We often complain about Atlanta’s tepid sports fanbase—poor attendance, lack of passion, inability to hold on to a hockey franchise. But thanks to Facebook, that observation is now at least a little closer to being scientific fact. The New York Times recently took a page from the NSA and mined the social networking site for data on user baseball allegiance. The algorithm, which centered on how many users in a given ZIP code “like” a team’s Facebook page, resulted in a breathtakingly intricate color-coded map. The findings in Georgia are revealing.
It makes sense that cities, which attract out-of-state transplants, would generally have a weaker connection to the home team than the natives who tend to live just outside of the metro area. But on first glance, the pool of light-blue lukewarm Braves fans in and around the Perimeter seems relatively large amid the navy-blue sea of hardcore Choppers. Zooming in, there are other fun takeaways:
—The Braves are the undisputed Team of the South. The only competitors are the national brandwagons for the Yankees and Red Sox.
—Fifty-seven percent of fans in Turner Field’s 30315 ZIP root for the local boys.
—In the 30339 site of the new Cobb stadium: 64 percent.
In case you’re wondering, the highest metro percentage is seventy percent in the 30134 ZIP code; according to Facebook, the team should move to Douglasville.