Mega Fans and Mega Brands: Tracking sports teams, sponsorships, and social audiences with Sports Atlas

Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd!

Except that, with social distancing measures still in place, most of us probably won’t be attending any Major League Baseball games this year. But, the season is still scheduled and Opening Day is quickly approaching. If you want to follow your favorite team and maybe even learn more about your fellow fans, try using Sports Atlas.

Sports Atlas is a new database put out by the publishers of Sports Business Journal, and it collects information about professional sports leagues, their member teams, venues, and sponsorships. You can track your favorite team’s recent deals, and get an idea of its fans and their interests. In this case, let’s investigate our home team here at Penn’s campus, the Philadelphia Phillies.

An image of a user search in Sports Atlas for the phrase Philadelphia Phillies

After perusing the Team Snapshot and quick links, you can view detailed information by tab. View a list of all current sponsored brands with deals with the Phillies organization; sort by # of Deals across all sports or narrow down to those most closely-held with the MLB, or in the geographic region.

An image showing a list of brand sponsors for the current season of the Philadelphia Phillies, ranked from most deals in Major League Baseball to least.

Use the Asset Library to put yourself right in Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies’ stadium; view photos, by season, of all of the signage around the ballpark (both virtual/digital and static/print) that can be claimed for brand sponsorships.

An image showing a few of the places around the Citizens Bank Park stadium where the Phillies play where a brand can put advertising on signage

The Social Audience tab gives great insight into the fans of the team via their social media followers. Sports Atlas measures how much more likely a Phillies fan is also follow certain brands on social media than the average MLB fan; it comes as no surprise to this Phillies fan that a follower of the team is 20.59 times more likely to follow the Twitter account for Wawa than the average MLB fan.

An image showing the top brand affinities: the top brands that Philadelphia Phillies fans follow on Twitter, compared to other MLB fans

How does this compare to other teams in the region? Use the Reports tab on the left to find ways that you can explore the Philadelphia, PA market overall.

An image showing how to navigate the Sports Atlas program to find Reports on Categories and Markets

You’ll first see the top brands and teams/organizations active in the area, then you can navigate to view by brands, the demographics of fans in the area using Census data, and to compare and contrast teams by social data. Here we can see the top four teams in this market — Phillies (MLB), 76ers (NBA), Flyers (NHL), and Eagles (NFL) — and see their fans’ brand affinities as a comparison table. Looks like Wawa’s sponsorship of the 76ers is paying off even more handsomely than it is for the Phillies!

An image showing a breakout of brand support by fans of four Philadelphia-area sports teams

Sports Atlas is fun to explore, sure, but it’s also an important tool for anyone researching sports business management, brand sponsorship & major deals, or audience demographics in the fan market.

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