Since the Dallas Mavericks were founded in 1980, they have put a strong emphasis on fan engagement. Considering Dallas is the 5th largest media market in the United States (according to Nielsen), the Mavericks have successfully maintained a solid social media following in the three major platforms. The @Mavs have about 1.59 million Twitter followers, which ranks well above the average among NBA teams. The Dallas Mavericks Instagram page, with 1.2 million followers, is a highly engaging resource for Mavs fans everywhere. The @Mavericks Facebook page, with almost 4.375 million likes, ranks 12th in the league. The sum total of followers across the three social media outlets of the Mavericks totals approximately 7.165 million. All three of these accounts provide interactive fan-based content, scores, team updates, and more which allow #Mavs fans to connect with their team regardless of where they live.
Over the years, Syracuse has built one of the most consistently successful college basketball programs in the nation. The Jim Boeheim era has been particularly fruitful. Ten years after the former Orange guard graduated from Syracuse, he was named the head coach of their basketball program. That day in 1976 was a turning point for the program. 946 wins later, Syracuse is an established college basketball powerhouse. Their success on the court has translated to popularity off of it. Because of their prestige, they are often able to land top high school recruits and consistently produce NBA talent. From their consistent victories on the court to their record-breaking arena, Syracuse basketball is a blue-blood program. The team’s impressive resumé has earned them the #6 spot in FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Team Rankings!
Visit FanWide.com to find a Syracuse Orange game watch party or fan club near you.
FanWide’s #7 NCAA Basketball team is the Villanova Wildcats. Villanova has won two of the last four National Championships. Coach Jay Wright has elevated Nova Basketball to a new level. Their consistent regular season success has made them increasingly interesting to watch for current fans, and their postseason glory has brought in a wave of new ones. Villanova’s tournament play has become must-see TV. Legendary moments like Kris Jenkins’ National Championship winning buzzer beater in 2016 and Donte DiVincenzo’s 2018 National Championship 31 point eruption have contributed to a new generation of Villanova fans. Their exciting play and consistent success has made them one of the most prominent programs in the nation and landed them a spot in FanWide’s Top 10.
Visit FanWide.com to find a Villanova Wildcats game watch party or fan club near you.
Coming in at #8 on FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Teams: the Michigan Wolverines. From the legendary “Fab Five” in the early ‘90s to the modern Michigan team, Wolverines basketball has always been about team cohesion and success. The strength of the team, however, cannot exist without the strength of the fans, who are unwavering in their support of the Wolverines. To repay their support, Michigan has grown into a yearly juggernaut, made evident by numerous Big Ten and NCAA Tournament wins. Strong finishes across all categories earned the Wolverines the #8 spot among FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Teams.
Visit FanWide.com to find a Michigan Wolverines game watch party or fan club near you.
Teams were evaluated in 8 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology):
Coming in at number 9 in FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Rankings is the Arizona Wildcats. While the Wildcats have not won a national championship since 1997, they have had a lot recent success. Ever since Arizona hired Sean Miller as the head coach in 2009, the Wildcats have seen an uptick in tournament appearances and regular season wins. Not only has Miller been able to drastically improve Arizona’s winning percentage, he has also had a lot of success recruiting the top high school basketball players. Former top recruits and current NBA stars such as Deandre Ayton, Stanley Johnson, Lauri Markkanen, and Aaron Gordon have helped stabilize and improve an Arizona Basketball program on the rise. With a top-3 overall recruiting class (which includes top point guard Nico Mannion) for 2019, the Arizona Wildcats future looks very bright. Because of Arizona’s recent success and their massive fanbase, the Wildcats place 9th in FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Team Rankings.
