Despite all the punditry that Nets fans were a bunch of Brooklyn hipsters, a poll by the respected Morning Consult reveals that the Brooklyn fan base is the most diverse in major league sports, with 40 percent white, 31 per cent Black, 25 percent Hispanic and four percent other.
The data was collected from June 2019 into March 2020 among more than 400,000 fans of a team in the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL, said Morning Consult which does detailed data dumps on brand intelligence.
“The Brooklyn Nets have the most racially diverse fan base in the four major team sports, closely followed by the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. NBA teams account for the 18 most diverse fan bases in the four major sports.”
Here’s breakdown of the Morning Consult data for NBA teams. At the other hand of the diversity scale, according to the data, sits the Boston Celtics, one of two NBA teams with a majority of white fans. The Trail Blazers are the other.
Overall, 46 percent of the average NBA team’s fans are white, compared to 61 percent for the average NHL team.
The value of the Morning Consult data, says the company, is to help “professional sports teams and leagues consider the demographic makeup of their fans in determining how to approach polarizing social issues.”
The survey notes, for example, that “Dallas Cowboys fans might be less receptive than fans of the average NFL team.”
Bottom line for Morning Consult...
The NBA has by far the most racially diverse and left-leaning U.S. fan base of the four top team sports, according to the Brand Intelligence data: 54 percent of fans of the average NBA team are nonwhite and 42 percent identify as Democratic. The league is also widely regarded as a leader in leadership-backed athlete advocacy, and has leaned further into the fight against racial inequality than the other three leagues — actions that are largely supported by its fan base.
The company notes that the league has said its demographics are not effecting its social justice initiatives, which are the most extensive of the four big leagues.
“Demographics don’t make decisions for us, our overall values do,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said. “And when it comes to issues of social justice, the NBA and our players have a long, well-documented history of standing up for the principles of equality, of diversity and inclusion.”
The Nets hiring of Steve Nash as their new head coach did stir commentary on whether he got his job because of “white privilege.” Brooklyn is one of three NBA teams owned by a person of color, with Joe Tsai as Governor. Vivek Ranadive of the Kings and Michael Jordan of the Hornets are the others.
- Demographic Data Shows Which Major Sports Fan Bases Are Most Likely to Support or Reject Social Justice Advocacy - Alex Silverman - Morning Consult