We’re a little more than one year into the TYL experience, and I’m thoroughly convinced that Chicago Bears fans are among the best in the game. And I’m not writing that just because you’re reading this post. To be as passionate, optimistic, and engaging as you have been about a team that has 14 wins over the last three years is nothing short of remarkable.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a study conducted by Emory University’s Michael Lewis ranked the Bears’ fanbase as the sixth best in the NFL. In fact, Bears fans have moved up a spot from last year’s rankings. Let that not be the last time Chicago moves up the football rankings leaderboard.
Only the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers rank higher than the Bears in this study. That collection of heavyweights features last year’s two Super Bowl participants, a Steelers team that has won its division in three of the last four years, a Giants club that has a pair of recent monumental Super Bowl titles, and the perennially disappointing Cowboys.
Lewis’ rankings come as a result of factoring three different factors – Fan Equity, Social Equity, and Road Equity – that help determine a fan’s willingness to spend money (at home and on the road) as well as a willingness to engage with the team’s social media presence.
The Bears’ highest ranking came in Fan Equity, where the team came in fourth. That’s impressive, especially if you consider how the team has seen a dip in late-season attendance from the last few years. Still, the high ranking in the Fan Equity category could be a sign that Bears fans will be willing to come out with support in stronger numbers once the product improves on the field. And if that happens, the Bears’ fan power rankings will probably remain strong.