One study finds fans of the Carolina Panthers to be less than average…
The Carolina Panthers franchise is relatively new by comparison to a majority of teams in the league. Despite their youth, the Panthers have enjoyed a fair amount of success in a limited number of seasons. Two Super Bowl appearances, multiple divisional titles, playoff trips, a league MVP, plus at least one offensive and defensive player AND rookie of the year award recipient constitute an impressive resume.
Carolina also boasts one of the longest running home game sell out streaks in all of football and has increasingly focused the team’s off the field efforts on the Charlotte and surrounding communities.
New team owner David Tepper has invested a significant amount of money into the franchise and his experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers allows for a knowledgeable well from which to draw ideas about increasing fan interaction and involvement. By comparison, the Steelers were founded in 1933, or 60 years prior to Carolina – at least a few generations of fans ahead.
According to Jay Busbee at Yahoo Sports, a recent study conducted by Emory University has Panthers fans ranked No. 19 overall in the league. Pittsburgh is much higher, landing inside the top-five but given the differences in time to cultivate a following, this is not much of a surprise.
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Jacksonville, which was founded the same year as Carolina, came in at No. 29 and nearly last in two of the categories used to compare all teams. These included fan and social equity – measures to determine how much individuals spend on their teams via multiple outlets and following across all social media.
The Panthers ranked No. 4 in social equity and anyone who follows any of the team’s accounts knows this is arguably too low. Carolina has been setting the standard for the NFL in terms of social media accounts for quite some time.
Carolina finished No. 22 in fan equity, No. 4 in social equity and No. 27 in road equity – or how well the fan base is represented at opposing stadiums. These numbers led to their final overall ranking, worse than over half the league.
NFC South divisional rivals Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay finished No. 13, 7 and 23, respectively. View the full NFL rankings here.