Popularity of Australian sports leagues across various social networks
I’ve been checking the number of people who list a team as an interest across a number of social networks. Yesterday, for networks where I had information on 215 teams I have on my list, I added together the number of people who listed a team as an interest in various leagues. I got the following table.
|Brisbane Netball Association||21||21|
|Commonwealth Bank Trophy||3||2||1|
|First class cricket||34573||1||1||3||29||22400||12140|
|Gridiron Australia Nationals||66||66|
|Netball New South Wales||22||22|
|NSW Premier League||316||1||4||311|
|Plenty Valley Netball Association||20||20|
|Rugby League/State of Origin||61519||1||1||18||61320||179|
|Victorian Amateur Football Association||1||1|
|Women’s Flat Track Derby Association||760||760|
Interesting to see what networks have what populations. The WNBL is only really an interest on 2 networks while the AFL is present on every network. These networks all have different population sizes so total numbers is really apple to oranges in some ways. I then decided to rank the leagues by how popular they were on each network. The most popular league ranks 1, the next most popular league ranks 2. If there is a tie, they share the same rank. The results of that are in the following table:
|First class cricket||3||2||6||1||1||6||3||3.14||34574|
|Rugby League/State of Origin||3||4||2||7||11||5.4||61519|
|NSW Premier League||3||10||9||7.33||316|
|Commonwealth Bank Trophy||6||12||9||3|
|Women’s Flat Track Derby Association||11||11||760|
|Victorian Amateur Football Association||13||13||1|
|Gridiron Australia Nationals||14||14||66|
|Netball New South Wales||17||17||22|
|Brisbane Netball Association||18||18||21|
|Plenty Valley Netball Association||19||19||20|
This table is a bit more interesting. Across most networks, the AFL is the most popular league. The NRL is the second most popular league. First class cricket, compromising state cricket teams, is the third most popular. The A-League and Super 14 are close behind. When you get down near the bottom, patterns become interesting. The WNBL is not as popular as Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. This is largely a result of the large number of fans on Facebook. AFL Canberra is also more popular than the VFL. This is because of the high rank on JournalFen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attendance_figures_at_domestic_professional_sports_leagues lists the attendance by league for six Australian sports leagues in 2009. I cannot find a better list of attendance data for Australian sports league, especially the minor leagues. That makes the rest of this analysis a bit problematic but moving forward anyway… This data is then put into the following table:
|League||Average rank||Total people||Total attendance 2009||Average attendance 2009|
|First class cricket||4.42||34574||308590||18153|
For total number of people attending during the course of a season, it certainly seems to track with the average league rank on the social networks in this sample. Total people and total attendance seems to track some too. I ran the correlation to confirm these observations:
|Total attendance 2009||Average attendance 2009|
Total attendance does correlate meaningfully. Average attendance isn’t as meaningful but the correlation is still relatively strong. There is a relationship there.
I’ve found that similar relationships exist with American baseball teams. The issue of course is: Cause and effect. Does high fan attendance lead to more fans listing their teams as an interest on social media? Or does becoming interested in a team on social media sites lead people to attending games? It feels like the first but I have no evidence either way.