A new first-of-its-kind study by the Samford University Center for Sports Analytics in Birmingham, Alabama, has produced the inaugural “Relevance Rankings” of U.S. sports leagues, entities and teams — and how Miami teams fare runs the gamut from high relevance to, well, something closer to irrelevance.
The rankings, says the Center, are based on a deep dive into social media data from 6.9 million U.S sports fans in a study conducted this past August that analyzed how fans connected to teams, sports brands, events, athletes and media.
The Miami Heat led all South Florida teams by a lot, ranking fourth in the NBA with a 6.54 rating, just ahead of the Cavaliers and after the top three: Lakers at 8.94, Warriors 8.72 and Bulls 6.94.
The Miami Dolphins rank a mid-pack 18th (of 32 teams) in NFL relevance with a 3.22 rating. The top three: Cowboys 8.01, Patriots 7.01 and Steelers 6.15.
Miami Hurricanes football ranks third of 14 ACC teams with a 1.01 rating, after Clemson’s 1.99 and Florida State’s 1.30. Overall that ranked the Canes 19th of 70 rated college teams. The top three: Alabama 2.29, Michigan 2.22 and Notre Dame 2.09. (FSU was ranked eighth overall and Florida 12th).
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And the Florida Panthers are ranked 22nd of 31 NHL teams with a 1.18 rating. The top three: Blackhawks at 5.04, Penguins 3.53 and Bruins 2.04.
The study did not include a ranking of MLB teams. (Perhaps just as well for the Miami Marlins).
The top five leagues or entities overall: NFL 33.60, NBA 25.49, MLB 18.87, ESPN College GameDay 12.69 and WWE 10.73.