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Ridiculous Sports Study of the Day says Louisville has No. 1 fan base, Kentucky No. 7

I’ve heard people argue differing opinions about who has the best fan base in college basketball. A handful of schools consider themselves to be near the top, and have legitimate arguments as to why they belong there. On a list of the best fan bases in college basketball, surely Kentucky would be at the top, right? Or at least in the top 3. That would almost seem to be a given, even from an outsider perspective. Kentucky basketball fans are passionate, they follow the team to the most random of places just to watch them play, and they genuinely live and breathe Kentucky basketball. Surely Kentucky would be at the top, or just behind.

According to a study by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics, Kentucky’s fan base checks in at #7. Who grabbed the number one spot? I’ll warn you in advance, in case you didn’t read the title thoroughly, this one is going to hurt. The study says that Louisville has the #1 fan base in college basketball. According to, the study “measured fan base as ‘a school’s men’s basketball revenue relative to the team’s performance.’ They used a model that predicted team revenues compared to a team’s winning and post-season success.”

The top 10 looks like this:

1. Louisville

2. Arizona

3. Duke

4. Arkansas

5. North Carolina

6. Texas

7. Kentucky

8. Syracuse

9. Marquette

10. Oklahoma State


Once I saw the rest of the list and realized that the ranking was tied very tightly with revenue, and virtually had nothing to do with the actual make-up and passion of the fan base– the list made a little more sense.


Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

73 Comments for Ridiculous Sports Study of the Day says Louisville has No. 1 fan base, Kentucky No. 7

  1. the truth is...
    3:33 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    basing a ranking on revenue from the sweetheart deal at the Yum Center merely means that Louisville has the worst politicians, not necessarily the best fans.

  2. tyson
    3:33 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    “One possible point of controversy is that Arkansas rates higher than Kentucky. The key is that while both Arkansas and Kentucky receive outstanding support, Arkansas’ support occurs despite less on-court success. The other possible interpretation is that Kentucky tends to underprice and may collect less revenues than possible.”

    God, I hope Mitch doesn’t see this quote. Expect ticket prices to go up again.

  3. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    3:33 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Emory Sports Marketing (a registered trademark of UofL Athletics)

  4. Axe Cop
    3:35 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    What a weird way to measure who has the best fan base. So Texas must spend zilch on their program because they have almost no post-season success.

  5. Susan
    3:35 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Go check out “The Sixth Man” trailers on and then tell me who has the BEST fan base!!!!!

  6. Axe Cop
    3:36 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    4. It’s “kitties” and 8 is still > 3 bitch.

  7. KentuckyHouse
    3:36 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Would it kill you guys to give wildcat813 a shout out for pointing this article out in the comments section of the 2pm post?

  8. Damn Lies and Stats
    3:37 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    A function of revenue and success could even be spun to say that Louisville fans have absolutely nothing better to do and don’t care about the success of the team.

  9. wildcat813
    3:38 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Hahaha….Thank you “KentuckyHouse”

  10. Musehobo
    3:38 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    The article from the Emory site was one of the most poorly written articles on sports I have ever read. They don’t even bother to mention how they correlated their numbers.

    They claim revenue and winning % as part of the formula, but not HOW they use them. If they are really trying to do this: “The key insight is that when a team achieves revenues that greatly exceed what would be expected based on team performance, it is an indication of significant brand equity”, then they would measure revenue vs. LOW winning %. But they have clearly placed the team with the most revenue at the top.

  11. Glenn
    3:39 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Every politician that had anything do to with the lease on that YUM Center should be in jail.

  12. Steve
    3:39 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    What a f***ing joke. Are you kidding me? Why would this even get posted? All it’s going to do is piss people off like it has already done to me. Terrible post, looks like you are trying to get people mad so they comment on your article. BOOOOOOOO.

  13. Louisville1Cal4
    3:43 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Ummm, are they aware Otis’ fan base doesn’t stretch further than Jefferson County lines?

  14. Eazy
    3:45 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    It doesnt matter how it is written or how it is spun, everyone knows that Kansas and UK have the two biggest fan bases in basketball, and in college football: Alabama and Notre Dame. When either of these two teams play each other they can fill up any stadium anywhere in the country.

