Forbes ranks NBA “fan loyalty”; Heat #1, Cavaliers #26?

According to the 21st annual Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index by Forbes, the NBA team with the best fans in all of basketball: The Miami Heat.

The Heat moved up five spots from last year’s rankings to take the top spot away from the San Antonio Spurs. The top five rounds out 1. Heat 2. Spurs 3. Knicks 4. Celtics 5. Thunder/Nets.

The study takes into account four “emotional drivers of brand loyalty” which are pure entertainment, authenticity, fan bonding and history/tradition.

The bottom five teams according to Forbes’ study: 26. Cavaliers 27. Wizards 28. Timberwolves 29. Kings 30. Bobcats.

Perhaps the problem lies not in the scoring of the categories, but in the category definitions themselves.

“Pure Entertainment: How well a team does, sure. But even more importantly than a win-loss ratio, how exciting is their play? Authenticity: How well they play as a team. Fan Bonding: Are there players who are particularly respected and admired? History and Tradition: Is the game and the team part of fans’ and community rituals, institutions and beliefs?”

Or maybe the ‘fan loyalty’ part of the title should just go away. Probably wouldn’t ruffle much feathers as a pure marketing survey.

Miami fans. Really?

  • JK

    I was smiling reading it too.. Forbes, why even make a list like this you silly bastards?

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Thank God they didn’t include something as trivial as “fanbase shows up at game time and stays for the whole game”, or “at least 50% of the crowd is actually watching the game at any moment and not on their smartphone”. Those wouldve been devastating for Miami.


    LOL. Miami fans are anything but loyal. Trailblazers or Thunder should be #1. Seattle Supersonics have more loyal fans today than the Miami Heat do. That town (and the entire state of Florida) is a terrible pro sports town. It’s all Dolphins and NCAA down there.

  • Aren’t these the same geniuses that called Carmelo Anthony the most overpaid player in basketball when he has a teammate who makes as much as he does and has played in just 20 games or so?

  • Steve

    I’m sure everyone will remember this work by Forbes when it’s time to heave criticism on Dolan as the business of baseball rankings come out.

  • thenoclist

    man who cares about this article

  • Jaker

    What does “pure entertainment” have to do with fan loyalty? Meaning if the team is more entertaining, the fans are better? That makes no sense.

  • “Perhaps the problem lies not in the scoring of the categories, but in the category definitions themselves.”

    That, or paying attention to ‘fan loyalty’ rankings in the first place.

  • nj0

    Phony rankings are phony.

  • LaundroMat

    “Authenticity: How well they play as a team.”


  • there is no much crap out there. there’s an espn ‘insider’ piece purporting to be a browns draft guide. all you need to know about it is in the comment section, sort by most liked.

  • humboldt

    You mean The Onion, not Forbes, right Rick?

  • mgbode

    Forbes also says that the Yankees make less $$$ than the Indians. They are all about getting headlines and generating traffic just like most other places.

  • mgbode

    yes, we should get bonus points for surviving the Fratello years.

  • mgbode

    Jazz and Kings could enter the discussion as well. Also, the Warriors.

  • mgbode

    their “exceptional” work on the business of baseball is already noted on this thread 🙂

  • Harv 21

    Getting info on sports loyalty from Forbes is kinda like getting cookie recipes from PC World. What do you expect?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Haha, that’s awesome… goodraisin is me 🙂 Thanks kanick!

  • BisonDeleSightings
  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Depends on which “cookies.” ;o)

  • eldaveablo

    We all just need to Fan Up, apparently…

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Nice! +1

  • Kildawg

    Didn’t read the article because I’m not an Insider member but I’m guessing this is a BIG reason why ESPN is being ignored by us Cleveland Sports Fans. ESPN wonders why they’re losing much fanfare amongst us and they have stuff like this…

  • In other news, Kanye West is the most loyal boyfriend in the world because Kim is hot.

  • ahahahahahha