fbpx
Connect with us

 

 

 

XFL News

XFL Momentum: Social Media, A Look At The Numbers

One of the best ways to predict momentum towards the season is by digging into the Social Media followings of the XFL and its teams. While Social Media following can’t capture the true fanbase size and can’t give a complete picture of attendance expectations, it can show what teams are capturing the excitement of their cities.

The XFL has been moving forward with a really smart marketing strategy, in my opinion. You saw that in action on Monday when the XFL announced their official league footballs. Each individual team gave footballs wrapped like Thanksgiving Turkey’s to national and local sports influencers.

If you follow the official team accounts (you should if you don’t) you’ll see that they’ve utilized effective gorilla marketing at populated events, mobile billboard advertisements, and partnerships with key local media for their markets. This is all pushed forward by experienced sports industry marketing professionals that the league and teams have hired. All that marketing leads to interaction on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Social Media channels.

So, what cities are making the most noise on these channels and what are some highlights?

DALLAS RENEGADES

Twitter: @XFLRenegades 25,900 Followers

Facebook: 11,163 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLRenegades 15,300 Followers

This is a strong following for the Dallas Renegades at this point in the process. Dallas, obviously one of the top NFL markets, is showing a thirst for Spring football. Dallas is likely benefiting from its prominent Head Coach and Oklahoma legend Quarterback. Expect a continuous rise in audience as the Dallas Cowboys inevitably disappoint their fanbase (*Boom*)

HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS

Twitter: @XFLRoughnecks 20,500 Followers

Facebook: 8,643 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLRoughnecks 13,700 Followers

Houston shows a strong social following here. The Roughnecks account has been utilizing the local media better than some of the other teams.

DC DEFENDERS

Twitter: XFLDefenders 19,800 Followers (Has grown several hundred since my previous look several hours ago)

Facebook: 4,100 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLDefenders 12,600 Followers

DC continues to show an engaged and active fanbase. With the Washington Redskins organization floundering, it is clear that the fanbase is exploring the ramifications of Spring Football. The DC Defender social accounts are boosted by its player-centered approach, with players being the focus of their content. They’re also boosted by likely starting Quarterback Cardale Jones, arguably the most engaged, active, and followed player in the league.

LA WILDCATS

Twitter: XFLWildcats 14,200 Followers

Facebook: 3,900 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLwildcats 12,400 Followers

LA is easily the XFL’s most difficult market, with the weakest Social Media following to complement it. LA has trouble supporting its two NFL franchises, so Spring Football in LA is not automatic. With all of that said, LA has one of the best business executive teams in the league, led by team President Heather Karatz. They also recently drafted NFL veteran Quarterback Josh Johnson , who should drive more attention to the team.

SEATTLE DRAGONS

Twitter: XFLDragons 19,600 Followers

Facebook: 7,269 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLDragons 14,600 Followers

The Seattle Dragons have a solid following, based around local media partnerships and Seattle Seahawks legend, Jim Zorn, being its Head Coach. Expect the following to grow significantly once games start on the national TV partner’s flagship stations.

NEW YORK GUARDIANS

Twitter: XFLGuardians 17,700 Followers

Facebook: 4,783 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLGuardians 12,900 Followers

The New York Guardians will have a slower increase to its Social Media following, as its in the most competitive sports market in the world. Like Seattle, expect an increase in following once the games appear on national TV.

TAMPA BAY VIPERS

Twitter: XFLVipers 18,400 Followers

Facebook: 7,000 “Likes”

Instagram: @XFLVipers 12,900 Followers

This is an extremely encouraging Social Media following for a smaller professional sports market. Expect a strong showing from some fed up Buccaneers fans that are intrigued by the concept of Spring Football.

ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS

Twitter: XFLBattlehawks 31,400 Followers

Facebook: 13,000 “Likes”

Instagram: XFLBattlehawks 20,200 Followers

Here you go, the team with the largest following across the board. St. Louis, the single market that lacks an NFL franchise is showing real support for its new Spring football franchise. I don’t think its too premature to expect this team to lead the league in average attendance.

THE LEAGUE

Twitter: @XFL2020 164,500 Followers

Facebook: 86,563 “Likes”

Instagram: XFL2020 136,000 Followers

The League has a stronger following this far before the beginning of the season and nationally televised games than the defunct AAF. As the marketing strategy escalates and reaches its next phase, the following of the league on Social Media should naturally increase. These numbers show that this league is doing something right and that market for Spring Football, proven many times over, still exists.

LET’S COMPARE:

Here are some competing Twitter accounts for comparison:

CFL : 294,300 Followers

Toronto Argonauts : 132,100 Followers

San Diego Fleet: 27,500 Followers – Notice that the St.Louis Battlehawks is already outperforming them.

San Antonio Commanders: 37,500 Followers – The cream of the crop of AAF fanbases (attendance-wise) and the Battlehawks are catching up

Premier Lacrosse League: 47,400 Followers – The professional lacrosse league approaching its second season with nationally televised games on NBC.

Chaos Lacrosse Club: 8,100 Followers – One of the professional lacrosse clubs in the PLL.

Major League Lacrosse: 85,100 Followers – The long-established professional lacrosse league is lagging way behind the XFL.

Chesapeake Bayhawks: 15,200 Followers – A championship-winning lacrosse club with deep community connections is lagging well behind multiple XFL franchises.

Minor League Baseball: 211,600 Followers – Minor League Baseball, one of the most established sports entities in the country, will likely be surpassed in following as the regular season begins.

As you can see, with the stage the league is at, its following is likely surpassing expectations. Expect boosts in the league following with uniform and helmet announcements, minicamps and training camps, and further player movement. The league is certainly in capable hands of Marketing, Social Media, and Digital Media innovators.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Konnor Fulk excelled in the Sports Management Program at Georgia Southern University. He spent several seasons working with the Washington Redskins in fan engagement, strategy, and sales strategy. Additionally, Mr. Fulk continues consulting services across the sport of NASCAR. Konnor has a longstanding obsession with the concept of Spring Football and is looking forward to sharing his expertise and opinions about the XFL relaunch. Connect with Konnor on LinkedIN or give him a follow on Twitter @XFLKonnor

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ghost leather

    December 1, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Nice spin.

    The L.A. Wildcats are dead meat no matter how much you spin it.
    The Washington Redskins have been floundering since Dan Snyder took over, not recently! Get your facts straight!
    Dallas Renegades are in a good position with the Cowboys fading at the moment…but they’ll be dead meat in a couple of years. Just ask the Dallas Texans 2.0!
    Still can’t see the Vipers succeeding if they won’t even support Ray baseball.
    Roughnecks could go either way. Houston has a love/hate relationship with the Texans right now, but they are winning…
    The Guardians will be fine. Giants suck. Rangers suck. