By Will Vandervort
Clemson fans pat yourselves on the back for a job well done. Emory Sports Marketing Analytics ranked the Clemson fan base as the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference Friday.
Emory’s business school has been presenting a series ranking the “best” fan bases in college football. The study, which was conducted by Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, uses data from the past 10 years and the rankings are based on Revenue Premium Brand Equity.
According to the study, Clemson is ranked No. 1 in the ACC Football Revenue Premium Based Brand Equity Rankings. The study says, “While the ACC is best known as a basketball conference, the economics of college sports are primarily driven by football. So, who in this “basketball” conference has the most loyal and supportive football fans?
“Number one on the list are the Clemson Tigers. In the past decade, Clemson has had very good attendance and revenues in comparison to what would be expected from a team then tends to be just above average on the field. Clemson’s revenues are especially good given that they operate in the ACC (and lack the revenues from being part of the Big Ten network or an SEC television contract). In comparison to other major ACC programs, Clemson has revenues that are in the range of 30%-60% higher.”
Virginia Tech ranks second behind Clemson in the rankings, followed by ACC newcomer Syracuse, North Carolina, Pitt and Virginia.
The most surprising part of the study was where Florida State and Miami fell in the research. The Seminoles ranked No. 7 and Miami No. 8 in the study. These two schools, from a national perspective, are considered the conference’s more popular football brands.
“The two Florida schools are interesting cases,” the study said. “Prior to running the numbers, we would have thought that Miami and FSU would have been the leaders of the conference. The issue is that despite the success these programs have experienced on the field, their revenues are not exceptional. For example, Miami invests a great deal in their program, almost always participates in bowl games (and many major bowls), but attendance is regularly far short of capacity.”
The rest of the rankings have Georgia Tech, NC State, Duke, Boston College, Maryland and Wake Forest to round out the study.
“The University of Maryland being near the bottom of the rankings is another remarkable story,” the study concluded. “The new entrants (Syracuse & Pitt) seem to be better football schools than Maryland, so by some measures the ACC has been a realignment winner. On the other hand, the Big Ten wants Maryland (and Rutgers) not so much for the schools’ current fan bases but for the schools’ locations in major media markets.”