Thursday, May 20, 2010

Social Media and the American League East

It seems like every day there is another article trashing the Tampa Bay Rays and their fans for poor attendance (often incorrectly) and low ratings (also often incorrectly). The frequency of these articles seems to be directly proportionate to the Rays winning percentage and place in the American League East standings. I guess if they can't beat us, they have to mock us.

Rather than rehash the arguments about attendance and ratings, I wanted to point out some information I saw at Sports Marketing 2.0. What they have done is create an app that tracks the followers of sports teams and leagues on Facebook and Twitter. How do the Rays fare compared to the rest of the AL East in terms of social media?
Rank Team                Twitter    Facebook       Total
1.   New York Yankees    277,803   1,362,011   1,639,814
2.   Boston Red Sox       11,469   1,111,584   1,123,053
3.   Tampa Bay Rays        5,922     119,813     125,735
4.   Toronto Blue Jays     6,768     104,406     111,174
5.   Baltimore Orioles     4,523     100,464     104,987
Third place isn't too bad. Even though Twitter and Facebook are fairly new, I assumed that teams like the Blue Jays and Orioles would be ahead of us because of their longer histories and more established fan bases.

Looking at only teams (not leagues), the Yankees are second overall, trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers. The Red Sox are fourth overall, behind the Lakers, Yankees, and Orlando Magic.

Other teams just above and below the Rays include the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, and Houston Rockets. The lowest ranked MLB team is the Washington Nationals, with a total of 46,435 followers.

MLB ranks third among the four major U.S. sports leagues, trailing the NBA and NFL, and ahead of the NHL.

Not sure if this is good news or not for the Rays, but it sure beats another article about attendance.


  1. Do they mention how they figure the Twitter and Facebook stats? I find it hard to believe that on Twitter there are only 5,922 Rays fans.

  2. It goes by the number of followers. Just checked, Rays have 5,938 as of right now, so it looks pretty accurate, even though the numbers will change all the time.