Cleat Geeks

Forbes Magizine releases Top 10 Best MLB Fans

How did Forbes Magizine get these numbers?

Our ranking of MLB’s Best Fans are based on these 5 quantitative data fields: hometown crowd reach, television ratings, arena attendance, merchandise sales and social media reach.

#10 Baltimore OriolesoriolesChamps

After a 14-year playoff drought the Os returned to the postseason in 2012 and fans began filing back into Camden Yards, watching games on TV and buying merchandise. Thanks to the league top-selling jerseys of Manny Machado (No. 12) and Adam Jones (No. 15), the Orioles were among only 4 teams with multiple players in the top 20.

#9 New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have 8.2 million Facebook fans and 1.3 million Twitter followers, the most in the league in terms of volume. Led by the sale of Derek Jeter jerseys, the best-selling of all time, Yankees merchandise consistently ranks 2nd in terms of popularity. Competing in a market with 10 other major league sports teams, the Yankees are the most popular locally with 41% of New Yorkers identifying as fans (vs 38% for the NFL Giants and 31% for the NFL Jets).

#8 Philadelphia Phillies

Winning matters here too. The Phillies are enjoying the benefit of using 3 years of data to arrive at our ranking, riding in on the coattails of their success in the early part of this decade. Merchandise sales, TV ratings and most notably attendance have taken hits the past two seasons. However according to Nielsen Scarborough, 55% of Philadelphians watched, attended or listened to a game last season, enough for the team to rank 10th in the league in hometown crowd reach. Guess all those fans are listening on the radio.

#7 Pittsburgh Pirates0715_pittsburgh-pirates

Winning matters. On the heels of two consecutive playoff appearances after a 21-year drought, the Pirates climbed to the No. 5 spot on Nielsen Scarborough’s local fan base meter. 65% of Pittsburgers identified as fans of the team, an increase of 12% (the largest increase in MLB) and the team’s highest point ever.

#5 (tie) San Francisco Giants

Led by Buster Posey top-selling jerseys, Giants merchandise has been the league’s best seller over the last 3 years. Three World Series wins in the past 5 seasons have helped fill AT&T Park too. The team has been top 3 in attendance. playing to over 99% capacity, even during the 2013 season when it posted a 76-86 record.

#5 (tie) Milwaukee Brewers

Despite missing the playoffs last season Brewers home attendance and local TV ratings both increased. There was no arguing then when the team took out a full page ad in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to thank “the best fans in baseball” for their “unwavering support”.

#4 Cincinnati Reds

The Big Red Machine is proof positive the game appeals to young and old alike. The team is a consistent league leader in radio ratings and has one of the largest social media reaches in baseball.

#3 Detroit Tigersdetroit-1280-1024-wallpaper

Last year the Tigers had the best prime time ratings and second-best ratings overall on Fox Sports Detroit according to Nielsen. The team has a larger local fan base (71%) than the NFL Lions (58%).

#2 Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are the toast of 4-sport Beantown with 68% of locals identifying as fans, more than any of the other hometown teams, including the NFL Patriots (65%). The Red Sox’ 4.9 million Facebook followers are proof its nation extends beyond its metro population too, and help make it one of the most popular baseball teams on social media.

MLB: NLCS-San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals#1 St. Louis Cardinals

According to Nielsen Scarborough, the Cardinals have more local fans than any other team in MLB — 76% of St. Louisans watched, attended or listened to a game last year. It’s the fourth year in a row the team has held that honor, the eleventh time in the last 15 years. Every other year they had the second largest fan base. In comparison, less than half of the St. Louis area identifies as fans of the NFL’s Rams.

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