Sports fans aren’t created equal, as any sports fan will tell you. The San Francisco Giants or the Kansas City Royals can clinch the World Series tonight, but even the most thrilling Game 7 can’t answer the more important question — which team has better fans?
With our authority in digital media measurement, we’re going to (probably not) settle the question once and for all. We looked at visitors to two popular sports blogs in each city, McCoveyChronicles.com for Giants fans and RoyalsReview.com for Royals fans, as well as online listeners of popular sports radio stations, KGMZ in San Francisco and KCSP in Kansas City. We then arbitrarily chose five factors to use in rating fans’ level of fandom, with one point awarded for an advantage in each factor. Five points are up for grabs — so let’s play ball!
Full disclosure: Quantcast HQ is in San Francisco, but we also have loose connections to Missouri.
The Salary Cap
New stadiums are expensive, and any fan worth his or her salt needs to rock the latest team gear. Covering these costs, unfortunately, requires deep wallets, and Giants fans have the advantage here, with significantly higher average income than Royals fans.
Advantage: Giants Fans; Score: Giants Fans 1, Royals Fans 0
The Farm Team
The best way to attract new fans, aside from winning, is to get them while they’re young. While Giants fans are less likely to have kids than the average U.S. household, Royals fans are the opposite — they are 9 percent more likely to have kids than the average U.S. household. That means Royals fans get the nod for a more steady supply of future fans.
Advantage: Royals Fans; Score: Giants Fans 1, Royals Fans 1
An analysis of the online browsing habits of the two fan bases shows their top interests are sports-related. However, Giants fans also demonstrate interests in food and restaurants, as well as the latest computer news. When your team is in a World Series hunt, you simply can’t have distractions like restaurant reservations or the iPhone 6 on your mind, so Kansas City fans get the edge for their sheer focus.
Advantage: Royals Fans; Score: Giants Fans 1, Royals Fans 2
Fans need to show commitment to their team — the worst thing you can say about a fan is that they’ve hopped on the bandwagon. Still, fan interest will always peak later in the season, and the traffic patterns on McCoveyChronicles.com show that this holds true for the current season, as well. In the case of Giants fans, interest consistently starts to increase every summer. With their third World Series trip in five years, Giants fans always assume they are watching a potential playoff team.
However, Royals fans have had a very different experience, as their team is in the playoffs for the first time in 29 years! As the traffic chart for RoyalsReview.com illustrates, it took a little longer for interest to spike online.
For their consistency, Giants fans get the nod (sorry, Cinderella!).
Advantage: Giants Fans; Score: Giants Fans 2, Royals Fans 2
So which World Series team has the best fans? The last factor — winning — will have to be decided on the field. Now, you could argue that adversity forges stronger fans, so we should award the last point to fans of the losing team. But you could also argue that the best fans can literally will their team to win, so it’s the fans of the winning team who should get the edge. The whole thing is too close to call, so we’re going to bow out and just enjoy Game 7.
Update: Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants and all of their fans for their 3-2 Game 7 victory and their World Series championship! And congratulations to the Kansas City Royals and their fans as well, who kept the game dramatic right up until the final out. Now its time to look ahead to the 2015 season!
Posted by Nick Binder, Product Marketing Manager