INDIANAPOLIS – Forbes magazine has published their list for the top fans in the NFL.
The Colts find themselves at No. 6 on the list and rank atop the category of "Stadium Attendance Rank."
In the four categories ranked, the Colts graded out as followed: TV Audience (8), Stadium Attendance (1), Social Media (6) and Merchandise (12).
Below is a list of the Top 10 fan bases according to Forbes and the criteria the magazine used to rank them:
- Steelers (tie)
Below is how Forbes ranked the teams.
Our ranking is based on five criteria: hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year), 3 years worth of television ratings (per Nielsen), 3 years of stadium attendance based on capacity reached, 3 years worth of merchandise sales (per NFLShop.com), and social media reach (a combination of Facebook likes and Twitter TWTR -0.04% followers based on the team's metro area population).
We adjusted our methodology from prior years: We abandoned fan club counts since the numbers are less reliable than Nielsen Scarborough research, and scratched sellout streaks from our stadium attendance equation since we tired of listening to teams boast a sellout streak and then observe blocks of unoccupied seats on TV. Additionally we made no differentiation among teams who reported attendance figures beyond capacity — everyone over was given the same consideration as if they reported 100%.
Comparable television ratings were only available for 3 years so that is the time frame used for stadium and merchandise sales. In absence of having this data since the beginning of time, this was the best way to minimize the effect of frontrunners. So even though Johnny Manziel has had the top selling NFL jersey spot since Cleveland drafted him in May, the Browns failed to make our top 10.