The study, conducted by Emory University Professor Michael Lewis, uses data to create statistical models of fan interest and takes into consideration factors such as market size and team performance. The study also uses measurements like Fan Equity, which measures fans willingness to spend money on their teams, and Social Equity, which indicates fan support beyond the field of play. Social media also plays a large role in the rankings.
The Dolphins ranked number 27 on the list of 32 teams, finishing ahead of the bottom five teams on the list, the Bills, Rams, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars.
Some of the Dolphins’ biggest AFC East rivals fared far better in the study, with the Jets securing a middle-of-the-pack ranking of 17 and the Patriots topping the list as the best fan base in football.
Patriots fans’ “willingness to pay premium prices, strong attendance and phenomenal social media following,” contributed to their number one ranking, according to Professor Lewis.
The other teams that comprise the top five are the Cowboys, Broncos, 49ers and Eagles.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were ranked ahead of the Dolphins, securing the top spot in the state of Florida, coming in at number 24.