Monday, March 26, 2018

The Global Map of Football Fandom

There is a well known joke that the majority of Manchester United fans actually live in London. Of course that is untrue. Most Manchester United fans live in Tunisia. At least Tunisia is the country with the most concentrated number of Manchester United fans (based on the number of followers on Facebook).

Going Global uses data from Facebook to show where English Premier League (EPL) football fans live in countries around the world. Using the map you can view the relative popularity of each club in different countries. You can also use the map to see the most popular team in each country (out of Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Man City).

Twitter has also analysed the global reach of English Premier League teams and mapped the results. The Where are your club followers? map is based on the number of followers a team has in each area. Using the map you can view the most followed team in each area of the world. Alternatively you can select to view the global reach of any of the individual teams playing in the EPL.

There seems to be a huge difference between the map based on Twitter data and the map created from Facebook data. For example, Going Global claims Man Utd are the most supported team in Tunisia. According to the Twitter map Manchester United aren't even in the top three most popular clubs in the country.

The Twitter map includes QPR, who were relegated from the EPL after the 2014–15 season. The data for the Twitter map is therefore at least three years old.

If you live in England & Wales and you want to know which EPL team you should support then you probably need to know which is your nearest football team.

The Which Team Should I Support map uses a voronoi overlay to divide England & Wales into areas assigned to the closest Premier League teams. You can therefore use the map to quickly see which football team you should be supporting. You can also enter your address into the map to see which team's catchment area you currently live in.

This map dates from 2015 and includes Norwich & Aston Villa.

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