Does social media matter in baseball?

Andrew H. Walker

Yesterday Facebook gave me an advertisement of "pages similar to the Padres". Most of them were the Facebook pages for other MLB teams. I became curious as to how the Padres compare to those pages in terms of number of likes. I start to wonder if popularity on Facebook will truly correlate to a team's actual popularity. Also the question arises as to what makes a team popular.

So yeah, here are the "like counts" for MLB teams on Facebook:

Yankees 6,495,560
Red Sox 3,947,085
Cubs 1,810,956
Giants 1,783,625
Doggers 1,591,435
Rangers 1,571,299
Cardinals 1,496,016
Braves 1,409,608
Phillies 1,337,090
Tigers 1,309,793
White Sox 1,045,162
Twins 826,682
Reds 723,564
Mets 669,209
Brewers 664,156
Indians 614,810
Angels 607,507
Mariners 577,677
Blue Jays 555,831
Rockies 549,323
Orioles 516,598
Pirates 506,027
Astros 496,717
Devil Rays 493,052
A's 431,753
Padres 428,508
Royals 353,205
Diamondbacks 336,692
Marlins 329,566
Nationals 252,683

A few interesting observations: Obviously the Yankees would top the list, but they dominated it far more than I thought they would. I'm surprised the White Sox and Twins are so high. I'm surprised the Nationals, A's, and Angels are so low. I'm disappointed the Astros and Devil Rays are doing better than the Padres.

Now it's time to see if the Facebook likes correlate to attendance (Average per game). I'd like to do attendance over the past few years, but I'm too lazy.

Doggers 46,216
Cardinals 41,602
Giants 41,584
Yankees 40,488
Rangers 38,759
Tigers 38,066
Angels 37,277
Phillies 37,190
Red Sox 34,979
Rockies 34,491
Nationals 32,745
Cubs 32,625
Braves 31,465
Blue Jays 31,315
Reds 31,288
Brewers 31,248
Twins 30,588
Orioles 29,105
Pirates 28,210
Padres 26,749
Mets 26,695
Diamondbacks 26,355
A's 22,337
White Sox 22,105
Mariners 21,747
Royals 21,614
Astros 20,393
Indians 19,661
Marlins 19,584
Devil Rays 18,645

Pretty much what I expected I guess. Once again, I'll say that I'm surprised the White Sox have so many facebook fans.

I really didn't come to any definite conclusions with this experiment. For me, it's fun to look at data anyway though. I'm not sure if social media popularity helps a teams actual popularity. I think it's an okay indicator of what the actual popularity could be though. I was hoping to find interesting data that reflected the age of the fan base and younger people more willing to use social media...I don't think I found much of that (I would imagine the Nationals have a young fan base and they have the worst social media presence)Does social media matter in baseball?.

I apologize, this fanpost was much more interesting in my head before I saw the actual data.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball managers or SB Nation.

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