Cleveland Browns named NFL team with the least supportive fans
- A new ranking has revealed which NFL team has the least supportive fans based on how their interest has waned over the last three seasons
- Since 2020, the Cleveland Browns’ fans have displayed a 34% drop in support year-on-year, making them the team with the least loyal fan base
- Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals have managed to elevate their fans’ dedication, seeing an 80% rise in support over the same period
- A sports expert provides insight into how this online interest correlates to each team’s game attendance – and how easily loyalty can change
A new ranking has revealed which NFL team has failed to maintain their fan’s loyalty over the last three seasons – with the Cleveland Browns struggling the most.
Canada Sports Betting created the ranking, which analyzed the volume behind 500+ NFL-related keywords after the 2020 season, to name the most dedicated and bored fans.
These keywords covered all aspects of support, including interest in team performance, searches for merchandise, individual player stats, and tickets for upcoming games.
And it turns out that the Cleveland Browns have seen the biggest drop in fan support over the last three seasons, with interest dropping by over a third (34%) each year.
Overall, the average NFL fan has seen a 19% annual loss of interest in how their favorite team is doing over the past three years – meaning the Browns’ fan base is almost twice as unsupportive as the average football fan, unfortunately for Head Coach Kevin Stefanski.
Based on the keywords, the team saw the biggest loss in support (a huge drop of 62%) after the 2022 season, which saw them fail to improve on their 8-9 record from the year before.
The data also shows that the average Browns fan has seen the largest loss in interest in buying tickets to their upcoming games, while the area that captures their attention most is the team’s branded merchandise – especially in their home state, Ohio.
It’s unsurprising that the team has seen one of the most significant drops in ticket demand, as NFL attendance data shows the team went from attracting 606,879 home fans in 2021 to just 539,448 last season – representing a 13% drop from their local supporters.
Other teams that have struggled to maintain investment from their fans include the New Orleans State, having seen a 28% drop in support yearly, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27% loss) – despite seeing one of the highest levels of game attendance last season.
NFL teams that have seen the biggest drop in fan support
|Drop in Interest, Year on Year|
|Drop in Interest, Year on Year|
|1||Cleveland Browns||34%||6||Indianapolis Colts||20%|
|2||New Orleans Saints||28%||7||Arizona Cardinals||20%|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27%||8||Pittsburgh Steelers||19%|
|4||New England Patriots||26%||9||Seattle Seahawks||17%|
|5||Carolina Panthers||21%||10||Green Bay Packers||15%|
Overall, over the last three years, the biggest drop in fan interest on a league-wide scale occurred after the 2022 season – which saw the Kansas City Chiefs crowned champions.
Not every team has seen a massive drop in support, however, as the Cincinnati Bengals have actually seen a consistent rise in fan dedication each year – with an 80% annual increase in interest since the 2020 season (which is 521% more than the league average).
Regarding which states are responsible for this huge uptick in interest, the team’s home state Ohio was behind the majority of volume, followed by Kentucky and Indiana.
This means the ‘Who Dey Nation’ has shown the most interest in their team’s performance over the last three seasons, while other teams have seen their fan bases’ interest waning – or are struggling to generate the same hype each season as the Bengals have.
This includes the Bengals’ current rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, who are still seeing a rise in fan dedication – but nowhere near as big of an annual increase as Duke Tobin’s team. The Chiefs have seen online fan interest rise by almost a fifth (18%) each year.
NFL teams that have seen the biggest rise in fan support
|Rise in Interest, Year on Year|
|Rise in Interest, Year on Year|
|1||Cincinnati Bengals||80% increase||6||Kansas City Chiefs||18% increase|
|2||Philadelphia Eagles||42% increase||7||Minnesota Vikings||12% increase|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||34% increase||8||New York Giants||8% increase|
|4||Buffalo Bills||33% increase||9||New York Jets||8% increase|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||27% increase||10||Detroit Lions||7% increase|
As well as looking at which NFL teams have the most dedicated fans, the analysis also looked at where is the most supportive of their in-state team – with Georgia crowned top.
Atlanta Falcons fans in Georgia reported the highest annual volume for their team when scaled against the state’s population, making them the most committed local fans.
The states where there are two in-state teams have a preference of who they choose to support, the data reveals, with the majority of Floridian NFL fans showing more interest in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while New Jersey fans prefer the New York Giants.
Speaking on the ranking, a sports expert at Canada Sports Betting said: “Fan support comes in many forms, and showing an active interest in a team’s performance online is one of the most important elements of dedication – particularly when opinions dominate social media.
“It’s a shame then that so many NFL teams have not only struggled to maintain their fan’s interest but have seen a significant decline year-on-year. In fact, the teams that have seen a drop in searches also turned out to be among those that saw the worst game attendance over the last season – particularly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“While almost three-quarters (72%) of Americans are reportedly football fans, it’s clear that interest in a particular team can change at any given moment, and loyalties can easily change based on team and players’ performances. Teams that don’t have a large fan base will inevitably have to work even harder to keep them interested, engaged, and supportive.”
Data gathered from Google Keywords Explorer.
Full NFL Team Ranking
|Team||Annual % Change||Most Supportive State||Second Most Supportive||Third Most Supportive|
|2||Philadelphia Eagles||42.19||Pennsylvania||Delaware||New Jersey|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||33.72||California||Nevada||Hawaii|
|4||Buffalo Bills||32.65||New York||Wyoming||Pennsylvania|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||27.34||Florida||South Carolina||Georgia|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||17.78||Kansas||Missouri||Nebraska|
|7||Minnesota Vikings||11.75||Minnesota||North Dakota||South Dakota|
|8||New York Giants||7.92||New Jersey||Connecticut||New York|
|9||New York Jets||7.90||New Jersey||New York||Connecticut|
|11||Dallas Cowboys||5.68||Texas||New Mexico||Oklahoma|
|12||Miami Dolphins||5.04||Florida||Hawaii||Rhode Island|
|13||Los Angeles Rams||4.20||California||Hawaii||Nevada|
|14||Los Angeles Chargers||-2.02||Oregon||California||Nevada|
|15||Denver Broncos||-5.18||Colorado||Wyoming||New Mexico|
|19||Las Vegas Raiders||-11.27||Nevada||California||New Mexico|
|22||Green Bay Packers||-15.44||Wisconsin||Minnesota||Iowa|
|24||Pittsburgh Steelers||-18.51||Pennsylvania||West Virginia||Ohio|
|25||Arizona Cardinals||-19.57||Vermont||Kentucky||West Virginia|
|27||Carolina Panthers||-21.01||North Carolina||South Carolina||Nebraska|
|28||New England Patriots||-26.10||Massachusetts||New Hampshire||Rhode Island|
|29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-26.64||Florida||New Hampshire||Massachusetts|
|30||New Orleans Saints||-28.27||Louisiana||Mississippi||Utah|
|31||Cleveland Browns||-34.19||Ohio||West Virginia||Pennsylvania|
Note: the Washington Commanders were discounted from the ranking due to a low keyword volume.