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StatSocial Looks Inside the AFC and NFC Championship Games

Jan 22, 2016 | Insights

As the country goes kaka-kookoo with talk of Bernies and Trumps, and what and/or who the heck may or may not be happening, there are still some things which adhere to tradition, providing welcome surprises of the sort upon which a warm-blooded American can rely.

We’re talking about rallies, comebacks, upsets, and the like, on the gridiron, with the various regions of this great land being represented not by shaggy dog senators and blustery billionaires, but by billion dollar organizations named after animals, and staffed by genetic anomalies; 7 feet in height, 350 lbs. in weight, and capable of running a two minute mile.

In the build-up to the arguably unholy, possibly unprecedented circus that will be February 7th’s Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, we’ve still got two more playoff games to get through. The conference Championship games, featuring respectively in Denver, the AFC championship between rivals the Denver Broncos — in a game which could be future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning’s last — and the New England Patriots, starring the undeflatable Tommy Brady, being handsome and great at football. And the NFC championship, taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina, finding the home team Panthers hosting Arizona’s Cardinals.

To get in on the action, while demonstrating our distinctive and unmatched powers of analysis, StatSocial has decided to do an analysis of each team’s fans on social media to see what we can learn.

We’re not sure it will tell anyone much about the games’ possible outcomes, and we take no responsibility for those who somehow apply our data to their betting strategies, but we still thought it was a fine opportunity to demonstrate our powers; knowing, as we do, that football is insanely popular and many of you who have found your way here may very well benefit — with your business, or any other endeavor from rock band to political campaign — from employing the in-depth social audience analysis we provide.

But let’s start with the game garnering the most attention at the moment, the AFC face-off between the Broncos and the Patriots.

The sex breakdown of the teams’ fans is equal, and as you’ll soon see both teams have larger female followings than their NFC counterparts. But both find themselves with a fanbase about 67% male.

BRONCOS

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PATRIOTS

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Turning our attention to the NFC we can’t speak for the manliness of the assorted athletes involved — whom we’re certain are all butch beyond description, throughout the entire league — but the fanbases are definitely more testosterone laden. The Cardinals’ fanbase is especially male, at nearly three-quarters.

CARDINALS

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By comparison, they’re a veritable He-Man Women Hater’s Club next to their Carolina rivals, 30% of the fans of whom are female.

PANTHERS

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Age breakdowns are surprisingly similar across all four teams, with three of the teams finding approximately 19–20% of their audience under 18, and 19–20% between 35 and 54. Then split more in the 13–15% range among the other age groups.

Curiously, the Patriots buck this trend with only 16% between 35 and 54, and more than half their fanbase under 34; nearly 22% under 18.

When it comes to income, the Patriots dominate, with 13% of their fans earning over $100k a year, and nearly half over $50k. The Panthers also find over half their fans earning over $50k — in fact, well over half at 54% — but only 10% earning over $100k.

PATRIOTS

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PANTHERS

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By contrast the fans of the other two teams vying for a spot in the The Big Game live much more modestly. Over 55% of the Cardinals’ fans earn under $50k a year, and 53% of the Broncos’ fans are in that bracket. The Broncos are also the only of the four teams with fewer than 10% of their fans earning over $100k a year.

BRONCOS

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CARDINALS

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Education stats adhere almost precisely to what you’d expect, in terms of which alma mater is most prominent with each team’s fans. The most prominent school attended among the Cardinals’ fans is indeed ASU, among the Broncos’ fans it is Colorado State, University of North Carolina leads the school stats for the Panthers’ fans, and finally — and with a bit of a twist — Boston College is the most prominent alma mater with the Patriots’ fans.

In fact, when using StatSocial’s unique “multiple” metric, which looks at things in terms of proportions and percentages as opposed to raw numbers, Patriots fans are 17.2 times more likely to have attended Boston College than the average social media user.

In terms of interests, again unsurprisingly, each team finds its top interests dominated by the corresponding team, then the NFL, then ESPN, and then their city’s other teams. This was the case with all four teams’ fans, to a degree we would describe as reliable.

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Okay — So those are the demographic insights that we can learn from StatSocial’s peerless analysis of social data. Great stuff to know, particularly with such clarity and accuracy. But to demonstrate our wares, and the scope of what we can do, we thought it a good idea to get into some of our more unique stats. Thing is, with these crowds, there aren’t too many surprises to be found. Like we said, in these topsy-turvy times, the National Football League and its dedicated fans give you something you can rely on.

Anyway, we thought it would be fun — again using our “multiple” metric — to see which “social influencers” (meaning well connected individuals whose content is frequently shared, etc., on social media) ranked most highly with the Patriots’ fans. And well, wouldn’t you know it? It’s a bunch of current and past Patriots players. Exclusively.

They may be playing for other teams, or doing other things now — one’s a “Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics Executive,” and another more traditionally for a former pro is a sports broadcaster — but they all played for the Pats at one time or another.

RankNameMultipleTwitter1Shane Vereen91.41@ShaneVereen342Julian Edelman90.14@edelman113Stevan Ridley84.17@StevanRidley4Danny Amendola|79.98@DannyAmendola5Sebastian Vollmer76.85@SebVollmer6Zoltan Mesko75.41@ZoltanMesko7Deion Branch74.22@deionbranch848Aaron Dobson70.23@aarondobson179Brandon Bolden67.79@BB_HulkSmash10Rodney Harrison64.16@Rodney_Harrison

As a quick explanation, the multiple number means, in this instance, that a Pats fan is 91 times more likely to be a follower of Shane Vereen than the average social media user is. Frequently when viewed through this lens stats can be quite revealing and surprising, but in this case it has confirmed that Pats fans are indeed Pats fans.

Anyway, we could go on all day with this. If you reach out to us on Twitter we maybe could be talked into sending you a PDF or two of the reports from which we pulled this data. And if you want to see some more in depth sample reports of what we here at StatSocial do, click on through here.

And keep checking this space, as in the lead up to Super Bowl 50 we’ll be providing legitimately unique insights into myriad advertisers, halftime performers, the competing teams, and much, much more. You will find more one-of-a-kind and insightful data on the Big Game — and all its surrounding hubbub — here than you will anywhere else in cyberspace.

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