Sports Fans Playing the Field During the Off-Season

Pats Fans

Image from: David Silverman / Patriots

Back in 2007, we wrote a post comparing the traffic to NBA.com, MLB.com, NHL.com and NFL.com. I wanted to see if any of the recent lockouts in the NBA and NFL had any impact on fan’s loyalty.

I checked the Unique Visitors to the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL sites over the past two years and traffic looked very similar to 2007.  The National Football League site generates the most traffic overall, however, their traffic is by far the most inconsistent. Football season starts in September, and this year the Super Bowl will be held on February 5th, and accordingly NFL site gets the most traffic from the end of September to the end of January. The MLB and NBA display similar trends, traffic is the highest when games are in full swing, and then dies down in the off season.

The NHL, however, displays a slightly different pattern. Traffic to NHL.com is significantly lower than traffic to the other three sites, but what is most notable, is that traffic remains fairly steady year round. Just like in 2007, Unique Visitors to the Nation Hockey League website does not drop as dramatically after the season ends, as it does with other sports. This implies that, although there are significantly less hockey fans as compared to football or baseball, they are more dedicated than fans of other sports. Hockey fans are interested in their sport all year round, as opposed to just when their teams are playing.

UVs to MLB NHL NBA NFL

So it appears as thought the recent lockouts don’t have any impact on fan loyalty; Football and basketball are still popular American pastimes. I went back to Compete.com and dove  into the data for the NFL. I looked at the top 5 football teams with the highest traffic to their site over the past two years: the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Denver Broncos, and, of course, the New England Patriots.

UVs to Top NFL Team Sites

As you’ll see in the graph above, even the teams with the most popular sites in the NFL experience a lull during the off season. You’ll also notice that the New York Giants site wasn’t popular enough to make the Top 5 list. Hopefully that’s telling about the Super Bowl outcome this weekend…

About Kendra Bissonnette:
Kendra comes to Compete to work in the Online Marketing department as the social media co-op. Kendra is currently a student at Northeastern studying Communications and Interactive Media. Find Kendra on Twitter @KNBissonnette.