At #3 in FanWide’s Top NFL teams ranking is the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been the epitome of success for the better-part of the 21st century. Recently, the Patriots, otherwise known as the Pats, have had an incredibly high success rate. In this decade the patriots have a regular-season winning percentage of 74%. What New England has done is unlike anything else in sports. The New England Patriots were the laughing stock in the NFL in the 1980s, but quite a lot has changed. The Pats have created a dynasty like no other in which a playoff win seems to be guaranteed every year along with a Super Bowl appearance. The reason for the Patriots’ recent success is because of the brilliance of head coach Bill Belichick, the magnificence of future-hall-of-famer Tom Brady, and caring owner in Robert Kraft. Many may hate the Patriots for their cheating allegations, but no person can take away the dominance and greatness from the Patriots in the 21st century. Tom Brady is still going strong at 41 years old, along with the Patriots’ chances of winning.
More colleges participate in men’s basketball than any other sport. Because of this, with more than 1,000 men’s basketball teams currently competing in the NCAA, college basketball is one of the most competitive sports at any level. Still, among these 1,000+ teams lie a handful of programs that always seem to perform at a level above the rest. In college basketball, continued success is partially reliant on consistently landing talented high school players. As a result, team popularity and fan engagement are closely related to victories on the court. Nevertheless, there are always some teams which remain popular, no matter how well their season is going. FanWide is using its own fan engagement data alongside traditional measures of success to quantify program popularity. Read below to get an inside look at how FanWide is cultivating a top ten list that uses its proprietary fan data to rank teams based on more than just production on the field.
Top 10 (Check back here periodically to see the updated list)
Coming in at number 4 in FanWide’s Top 10 NFL Team rankings is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, also known as the Black and Gold, have a history like no other. The Steelers have won six Super Bowls and have had a lot of star-power since the dominance in the 1970s. Superstars such as Joe Greene, Franco Harris, James Harrison, and Ben Roethlisberger are the backbone of the Steelers’ special legacy. The Steelers have always been known as a team of toughness and grit, and that will always be their reputation in the NFL. The Steelers have the second strongest fan base according to FanWide and one that is very loyal. The Steelers have lost two superstars in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but there tenacious play will continue. Do not be surprised if the Steelers make a deep run in the playoffs this season.
Coming in at number 5 in FanWide’s Top 10 NFL Team rankings is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have a very storied past which includes many Super Bowl appearances and NFL legends. Superstars such as Reggie White, Brian Dawkins, and Randall Cunningham played with pride for the Green and White and will forever be remembered by the NFL community. These players set the tone for future Eagles players and fans. The Eagles play with a certain type of swagger and fury that is unprecedented in the NFL. This mindset extends to the bleachers. The Eagles have one of the most loyal and hardcore fan bases in the NFL and are always cheering for their team from Eagles game watch parties around the country, which is why it made FanWide’s list.
Real Madrid is the top team in FanWide’s European soccer rankings. From their 33 domestic league titles to 207 million aggregate social media followers to 13 Champions League titles and beyond- Real Madrid’s numbers speak for themselves. Few teams have the ammunition to form meaningful rivalries with Real Madrid. Barcelona, FanWide’s #3 team, is one of those teams. Games played between Real Madrid and Barcelona, nicknamed “El Clásico,” are consistently some of the most viewed sporting events in the world. While Barcelona currently leads the all-time rivalry (the overall record is 115-99-61), games between the two giants in La Liga are much closer. The all-time El Clásico record in La Liga games is 72-72-34. The rivalry goes beyond soccer- Real Madrid is said to represent Spanish pride while Barcelona is said to represent Catalonian pride. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is tied as the second leading all-time El Clásico goal scorer with Alfredo di Stefano (behind Lionel Messi), was a major part of the rivalry. Now that Ronaldo has moved to Juventus, it will be interesting to see how the rivalry sways. Ballon d’Or winner Luca Modric will have to continue stepping up big for Real Madrid for reasons that go beyond just their rivalry with Barcelona. Real Madrid has begun a new era. Time will tell if Real Madrid flourishes post-Ronaldo, but if history repeats itself, they’ll do just fine. There’s a reason Real Madrid is FanWide’s #1 European soccer team.