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Study ranks UK basketball fans 7th in nation; Louisville No. 1

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) - The University of Kentucky men's basketball program has the seventh best fan base in the country, according to a study by sports marketing researchers at Emory University.

The study published Wednesday by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics factors in revenue in relation to a team's performance.

"We take each school's revenue as they report to the government for Title 9 purposes," said Dr. Michael Lewis, a professor who helped perform the study. "And we run a statistical model that is based on how many games they win, how many students they have, the size of the arena they have, whether they went to the NCAA Tournament and what conference they're in."

The study ranked Louisville fans first, followed by Arizona, Duke, Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Marquette and Oklahoma State.

"I almost think of Louisville as operating in a semi-pro market," Lewis said. "You don't have competition from pro teams and the Louisville metro area is a pretty decent sized market."

Being ranked behind Louisville fans did not sit well with many UK fans.

"There's no way we can be seven out of 10," UK fan Carl Joseph said. "We have to be in the top 3 at least. I would say top one but at least top three."

Another UK fan, Sabrina Gabbard, said, "It makes me extremely mad. Actually sick to my stomach. That's just awful. Awful. I hate Louisville."

The study was computed before the start of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which Louisville won.

Lewis said he received a lot of feedback on the study.

He said most of the negative comments are from Indiana fans.

CLICK Here to view the full study

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