I live in San Antonio, so when Tim Duncan announced his retirement on Monday it was the end of a fun chapter in my life as a Spurs fan. I took to Twitter, like most people, to see the fallout from one of the greatest to ever do it calling it a career.
I had one prevailing thought in the middle of the fanfare. Names like Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron all stand alone in the pantheon of basketball. Uttering those singular names implies a level of greatness that is universally understood. “Timmy” is without a doubt a member, if not a cornerstone, of such a list.
Here lie two words that, in every language, convey one single and indisputable truth – The Dallas Cowboys.
Nicknames aren’t transferrable. There is not, and never will be, a new America’s Team. For every day that the sun rises, gravity is 9.8 meters per second squared, and human beings need oxygen… The Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team.
What does this mean, exactly? If you ask Bob Ryan of NFL Films, who coined the term in 1978, it means that Cowboys fans are everywhere.
Dr. Mike Lewis of Emory University conducts an interesting experiment every summer where he evaluates the strength of NFL fan bases. This year, his results showed that the New England Patriots have the best fans in the NFL.
There is some legit math and analysis that goes into this, so don’t dismiss it right away. Dr. Lewis uses a measure called “Dynamic Fan Equity” where he combines Fan Equity (how much a team is willing to spend in dollars) and Social Equity (which captures fan support in terms of things like Twitter). His contention is that the Patriots are the best.
How Much Do Cowboys Fans Spend On Their Team?
The Dallas Cowboys are literally the only professional sports franchise in America that has a fleet of Pro Shops scattered across their home state. Sure, you can buy Denver Broncos stuff at places like Dick’s or Sports Authority in that market, but there are Dallas Cowboys Pro Shops throughout the Lone Star State (and New Mexico, mind you).
DCPS has stores that singlehandedly bring in over one million dollars on their own. Obviously not all of them do, but the point stands that Silver & Blue loyalists show up to get their gear. The proof is in the pudding considering that of the Top 12 selling jerseys from last year, 3 are Dallas Cowboys (Dez, Witten, Romo). Only 2 are Patriots (Brady and Gronk).
Dr. Lewis’ basis for “Fan Equity” is a lengthy read, you can view it here if you like, but it’s important to consider that the Cowboys bring in a significant amount of revenue in terms of merchandise throughout Texas, a significantly larger state than Massachusetts.
How Much Money Do The Cowboys Even Make? What Are They Worth?
Forbes announced on Wednesday that the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports team in the world. Yes, the world.
Valued at $4 Billion, the Cowboys represent both the NFL and the United States as the top dog on this list. You need to understand how incredible this is.
I’ve said many a time whether on Twitter or the RJOShow that the NFL is king of America. Indisputably. That is not up for debate.
Equally factual is that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It transcends multiple nations and is played/watched by a far larger population of the big blue marble. Nevertheless, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in it.
|2016 Forbes Most Valuable Teams||Team||Value|
|1||Dallas Cowboys||$4 Billion|
|2||Real Madrid||$3.65 Billion|
|4||New York Yankees||$3.4 Billion|
|5||Manchester United||$3.32 Billion|
If “Fan Equity” is a measurement of a consumer’s “willingness” to spend, well then don’t ya think that the most valuable sports franchise in the whole wide world would be number one?
How Popular Are Cowboys Fans From The Social Side?
The “Social Equity” element to this analysis is the most interesting to me.
In so many ways, it’s incredibly subjective. There are die-hard fans of every team that choose not to participate in any avenue of social media, but for what it’s worth I do understand it’s relevance.
So how popular are the Dallas Cowboys? Let’s see.
[table id=37 /]
The Emory study only mentions Twitter (no pun intended) as something that they valued when it comes to the “social” side of fandom. While Twitter is great, and is actually my personal favorite social media platform, they’re all relevant. I decided to look at Facebook and Instagram as well.
Some simple math tells us that altogether (the three outlets combined) the New England Patriots have 10,978,721 total followers.
The Dallas Cowboys? 11,746,466.
I’m not a mathematician or anything, but I think 11,746,466 is greater than 10,978,721.
As I said up top, there is a legitimate amount of data that went into Dr. Lewis’ study, I just don’t necessarily agree with it. The thing about it is… most of the evidence that we’ve pulled doesn’t agree with Emory’s study either.
We can toss out net value, social media followers, or the number of critters each team has caught on Pokemon Go. The fact remains that there is now and forevermore one underlying truth here.
The Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team.