Facebook Pores Over Baseball Fan Data And Provides Marketing Inspiration

June 7, 2011
How conservative are baseball team's fans?

How conservative are baseball team's fans?

A while back, my colleague Bob raised the red flag about Minnesota sports with a data-filled post proclaiming this to be the worst period for Minnesota sports — ever. If you’re a sports fan, a data geek or just someone who’s looking for a little optimism, you might find something interesting in the heaps of numbers shared recently by the Facebook Data Team examining baseball fans on Facebook.

It’s fascinating to see the data these folks have pulled together for no apparent reason other than it’s interesting. And it’s especially fascinating when you recognize that this is a powerful reminder of the marketing potential Facebook holds. Imagine what a few smart marketers could do with this sort of data.

Aside from the marketing potential, some of the findings are surprising. I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that the Oakland Athletics have the most geographically dispersed fan base (based on median fan distance from the team’s stadium). Some, however, aren’t so surprising: You probably could have guessed that the Texas Rangers are the team with the most politically conservative fan base.

Twins fans, for what it’s worth, are more likely to be female than the fans of any team other than the St. Louis Cardinals, and Twins fans are among the most devoted in the Big Leagues (based on percentage of fans who are fans of only one team). (This Facebook post was written on May 18, before the Twins’ recent winning streak, and we were still a very devoted bunch; I guess that’s another measure of sorts.)

This baseball data might just be fun and interesting, but imagine if you found similar correlations between, say, geography and soft drink preference, or profession and online shopping habits, or favorite bands and favorite TV shows. The opportunities are endless. The challenge, of course, is to put that power to good use rather than use it for advertising is usual.

How’s your social media-driven content marketing plan coming along?