To celebrate the impenidng Super Bowl, Facebook decided to analyze NFL support across the US based on Likes. Many of the results are as you'd expect—but there are a few interesting quirks along the way.
Across all of Facebook's US users, around 35 million have Liked a page for one of the 32 teams in the NFL. Wait, stop: that's a staggering figure. That means 1 in 10 Americans has declared their support for a team via Facebook—probably one of the most comprehensive samples of sports fanship data ever collected. Crunching through that data across the entire country, Sean Taylor from Facebook found some interesting little quirks:
There are some states which are divided into regions by teams. Florida has three teams—the Tampa Bay Bucs, Miami Dolphins, and the Jacksonville Jaguars—and Facebook users there seems fractured in their support, with some counties even defecting to teams from the North. Ohio is another interesting story, with the Cleveland Browns in the North, Cincinatti Bengals in the South, and Pittsburgh Steelers fans occupying the middle of the state.
Some teams, like the Steelers, Cowboys, and Packers, seem to transcend geography, with pockets of fans all over the country. On the other end of the spectrum, the Jets have to share New York with the Giants and are only the most popular team for a single stronghold county in Long Island.
Sean also took a look at how support of this year's Super Bowl contenders—the 49ers and the Ravens—breaks down across the country (shown below). As you'd expect, a fairly even East-West divide. But why all those 49ers fans in the north east? [Facebook via Flowing Data]