The ‘Fandom Report’ gets published annually, and uses data on “attendance, revenues, social media following, and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest.” Those models are subsequently used to determine which fan bases are more willing to follow their respective teams no matter the size of their markets or any potential short-term swings in winning or losing.
According to Lewis, three measures of fan engagement were used to determine which fan bases are the best in the NFL right now:
Fan Equity focuses on home box office revenues (support via opening the wallet).
Social Media Equity focuses on fan willingness to engage as part of a team’s community (support exhibited by joining social media communities).
Road Equity focuses on how teams draw on the road after adjusting for team performance.
In the case of the San Francisco 49ers, we can see that they rank second in Fan Equity, 11th in Social Media equity, and 28th in Road Equity. When you add it all up, the Niners fan base comes out as the ninth best in the league. As for the rest of the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks ranked 15th, the Arizona Cardinals 25th, and the beloved Los Angeles Rams are dead last. The Rams finished last in every category but Road Equity.