Ranked: Top 20 Most Popular NFL Teams

Ranked: Top 20 Most Popular NFL Teams

The following rankings for the most popular NFL teams are based on a combination of contributing factors, and are derived from a calculated average ranking based on the following statistics: Twitter followers in 2021, Facebook fans in 2021, monthly revenue in 2019 and 2020 (because COVID affected the 2021 data immensely because these categories rely so heavily on game attendance), and total franchise value via fan spending.

The results are the following.

Here are the Top 20 Most Popular NFL Teams:

20. The Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings, named for the prominent Scandinavian culture in Minnesota,  have 1.3 million followers on Twitter and 2.09 million Facebook fans. The annual income of the Vikings is 365 million dollars, and their franchise value is 2.95 billion dollars.

Though many avid football fans have admitted that the Vikings have had a good-looking offense in past years, the team hasn’t managed to ever reach Super Bowl victory. Though it participated in and lost the Super Bowl four times in the Vikings’ glory days, perhaps it’s best for the reputation of the team that they don’t tie for the record of most lost Super Bowls…which is 5

19. Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs, who placed a similar ranking on the Forbes NFL list,  have 1.7 million followers on Twitter and 1.87 million Facebook fans. Their annual revenue is 364 million, and the total franchise value is estimated at 2.975 billion US dollars. The team has now been in the capable hands of legendary Coach Andy Reid for 9 seasons.

Though the team is widely known to have one of the best offenses in the league, for reasons unknown the team has not managed to become a top-ranking national favorite. In fact, data supports that even many of the counties surrounding Kansas City don’t primarily identify the Chiefs as their favorite NFL team.

Polls suggest that many remain simply neutral about the Kansas City Chiefs, while their fame factor remains high but popularity factor remains somewhat low. The Chiefs will have to work on developing a loyal fan base if they are to become one of the most popular NFL teams.

18. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens, named after poet Edgar Allen Poe who spent much of his life in Baltimore,  have 1.6 million followers on Twitter and 2.25 Facebook fans. Their annual income is 352 million dollars a year, and the team holds a franchise value of approximately 2.975 billion.

Though the team is very young (1996), the Ravens have managed to win two Super Bowl titles since the birth of their team, and have been one of the highest-scoring teams over the past few seasons.

17. L.A. Rams

The LA Rams, who hold bragging rights on the newest stadium in the NFL, have about 950,000 followers on Twitter and 850,000 Facebook fans. Though these numbers may seem low to some, the team is a local favorite, making them vastly more popular than the NFL team of the town, the L.A. Chargers. Because of this important factor, the Rams make a staggering 422 million dollars per year, second only to the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.

The total franchise value of the LA Rams is the fourth highest in the NFL, at 4 billion US dollars. This may seem startling since the L.A. Rams are placed in the number 17 position on this list, but they only have one NFL championship to their name and have only been back in operation in LA since 2015. Though the franchise is very locally popular due to the team’s long history with the City of Los Angeles, the team is yet to gain national traction as one of the most popular NFL teams despite its enormous income. This detail explains why it has some of the lowest follower count on this list.

16. New York Jets

Though the Jets have been in steady decline over the last decade (having only 18 winning seasons since their establishment like the New York “Titans” back in 1960), they have still managed to keep 1.2 million followers on Twitter and 1.8 million Facebook fans who believe that the team may be looking up in 2021 for the first time in a long time.

The Jets’ total franchise value is surprisingly high thanks to their victories and popularities in the olden days, with 3.55 billion dollars ranking them as number 8 in the total franchise value category. With their annual income only being 345 million US dollars (29th highest annual income out of 32 NFL teams), the franchise has managed to sustain its monetary value through its long winning drought through smart marketing and high game attendance numbers over the last decade.

15. Washington

The Washington Football Team (now on a temporary team name hold after their previous name drew much offense to people of an oppressed minority) had their most successful streak in the 1980s when they won multiple Super Bowls with different quarterbacks under Coach Joe Gibbs.

Their current Twitter follower count sits at 1.2 million and their Facebook fan count sits at 1.84 million. Though they were once one of the most popular NFL teams, they have declined in popularity while still managing to stay relevant and sell out tickets over the last decade. 

14. Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have the 5th most Twitter followers (3 million) and 2.23 million Facebook fans.  The Panthers rake in about 351 million dollars a year and hold a total franchise value of about 2.55 billion. The team has rose in popularity thanks to their two conference championships after the year 2000, as they have become the first NFL team in history to to start with a 12-0, 13-0, and 14-0 after a losing season in 2015.

Additionally, their previous quarterback superstar, Cam Newton, has brought in much attention with his superhuman achievements, bringing the team that much closer to becoming one of the most popular NFL teams.

13. Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders have about 1.7 million followers on Twitter and 3.28 million fans on Facebook, which again indicates a fan base that trends toward the older side. They have the fifth-highest annual revenue thanks to the team’s popularity among its locals, and a total franchise value of 3.1 billion.

Their home game attendance borders that of the Chicago Bears, though the Chicago population is nearly 5 times that of Las Vegas (via the United States Census Bureau). The Raiders already have a loyal fanbase in their hometown – now they just need some national reach via game victories to become one of the most popular NFL teams.

12. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have 2.3 million followers on Twitter and 1.94 million fans on Facebook. Though the team has not been one of the most popular NFL teams since they made it to the Super Bowl since 1998, the team remains mildly popular among fans. Atlanta reports a 353 million dollar annual income and a total franchise value of 2.875 billion.

11. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have 2.4 million Twitter followers and 3.81 Facebook fans. The franchise, which has faced some controversy in recent years, has an annual revenue of 361 million dollars, and a total value of 3.075 billion US dollars.

Despite the controversy, home game attendance and revenue for the Seahawks remained high after the events in 2016 (data for this can be seen here). Perhaps these events brought new fans to the team for different reasons, currently making them one of the most popular NFL teams.

10. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have 1.9 million Twitter followers and  2.11 Facebook fans. The team also boasts a 397 million dollar annual income, ranking it 4th in annual revenue. Though the franchise is the newest in the NFL, it has a total value of 3.3 billion.

This is partially in thanks to famed player J.J. Watt who competed for the Texans for 10 seasons. With stats like these on such a young franchise, the Texans could be on the road to becoming one of the most popular NFL teams.

9. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have 2.3 million followers on Twitter and 5.17 Facebook fans, suggesting that this team also has a loyal fanbase consisting primarily of older folks. This makes sense, considering the Green Bay franchise is the third oldest in the NFL, having been established in 1919 and made famous and successful by legendary coach and manager Vince Lombardi.

The franchise has an annual net income of 371 million dollars (which is, again, comparable to many NFL teams) and a franchise total value of 3.05 billion dollars. The Green Bay Packers have remained one of the most popular NFL teams since the beginning of the franchise, and are expected to remain that way.

8. Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears have 1.8 million Twitter followers and a much larger number of 3.69 million Facebook fans. This indicates that the fanbase of the Bears is likely much older. As supported by the data here and here, the average Twitter user is much younger than the average Facebook user, which supports the idea of an older Bears fanbase.

The Chicago Bears have an annual income of 370 million dollars and a franchise value of 3.525 million, ranking it number 6 in the category of net worth. In order to become one of the most popular NFL teams, the Bears will need to extend their marketing reach to younger NFL watchers.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the third most Twitter followers of all NFL franchises (3.5 million Twitter followers) and the third most Facebook fans as well (6.18 million fans).

Surprisingly, this team falls below the top 10 mark in both financial categories, with an annual income of 36 million and total franchise value of 3 billion dollars. These trends suggest that though the Steelers remain popular according to social media and their semi-recent win history, their fanbase isn’t spending money.

This means low attendance at their games (which is reflected by this data presented by ESPN) and a similarly disproportionate sale in team merchandise. If the Steelers wish to be ranked higher on the list of most popular NFL teams, the franchise will have to figure out a way to increase game attendance and merchandise spending.

6. Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos have 2.6 million followers on Twitter and an outstanding Facebook fanbase of 4.06 million, bringing the team within the top 6 of both social media categories. The Broncos franchise makes about 368 million dollars a year, which is again comparable to many NFL franchises of similar standing. The franchise has a total net worth of 3.2 billion dollars.

5. New York giants

The New York Giants have 3.71 million followers on Twitter and 1.8 million fans on Facebook. The franchise reports 350 million dollars in annual revenue, which places it pretty far down the ranked list in yearly income; however, many of the NFL teams are within a few million dollars of each other in this category. Despite the comparable annual revenue, The New York Giants hold the third-largest franchise value, with a stunning 4.3 billion dollar worth.

4. San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have 2.1 million Twitter followers and an impressive 3.81 million Facebook fans. Thanks to their great defensive line, phenomenal coaching staff, and effective quarterback, the 49ers have reached massive popularity. The franchise rakes in 374 million dollars a year and has a reported total franchise value of 3.8 billion dollars.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles boast a massive Twitter following of 3.4 million followers and a Facebook following of . The Eagles report an annual revenue of 371 million dollars (which is neck and neck with many NFL teams after the Cowboys and Patriots) and a franchise value of 3.4 billion dollars.

Thanks to the popular 2000s movie “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg and inspired by a true underdog story, along with a recent Super Bowl victory (also the team’s first Super Bowl victory), the Eagles have gained much traction in revenue and popularity in the last couple of decades.

When you compare the monetary statistics of the Eagles to that of other teams, you can see the team holds a similar annual revenue to many long-successful franchises, but holds a smaller franchise value compared to many. This is due to their relatively young success story.

2. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots, a close second to the Cowboys in their social media following, boast an astounding figure of 4.5 million Twitter followers (the most of any NFL team) and 6.8 million Facebook fans. They also come second to the Cowboys in both financial categories, with a 478 million dollar revenue and 4.4 billion franchise value. The Patriots have their large success and victory streak over the years to thank for this number two spot on the list, having the most Super Bowl wins of any team in the NFL.

1. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have an alarming number of Facebook fans at a staggering number of 8.37 million people. They also have a solid Twitter following of 3.9 loyal followers, which is second only to the New England Patriots.

The Cowboys stifle the competition in categories regarding financial success via fan spending, having reported an annual revenue of 800 million dollars, leaving a minimum of 300 million dollars between the Cowboy’s annual revenue and any other NFL team.

The value of the Cowboys franchise which is situated at a comfortable 5.7 billion dollars, though they haven’t had a successful Super Bowl in a long stretch, also exceeds any other NFL franchise by over a billion dollars…and the team has their loyal fanbase to thank for this.

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