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Kentucky ranks 10th “best” football fan base in SEC


When you think of the best football fans in the country, most people would immediately go to the SEC… Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and so on. The passion for football in the deep south is unparalleled. So when attempting to rank the fan bases, the measures for doing so surely become tricky.

Leave it to a few professors at Emory University business school to find new variables to make this happen. On Emory’s sports marketing blog have been dozens of studies posted about basketball and football and ranking different conferences, teams, and fan bases. This time they rank the SEC football fans based on “revenue premium-based brand equity” and Kentucky does not fare well.

Without diving into too many ugly details, the formula used to calculate the rankings is something similar to a return on investment measure. The statistical model predicts team revenues as a function of metrics related to team performance, like winning percentage and bowl participation. You can read more about the ranking process on the Emory blog.

Over the last ten years, Georgia has the number one football fan base in the SEC according to the study. Separating the Bulldogs from Alabama – who many would think are on top of the world right now in the Saban Dynasty – is Georgia averaging 12 percent more in revenues per year than Alabama. Both teams averaged between 9 and 10 wins per year, but a handful of home games in 2002 and 2004 for the Crimson Tide were not filled to capacity, and that was the difference.

Kentucky comes in at No. 10 in the list, just ahead of Vanderbilt. While the blog post does not spell out the reasoning behind the Wildcats rank, it likely has a lot to do with wins and losses and not so much about revenue and overall fan loyalty.

Give Mark Stoops a few years and the Cats will climb up this list. No question.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

16 Comments for Kentucky ranks 10th “best” football fan base in SEC

  1. Boone
    12:35 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I want to be as high on this list as anyone… But I’m relatively happy with a 10th place on this after the past 3 years. From the metrics, I would’ve assumed lower. And look at the programs in front of us. All have been more successful in this period, and have historically better programs, bigger stadiums, etc.

    Of course we want to climb, but at least we aren’t in the bottom of the basement… just the basement.

  2. Pookie Jones
    12:39 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    A study by Emory – a university in Atlanta – finds UGA as the #1 football fan base in the SEC? Yeah, I bet nothing subjective went into how they picked their “metrics”

  3. Gabe
    12:40 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Auburn in the east…hmmmmmm?

  4. Eric
    12:44 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Georgia has a much larger population than Alabama giving them a big edge in generating revenue.

  5. Football is Back
    12:45 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I think part of the reason we’re not last is stadium size. Our stadium is bigger than the those of the last 4 schools (roughly the same size as Mizzou’s) so I think it made a difference back when we were selling out games.

  6. Rest of the SEC...
    1:18 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    @#1 Wait until the rankings for football I.Q. come out…you’ll be last then.

  7. STEVE!
    1:23 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    …and Missouri in the West?

  8. tbradg
    1:30 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    This is only ONE way of ranking the fan bases. We should do the numbers on something like an Attendance/Winning Percentage correlation and see how things look…much more accurate way to tell our story.

  9. ukfan
    1:37 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    That Map is wrong…….

  10. Wilbur
    1:48 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I agree Boone,the last three years under Joker didn’t help.

  11. Boone
    1:49 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    @#6 Thank you for your insightful comment, you’ve truly added to the discussion.

  12. hypocritical fans
    2:11 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I JUST LOVE how quickly all these Texas A&M fans (and other college football and hoop fans) have all-of-a-sudden jumped onto the “why can’t an athlete make money” bandwagon so quickly; right in the midst of 1 of their biggest stars in 50 yrs falls into the crosshairs of Indianapolis. The FIRST TIME they have been relevant (on a national level, and not in their own distorted Aggie World) in my lifetime.

    From the Aggies fans I’ve met and the fan and message boards I’ve skimmed, they are COMPLETELY the “these-kids-should-feel-privileged-to-be-allowed-on-our-campus” types. The same people that would have called for the public beheading of Calipari for wanting to make changes to an antiquated system…are the ones kicking and screaming on Twitter and such.

    The hypocrisy from these people…its actually laughable.

  13. pitino $uck$
    2:14 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino swings and misses at 5-Star guys….and he’s labeled a guy who doesn’t recruit one-and-done players. What a joke. I hope I see him at Saratoga again this summer…remind him of his quick draw status.

  14. Jack
    2:17 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    #2 Why don’t you look at their study instead of using fifth grade reasoning to try to invalidate their conclusions. But then again you probably have a fifth grade comprehension too.

  15. pfife
    5:19 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Considering that UK has the worst student-support, I think #10 is pretty good.

  16. Daniel
    9:08 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    yeah that map is wrong