  15. Taylor
    3:46 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    This formula is relative to success so UK’s unparalleled success should reduce our ranking.

  16. alexblue
    3:46 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    This article is a phoney. Everyone knows you can’t be the best fanbase unless it’s BBN !

  17. imnotthefiveo
    3:46 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Just because walmart buys 3 million ugly @$$ u of l shirts and only sells 3000? Really?

  18. BPM
    3:46 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I guess the authors of this study didn’t take into account the fact that UL was selling tickets through Groupon and in package deals at Sun Tan City during the Kragthorpe era and in the check out lines at Kroger during the Cooper era. I would never hire these clowns to conduct a brand equity study for any business I was associated with. What a joke.

  19. this guy
    3:49 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll tell you right now as someone who lives in Austin…Texas fans don’t give a flying sh*t about basketball here. As an example; when they were ranked #1 in the country a few years back they still couldn’t fill their arena for a conference game. Yea, this study is junk.

  20. Nope
    3:52 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    By measuring “a school’s men’s basketball revenue relative to the team’s performance”, you are basically proving the old adage of “a fool and his money soon part”. Who would want to be at the top of this list?

  21. dave
    3:52 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    problem with this article is that “total revenue” is equated to “best fanbase”.
    when UK is #7 & kansas isnt in top 10, maybe the list is flawed.

  22. Bledsoe's Biceps
    3:53 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    So basically this “analysis” is based on how bad your team sucks vs the amount of money generated. Yeah, that’s a good way to decide who has the best fans….said no one ever.

  23. Corliss Williamson
    3:54 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Arkansas? Maybe in 1994.

  24. jc
    3:55 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Is it possible to have a day go by without referencing Louisville? It’s really beginning to piss me off and I am sure others are feeling the same. More UK less UL.Thank you.

  25. IndianaDidn'tMakeIt
    3:57 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Cut down the nets anyways.

  26. rainman
    4:04 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Would be LAUGHABLE, if it weren’t so STUPID!

  27. Toothless Temp
    4:05 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    This is the twitter account of the douche.

  28. That Guy
    4:17 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    So I guess the way to have the #1 fanbase is to completely hose the tax-payers of your city in order to lock in an unheard of contract with the city-owned arena that almost guarantees you are the most profitable basketball team in the country each year? Got it.

  29. big blue
    4:20 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    the conclusions reached by this “study” have nothing to do with the evidence produced. $ do not equal fan base passion

  30. barn
    4:22 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink


  31. UKBlue1!
    4:22 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I wouldn’t wipe my ass with the printed paper from this study!

  32. Dah
    4:24 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Is this Emory Sports Marketing Group also monitoring the effectiveness of our government and grading them with high marks?

  33. JackB
    4:34 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    The real problem with this is colleges all use different formulas to report revenue. As one example, some schools internalize all sports related costs (like the use of university/local police to control traffic at football games) while others put such expenses under general categories. Some economists have claims that nearly all universities are grossly overstating the true revenue from sports and that only a handful make money, and that comes from TV contract money. Economists also admit that contributions to universities are correlated with success in sports, especially the high profile sports of football and basketball. In that sense the true benefit to the university can be understated because contribution increases that are influenced by alumni happiness over sports is not counted in the numbers.

    I make no claim about who is under/over reporting revenue, and who is using the best accounting/economic model to figure out the revenue of the team sports. I’m just saying the numbers are basically meaningless because no two schools are using the same model.

    In summary, not only is this study crap, but the numbers it uses were crap. Crap in – bigger crap out.

  34. Bluebloodtoo
    4:44 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I’m dying to see how they explain the financial situation of the KFC yum center…

  35. Jatt Mones
    4:46 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    When this study was published I knew that BBN would go crazy and fully display their delusional no facts needed mentality. Just face it, UK is not number 1. Just because your life is so bland and useless that all you do all day is circle jerk about how Calipari is no longer dirty since he got to UK, does not mean the entire United States. Facts don’t lie, UK is no. 7.

    Eat it, reality and facts have spoken!!

