Lakers the dominant NBA franchise online, according to study

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant pulls up for a jumper over Kings forward John Salmons in Sacramento.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The Lakers have one of the NBA’s largest fan bases, especially when taking into account the team’s online presence.

According to a paper by Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi of Emory University, the Lakers have the most “social media equity” in the league.

The study attempts to evaluate the Internet presence of each team, with information that includes followers and “likes” from Twitter and Facebook.


“We then created a statistical model that predicts these measures of social media engagement as a function of market size, tweeting activity and team performance for this past season and for the season before that,” reads the report.

Apparently the Lakers “crush the competition both in terms of raw numbers and in [the] model.”

In comparison, the New York Knicks are the top fan base in terms of economic support but only have “about 20% of the social media activity of the Lakers” -- placing them 27th overall.

The Miami Heat came in second followed by the Boston Celtics. The Clippers were ranked last at 30.

The Charlotte Bobcats have a surprisingly high rank at No. 4, despite relatively low social media numbers.

The study accounts for the Bobcats’ small market size and poor team performance on the court, noting “the Charlotte market has fairly resilient fans, and probably speaks to the potential of the market if a consistent winning team is developed.”

Analysis of Social Media Equity in the #NBA. Top 5: #Lakers #Heat #Celtics #Bobcats #Warriors— Sports Mkt Analytics (@sportsmktprof) September 3, 2013


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