FanSection Reveals Which NFL Teams Have the Most Die-Hard Online Fans

Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


News Facts:

    NFL teams have amassed impressive fan followings -- the 2008 Turnkey Team
Brand Index, which ranks professional sports team franchises according to
brand loyalty, includes four NFL teams in its top five and seven in the
top 20. The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots,
Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts are also among the top 20
FanSection communities further demonstrating that the NFL is king in
American sports.  As sports teams' online presence continues to become
more of a factor in offline success -- cultivating and engaging die-hard
fans online who will drive sales and TV viewership offline -- fan
participation on the Web will be a key metric for determining team brand
loyalty. FanSection has kept a close eye on its NFL fan communities
throughout the playoffs and uncovered some rising trends.

     Trends Across NFL Teams

     As they prepare to face off in Super Bowl XLIII, Pittsburgh Steelers
fans appear to have a decided advantage over Arizona Cardinals fans in the
FanSection community, outnumbering them 374,727 to 31,888. Steelers fans
are rallying support more than their counterparts, as demonstrated by the
30,000 Super Bowl fan waves they have passed on to their friends compared
to 4,000 by Cardinals fans. Of the playoff teams, the Steelers, Giants
and Colts showed the most consistent fan base -- monthly active users
have fluctuated no more than 10 to 15 percent -- indicating fans are
accustomed to the playoffs. Conversely, Eagles and Cardinals fans rallied
around their teams' surprising playoff run -- monthly active fans
increased by 600% and 1500% respectively.

     The FanSection Top Fives for the '08-09 NFL season

    Most popular NFL playoff teams by total FanSection fans along with their
increase since August 2008:

     1. Pittsburgh Steelers - 374,727 fans - 110%   2. Philadelphia Eagles -
304,266 fans - 194%  3. Indianapolis Colts - 233,138 fans - 51%  4. New
York Giants - 225,642 fans - 71%  5. San Diego Chargers - 122,441 fans -

    Most active fans along with key examples demonstrating engagement:

     1. Pittsburgh Steelers - over 400,000 fan waves  2. Dallas Cowboys -
over 40,000 discussion posts  3. Philadelphia Eagles - over 300,000 fan
waves  4. Washington Redskins - over 20,000 discussion posts  5. Green
Bay Packers - over 20,000 instances of game day smack talk

     About FanSection

    Watercooler, Inc.'s FanSection community is the largest online community
of passionate sports fans with over 600 communities and 17 million users
across top sites including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, hi5, and
Yahoo!. Users visit the FanSection community to engage with other fans,
play trivia games, and interact with opponents.

 Watercooler Corporate Site
 FanSection Steelers page on Facebook

FanSection Cardinals page on Facebook
 FanSection Blog
FanSection Twitter
  Quotes, attributable to Watercooler executives:

    "The passion of fans is what drives the sports industry, and the ability
to gauge how fans are interacting with team brands is invaluable," said
Kevin Chou, CEO of Watercooler. "FanSection allows us to see the trends
in fan engagement, conversations and visceral reactions that determine
which teams are getting the most support, and we are beginning to work
with teams from various leagues on how best to use that data. We also
work with our advertising partner, Federated Media, to develop integrated
campaigns with marketers and advertisers that allow them to more
effectively target sports fans." "Sports fans don't always act the way we
expect," said Bryan Bennett, senior director of marketing for
Watercooler. "For example, the New England Patriots have the largest NFL
user base, but are virtually non-existent when it comes to community
engagement. Given last year's playoff run and a very respectable record
this season, it's surprising. Clearly superior user numbers aren't always
the best indicator of how fans will rally support around their favorite

    Please contact Marie Williams at or
415-591-8416 to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

    Technorati Tags:

    Watercooler, FanSection, social media, social networking, Web 2.0, NFL,
football, playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, New England
Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Super Bowl XLIII


Marie Williams
Email Contact

Copyright 2009, Market Wire, All rights reserved.