleveland Cavaliers 19,114
4 NFL 17,475
5 MLB 13,108
6 New England Patriots 12,716
7 World Surf League 11,106
8 Dallas Cowboys 10,562
9 Chicago Bulls 10,366
10 U.S. women’s national soccer team 9,525

Total followers

Rank Property/team Followers
1 NBA 82,349,549
2 NFL 49,302,124
3 UFC 35,098,235
4 Los Angeles Lakers 31,746,260
5 Chicago Bulls 25,696,899
6 Miami Heat 23,299,666
7 Golden State Warriors 21,240,657
8 MLB 17,780,396
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 15,551,972
10 Dallas Cowboys 14,108,473

Most new followers added

Rank Property/team New followers added, past 12 months
1 NBA 14,668,746
2 NFL 10,151,283
3 Golden State Warriors 7,308,158
4 UFC 6,736,300
5 Cleveland Cavaliers 5,966,438
6 Houston Rockets 3,729,707
7 World Surf League 2,775,159
8 MLB 2,774,220
9 Oklahoma City Thunder 2,598,469
10 Dallas Cowboys 2,376,479

Most posts shared

Rank Property/team Total shares
1 NBA 26,065,918
2 NFL 22,333,636
3 Golden State Warriors 12,445,628
4 World Surf League 11,398,740
5 Dallas Cowboys 10,831,269
6 Chicago Cubs 9,891,217
7 MLB 8,868,097
8 Cleveland Cavaliers 8,186,369
9 New England Patriots 7,003,098
10 Pittsburgh Steelers 6,255,319

HookIt