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(BIG DATA) The NFL’s Millennial Fan Base

Jan 24, 2019 | Insights

The Redskins have the league’s oldest fan base, the Steelers the youngest.

Super Bowl LIII — featuring as it will a contest between New England’s Patriots and Los Angeles’ Rams — is right around the corner. As we’ve been doing, we are continuing to employ the StatSocial audience analysis tool to learn about many different aspects of all of the NFL team’s fans.

These mini-studies (viewable in full at our StatSocial blog here) each give a mere hint as to the diverse and essential insights this powerful analytics engine will generate regarding any audience about which you need to learn.

That Most Coveted of Audience Segments

The now fully grown generation — the fabled Millennials — those hovering around their early-20s to the their late-30s, whose cultural influence is no doubt profound, are our focus here. Simply, StatSocial has looked at hundreds of thousands of the fans of each NFL team, determining the varying percentages of every audience whose birth dates fall within the 1981 to 1996 date range; the years defined by The Pew Research Center as those during which Millennials emerged in their nascent forms.

The City of Bridges is the City of the Future


A proportion of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans comfortably shy of half, but not all that shy, suggests that they are one squad with staying power. As the season ticket holders grow too long in the tooth to endure three hours sitting in the Pittsburgh, December cold, their kids — equally dedicated to the team as they are — will be eagerly waiting in line to attend the games in their stead.

The New York Giants have one of the youngest fan bases. The Jets have one of the oldest.

Jets great Broadway Joe Namath and Giants great Phil Simms

The Jets have been mired in mediocrity for so long, whereas the Giants have mostly been a very good to above-average team (until very recently) for the entire millennial lifespan. It’s not a surprise that fans growing up in the New York metro region would gravitate to the more successful franchise. Our data definitely reflects that. Do Millennials even know who Broadway Joe Namath is?

Why are Redskin fans the oldest in the league?

Our nation’s capital’s home team, the Washington Redskins, finds the smallest proportion of Millennials chilling among their fans. Our guess is that because D.C. is a transplant city with people coming from all around the country to live and work, the native D.C. population is generally older than much of the rest of the nation. Many of those who adopt the D.C. metro area as their homes retain home team affinities. Given the lack of success the Skins have had since the 1980s, you’re less likely to attract a bandwagon fan base from all those younger D.C. strivers.

An idea for Tampa Bay to attract a younger crowd

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also find themselves with a roughly equivalently small percentage of Millennials among their fans. We generally don’t editorialize, as we deal strictly with statistics and we do so impartially, but if the Buccaneers were to bring back their flashy and fabulous ’70s helmets, they might (and we stress might) see a shift in these number before too long.

You’ve got to admit, that is a pretty terrific helmet.

Bookmark This Page,

We’ll be visiting numerous subjects of this general nature — all highlighting the rich and varied affinities of each NFL team’s fans — in the days running up to Super Bowl LIII.

And check out the written matter in the footer, and reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to see much, much more.

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