  36. Bluebloodtoo
    4:47 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    This just proves that you can use statistics to bolster any position that you want to take. I do it ALLL the time at work when I’m trying to argue for resources. LOL!!!

  37. Feesh
    4:48 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    UK has 4x to 5x as many fans as UL, right????????????

    If so, then why in the world can’t you all give more money to UL than UL fans???

    UK fans may love they’re cayuts, but they don’t put their money where their mouth is, therefore you’re simply not better fans.

    UL fans SHARE in the success of the Bball program. UK fans LEECH off the success of the program.

    Its really that simple.

  38. Jack
    4:50 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    One word describes any “study” that concludes Texas has a better fan base than Kentucky–unadulterated stupidity! (OK, two words but still………………………)

  39. L1C4 is LAME
    4:50 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I could c them #1 for most Ignorant and talk out their ass fan base.

  40. Feesh
    4:51 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    #38 – Get a clue. UL doesnt own the Yum Center, just like UK doesn’t own Rupp Arena. The financials of Yum & Rupp have absolutely NOTHING to do with UL or UK. UL & UK are TENANTS. But leave it to you poor uneducated leechs, err fans, to try and draw idiotic parallels. You have more fans – We have more GIVING fans. On average, UL fans give 5x more to their program than UK fans. Facts are Facts. You all are leeches, not fans.

  41. Feesh
    4:52 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    You all equate fan idiocy to being better fans. Its hilarious.

  42. jojo
    4:56 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    The only way to measure this is to take the top eight ranked schools in this study and play a tourney in Outer Mongolia. See whose fans show up.

    Everyone knows what the result would be. The arena would be filled with Wildcat blue.

  43. ATB (Always True Blue)
    4:56 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Without seeing the data its hard to say. However, it is very likely based upon two key factors given their analysis description. #1 Kentucky rarely has a down season and #2 Kentucky probably does price their for sale items at a lower price than other brands.

  44. Jatt Mones
    4:57 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Here you UK fans since you all are too stupid to understand the premise of this study. The study was to show who has the BEST fans, not the biggest fanbase. Louisville fans are the BEST because they support UL. We contribute to the programs. You guys don’t. This study shows that.

    Haha suck it!

  45. Maxbps8
    4:58 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink


  46. carolinacatfan
    5:04 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    It probably should be noted, but isn’t Emory the same university that put out the article about UK football having the best rate of putting players in the NFL? I always thought of Emory as a high end education, but these two studies lead me to wonder about their ability to properly correlate statistics

  47. Will Totten
    5:05 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    46. Or it’s because you blindly pay ticket prices that are higher than 7 NBA teams to help NOT pay for an arena that’s about to go bankrupt. Also beer and alcohol sales in the Yum! adds more than half a million dollars a year. Naming rights from Yum! were at $14 million as well

  48. TravisC
    5:09 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I would like to see the same study done with college football. If Alabama isn’t top 5, we know the study is flawed. (I use Alabama because that is the football equivalent to Kentucky IMO.)

  49. RahRah
    5:13 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah, that’s why even in Jefferson County, at least half the fans are Big Blue fans…I know because one of them is me. Lol

  50. JackB
    5:23 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Ignoring the accounting differences between universities let’s work with what we know:

    UofL has a major source of revenue with a sweetheart deal at the Yum Center. That has nothing to do with fan support. UK sells more tickets to games, so how exactly does UofL have more revenue? They have an advantage at the Yum Center over Rupp Arena: a sweeter deal with the Yum Center, luxury box seats which demand higher prices, beer sales, corporate naming rights to the stadium, etc.

    This isn’t that hard to figure out. The study doesn’t measure fan base support at all really. That is why U of L can’t even support the team focused radio shows in Louisville that UK fans can support — in Louisville.

  51. Eli
    5:39 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    So it ranks the most delusional fan bases, proportionally. Actually BEING successful will lower your ranking. The more successful you are, the harder it is to stay on top of these rankings.

    Considering how successful UK is, the fact we’re even #7 speaks volumes about about dedicated the fans are. Louisville of course has done nothing for decades, other than tripping and falling into a championship last year, when SOMEONE had to technically win. The fabled “worst year for basketball ever.” Guess that makes them the most delusional fan base.

