Written by Mark Juang, Web Marketing Analyst
Website traffic can be a good indicator for interest of a brand. As the NFL regular season kicks off, let’s look at the top ten most popular NFL teams during the 2015 off-season based on their individual team website traffic. A breakdown of website traffic for all 32 teams during the off-season can be found at the bottom of the page.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers – 693K Visits per Month
You’d expect a team like the Steelers, who have one of the most passionate and loyal fan bases in sports, to generate a decent amount of interest, especially since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger saw his best performance in 2014. And there’s also a bit of intrigue with how a franchise traditionally known for great defense will perform after letting go legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
9. Chicago Bears – 714K Visits per Month
New coach John Fox takes over his third NFL franchise after leading his previous two to a Super Bowl. Bears fans certainly hope his tenure will finally lead to a Lombardi trophy. They also hope Jay Cutler finally gets it together to challenge the Packers for the division crown.
8. Minnesota Vikings – 844K Visits per Month
With the reinstatement of superstar running back Adrian Peterson, and talk of the franchise’s attempts to trade him to the Cowboys (perhaps an attempt at payback for the Herschel Walker trade in the 90s), you can understand the intrigue surrounding the Vikings during the off-season.
The team also began selling seats online for their brand new US Bank Stadium, set to open in 2016. Does anyone else think the architect based the design of the stadium on kites?
7. Baltimore Ravens – 847K Visits per Month
The Ravens are celebrating their 20th season in Baltimore and visitors to their website are welcomed with a video of the team’s highlights—including the two Super Bowls the franchise has won since leaving Cleveland. Clevelanders may want to avoid watching this video as it’s a reminder that beloved sports teams and athletes always seem to win championships after leaving (like Lebron James).
6. Philadelphia Eagles – 940K Visits per Month
As if trading trading all-star running back LeSean McCoy, or signing the 2015 rushing champion Demarco Murray wasn’t enough to generate interest in the Eagles, adding Tim Tebow to the roster surely sent reporters from every sports station in the country to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Tebowmania ended before the season began, as they cut him during the fourth week of preseason. Tebow’s inability to make an NFL roster certainly makes a case that if you want to be a good 1st-round quarterback, don’t go to the University of Florida (see: Steve Spurrier, Rex Grossman).
5. San Francisco 49ers – 1.02M Visits per Month
Boasting five Super Bowl championships, the 49ers have certainly earned their strong following. The franchise saw increased interest during the 2015 off-season when head coach Jim Harbaugh left for the University of Michigan. The 49er’s website also likely saw traffic due to Levi’s Stadium hosting Super Bowl 50.
4. Seattle Seahawks – 1.07M Visits per Month
I’m sure Seahawk fans visited the team’s site all off-season in hopes of finding out that Superbowl 49 was actually a dream and they didn’t in fact throw the ball at the goal line instead of running Marshawn Lynch. One thing Seattle fans had to be excited for during the off-season was the contract extension awarded to quarterback Russell Wilson--although it’s yet to be determined whether he can win without that phenomenal defense.
With as much traffic as the Seahawk’s site receives, I’m surprised the franchise subjects their fans to such a bland website.
3. Green Bay Packers – 1.23M Visits per Month
It’s no surprise that the Packers ranked high on this list, considering the team has one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in football. Currently, there’s over 115 thousand people on a waitlist for season tickets! Considering Green Bay was a drive away from the Super Bowl last season, and superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers shows no signs of slowing down, there’s plenty to get excited about in Packerland.
2. New England Patriots – 1.31M Visits per Month
Whether or not you agree with Judge Richard Berman’s ruling to overturn Tom Brady’s suspension, we’re all glad that Goodell vs. Brady came to a resolution as watching these two squabble was like waiting for the air to release from a football (see what I did there).
Just for fun, I used Google Adword’s Keyword Planner to see what Google (so: the world) would relate to a search query about “NFL Cheating”. Guess which was the only NFL team and player that came up relevant for this term?
1. Dallas Cowboys – 2.58M Visits per Month
The Cowboys continue to occupy Forbes’ list as the most valuable NFL franchise, and much of this has to do not only with their passionate and loyal fan base in Texas, but all over the country as well. What other fans would continue to feed money to an organization who has won only two playoff games in 18 years?
Interest in the organization was high this off-season as everyone wanted to see if the Cowboys would be able to resign both their star wide receiver, Dez Bryant, and their rushing champion, DeMarco Murray. Now that Murray’s left for the Eagles, Cowboys fans are hoping his 2015 performance was mostly a result of the team’s all-star offensive line.
Additional Interesting Notes
- Traffic for all teams rose an average of 120% in August when training camp started.
- Buffalo Bills set a franchise record this off-season for 2015 season ticket sales and just missed the top ten (11th).
- The Rams’ aggressive attempts to leave for Los Angeles, combined with the fact that the organization hasn’t had a winning season in 12 years, you can understand why the team occupies the bottom of this list.
Here are the traffic volumes for all 32 NFL teams, listed from most-to-least visits per month.
Web traffic data was obtained from Similar Web which guarantees 80% accuracy for websites that have more than 200,000 visits a month. Additionally, the following traffic volumes are desktop only. The time period for the data collection is February 2015 to August 2015.