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?