  52. martyG
    5:42 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Read a little of the study parameters and they didn’t take into account UL tournament success this year and UK not making the tourney so I just wonder what kind of impact winning has on this study. Probably why arizona is second because they have done nothing in post season lately.

  53. Wild Blue
    6:11 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I can set up any study, any poll, and any survey to say whatever I want. Stuff like this is so bogus.

  54. UK Blue
    6:12 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    I attend the University of Arkansas and i can assure you this made me laugh my a$$ off.

  55. BT
    6:16 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    The best fan base can’t even sellout a home game? I wonder what they are saying on Loserville Sport Radio about it?

  56. bob
    6:41 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    #57…LOL and UL out drew UK in Football attendance last year….

  57. wtf
    6:42 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    A R I Z O N A. That is one of Arizona’s 2(TWO) cheers. The other one is ZONA,ZONA,ZONA,ZONA. Does anyone remember this from the ’97 championship game?

    Putting ARIZONA @ #2 is more ridiculous that putting little brother @ #1!

  58. wtf
    6:43 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    #58 Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

  59. bob
    6:44 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    #9 LOL!!! let’s see…in 2013..Sugar Bowl…NCAA Championship…Womens title game…mens baseball playing in NCAA…we just have more to cheer about. UK is a 1 sport school. Mens hoops is all you have…

  60. Jarvis Redwine
    8:25 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville athletics are sucking at the government tit. Sweetheart (underhanded / illegal) Yum! deal pads UL’s financial numbers.

  61. wildcats90
    9:49 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah, this is a pretty legit study. No need to factor in how much money UK fans make for opposing cities/teams when they fill their otherwise empty stands with blue.

  62. wildcats90
    10:01 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    We all need to “contact” Emory and let them know what we think of this

  63. Jay
    10:51 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    That is so bogus I don’t even need to read the article or the rest of the troll post….simply ridiculous.

  64. fireants25
    11:36 pm May 29, 2013 Permalink

    that retarded we most def are not behind any of them esp not AR, UL, and TX haha they wrote that because they knew UK fans would give them ratings is all…next

  65. bigcat4453
    6:32 am May 30, 2013 Permalink

    That’s funny since they couldn’t even sell out Rupp Arena during the NCAA tourney last year. 75 miles down the road? Don’t seem to travel too well to me!

  66. 2020
    9:44 am May 30, 2013 Permalink

    #67. Tremendous point.

    If you talk about great fan bases, Kansas fans are borderline insane when it comes to the Jayhawks.

    And trust me, there is no person in America that lives, breathes and dies Arizona basketball. #2? That’s a joke.

  67. scorpiocard
    3:00 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    @67. To hilarious delusional UK fan, here is a article from the UK student newspaper. You may or not be aware that the other schools playing in Rupp got to sell tickets to the game.

    Also here is the attendance for UK games at Freedom Hall. Note that the last three were not sell outs 15, 17 and 14 thousand. The Hall holds 20K. Look at the list and tell me the only times UK sold out Freedom Hall in FOREVER! When they were playing who? LOUISVILLE! The home team who sold out Freedom Hall for virtually EVERY game.

    Delusional UK fans never can accept FACTS!

  68. scorpiocard
    3:03 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Also for delusional UK fans, where do you think the money from the YUM Center boxes comes from??????????? Yeah…U of L fans PAYING FOR THE BOXES TO SEE U OF L PLAY!

    Wow! I guess that is hard to comprehend, when you are blewlusional.

  69. Lee
    4:15 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    This report is BS! Where is Robert Morris on this study?

  70. Rippgutt
    5:08 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    “Kentucky tends to under-price and may collect less revenues than possible”…Basically kids, that means UK sells tickets at Shell gas station for $5 or less to fill the stands. That way, they can pretend to have the best fan base judged by attendance. Sorry, but Louisville owns in both categories, and they don’t have to lower prices. People actually have jobs in Louisville, and pay a premium prices to watch a premium TEAM play, in a premium arena. Little retarded, deformed sister plays second (rather 7th) “fiddle” ’round these parts…..LMAO!

  71. matt jones
    8:38 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Of course UL has the number one fans. That’s a no brainer!