The New England Patriots have enjoyed an unprecedented run of success over the last decade and a half.
The Pats have missed the NFL playoffs just twice since winning their first Super Bowl during the 2001 season, and have won 10 or more regular season games in 11 consecutive seasons.
With that success comes a great deal of benefits, one of the most important being a passionate and dedicated fan base that’s willing to support its favorite franchise in a variety of ways.
Researchers at Emory University have devised a formula to put a number on that dedication in their 2014 NFL fan base rankings, breaking down which team’s supporters top the list in “Fan Equity” and “Social Media Equity” metrics.
Not surprisingly, Patriots fans are near the top of both lists.
New England fans finished second behind only the Dallas Cowboys in Fan Equity, which, in short, measures a fan base’s willingness to financially support its NFL squad while taking into account factors such as team winning percentage and population size.
In Social Media equity, which measures the strength of each NFL team’s social media following, Patriots fans finished third behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cowboys.
The Patriots’ Twitter account currently leads all official NFL team accounts with more than 880,000 followers, so as long as the team keeps winning, its massive support base shows no signs of dwindling.