Two researchers at Emory University have launched their 2014 MLB Fan Analysis, which uses the numbers to break down baseball's fan bases by any number of variables. Earlier this week, they tackled one near and dear to our hearts: Which teams' attendance is most closely correlated with its success?
The data runs from 1998 to 2013. After controlling for other variables like price and market size, what's left is win sensitivity. Here's how Emory Sports Marketing Analytics describes it.
The win elasticity provides a measure of the importance of quality in driving demand. For example, if the statistical model finds that a team's demand is unrelated to winning rate, then the implication is that fans have so much of a preference for the team that winning and losing don't matter. For a weaker team (brand) the model would produce a strong relationship between demand and winning.
Simply put, the teams at the top of the list have fans that jump on the bandwagon when the team starts winning, and jump off it when they lose. The teams at the bottom have fans who come or don't to games regardless of the team's success, or lack thereof. (Hi Miami!)
The biggest front-runners in the game? It's the Philadelphia Phillies, whose attendance through two months was down about 8,000 fans per game over last season (and the 2014 figures aren't even included in the data). Here's the ranking; There's a lot more fun stuff throughout the three parts of the study.