Ranking North American Major League Sports Teams by Twitter Followers (February 2021)

Following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’s triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, there will be some assessment on where the 32 franchises of the National Football League stand going into the offseason. Analysts will look at salary cap, draft picks, and other figures to determine which teams are poised for success in the near future. For this article, I am interested in a different potential metric of success.

The influence of social media in the sports world grows exponentially each year. Because of that, you (or more likely just me) may be curious how your favorite NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB team fares against other teams in their leagues with their social media presence. While the number of Twitter followers isn’t the most exact science given the large number of media members who follow every team in one or multiple leagues, it does paint a picture of which teams are considered the most relevant whether it be from a big picture perspective or a reflection of recent trends. All numbers were recorded on February 7, 2021 following the Super Bowl. Below are the teams of the four traditional major sports leagues of Canada and the United States ranked from most to least followers, with some brief observations for each league.

National Basketball Association

1st 9.5M Los Angeles Lakers

2nd 6.6M Golden State Warriors

3rd 4.8M Miami Heat

4th 4.2M Chicago Bulls

5th 3.6M Boston Celtics

6th 3.4M San Antonio Spurs

7th 3.2M Cleveland Cavaliers

8th 3.1M Houston Rockets

9th 2.7M Oklahoma City Thunder

10th 2.3M Toronto Raptors

11th 2.2M New York Knicks

12th 1.9M Philadelphia 76ers

13th 1.8M Dallas Mavericks

14th 1.7M Los Angeles Clippers

15th 1.5M Orlando Magic

T-16th 1.3M Milwaukee Bucks

T-16th 1.3M Portland Trail Blazers

T-18th 1.2M Atlanta Hawks

T-18th 1.2M Brooklyn Nets

T-18th 1.2M Indiana Pacers

T-18th 1.2M Phoenix Suns

T-22nd 1.1M Denver Nuggets

T-22nd 1.1M Memphis Grizzlies

T-22nd 1.1M New Orleans Pelicans

T-22nd 1.1M Sacramento Kings

T-22nd 1.1M Washington Wizards

T-27th 1M Charlotte Hornets

T-27th 1M Minnesota Timberwolves

T-27th 1M Utah Jazz

30th 982K Detroit Pistons

Two forces from the two halves of California lead the way as the most followed NBA teams

With the Lakers boasting double the amount of followers as the next highest followed NFL/MLB/NHL team and 29 of the 30 teams having 1 million or more followers, the NBA appears to have the strongest social media presence on Twitter. The top 6 teams on this list are all multi-time NBA champions, while the bottom team Detroit Pistons coincidentally also is a multi-time champion. It’s a large block of teams in the 1.-1.3 million range.

National Football League

1st 4.5M New England Patriots

2nd 3.9M Dallas Cowboys

3rd 3.5M Pittsburgh Steelers

4th 3.4M Philadelphia Eagles

5th 3M Carolina Panthers

6th 2.6M Denver Broncos

7th 2.4M Seattle Seahawks

T-8th 2.3M Atlanta Falcons

T-8th 2.3M Green Bay Packers

10th 2.1M San Francisco 49ers

11th 1.9M Houston Texans

T-12th 1.8M Chicago Bears

T-12th 1.8M New York Giants

T-14th 1.7M Kansas City Chiefs

T-14th 1.7M Las Vegas Raiders

16th 1.6M Baltimore Ravens

17th 1.5M New Orleans Saints

T-18th 1.3M Cleveland Browns

T-18th 1.3M Detroit Lions

T-18th 1.3M Minnesota Vikings

T-21st 1.2M New York Jets

T-21st 1.2M Washington Football Team

23rd 1.1M Buffalo Bills

T-24th 1M Indianapolis Colts

T-24th 1M Miami Dolphins

26th 979K Arizona Cardinals

27th 959K Tampa Bay Buccaneers

28th 944K Los Angeles Rams

29th 919K Los Angeles Chargers

30th 897K Cincinnati Bengals

31st 873K Tennessee Titans

32nd 699K Jacksonville Jaguars

Tom Brady had a huge role in propelling the Patriots as an iconic NFL team. Could he do the same for the Buccaneers?

The top 3 in the National Football League come as no surprise given the amount of Super Bowls the Patriots, Steelers, and Cowboys have won and how often they are in NFL conversations whether they are currently successful or not. 25 of the 32 franchises have 1 million or more followers, with 4 of those 7 knocking on the door of that threshold. Jaguars are significantly behind that pack. The Chiefs and Buccaneers despite being in this year’s Super Bowl are not among the top teams, likely due to their relatively smaller markets.

Major League Baseball

1st 3.4M New York Yankees

2nd 2.5M Chicago Cubs

T-3rd 2.2M Los Angeles Dodgers

T-3rd 2.2M Toronto Blue Jays

5th 2.1M Boston Red Sox

6th 1.8M Philadelphia Phillies

7th 1.7M San Francisco Giants

8th 1.6M Arizona Diamondbacks

9th 1.5M Houston Astros

10th 1.4M Detroit Tigers

T-11th 1.3M Atlanta Braves

T-11th 1.3M Texas Rangers

13th 1.2M St. Louis Cardinals

14th 1.1M Los Angeles Angels

T-15th 1M Cleveland Indians

T-15th 1M Kansas City Royals

T-15th 1M New York Mets

18th 937K Chicago White Sox

19th 867K Cincinnati Reds

20th 781K Baltimore Orioles

21st 764K Washington Nationals

22nd 740K Pittsburgh Pirates

23rd 647K Minnesota Twins

24th 635K Milwaukee Brewers

25th 609K Tampa Bay Rays

26th 584K Colorado Rockies

27th 570K Oakland Athletics

28th 568K Seattle Mariners

29th 455K San Diego Padres

30th 362K Miami Marlins

The Yankees are used to being Number 1 in many respects in the MLB, and Twitter following is no exception

The gap between the Yankees and the Marlins (bonded by Derek Jeter who played for the former team while is currently the partial owner and CEO of the latter) is a staggering tenfold amount, which reflects the gap between the better/richer teams in baseball and the rest of the pack. While many of the most successful franchises appear at the top of the list, seeing teams like the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels above the Washington Nationals was a bit of a surprise.

National Hockey League

1st 2.4M Chicago Blackhawks

2nd 1.9M Toronto Maple Leafs

3rd 1.8M Pittsburgh Penguins

T-4th 1.5M Boston Bruins

T-4th 1.5M Montreal Canadiens

T-4th 1.5M Philadelphia Flyers

7th 1.4M New York Rangers

8th 1.2M Detroit Red Wings

9th 1.1M Los Angeles Kings

T-10th 1M Dallas Stars

T-10th 1M Vancouver Canucks

12th 862K Buffalo Sabres

13th 840K Edmonton Oilers

14th 809K San Jose Sharks

15th 781K Washington Capitals

16th 750K St. Louis Blues

17th 737K New Jersey Devils

18th 728K Tampa Bay Lightning

19th 686K Minnesota Wild

20th 638K Calgary Flames

21st 609K Nashville Predators

22nd 600K Anaheim Ducks

23rd 589K Ottawa Senators

24th 560K Winnipeg Jets

25th 552K New York Islanders

26th 542K Colorado Avalanche

27th 497K Columbus Blue Jackets

28th 481K Carolina Hurricanes

29th 479K Vegas Golden Knights

30th 383K Florida Panthers

31st 380K Arizona Coyotes

32nd 231K Seattle Kraken

The Original Six NHL teams remain historic emblems of the sport of hockey and are still among the most relevant franchises today despite their recent ups and downs

Traditional powerhouses, namely those from the “Original Six” rule the roost in the National Hockey League. Aside from the Maple Leafs and Canadiens, the Canadian teams exist in the middle of the pack. The 31st NHL franchise Vegas Golden Knights have done well to leap from two teams in their short history, with the 32nd franchise Seattle Kraken understandably last since they will begin play in the 2021–22 season.

What do you think about these lists? Which teams surprised you? What do you think about where your team stands? Would you be interested in seeing a combined list or an article focusing on the various soccer leagues and clubs? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @IvanOrnelas2.

Loves to write, especially about Survivor, Sports, Video Games, and other Media and topics

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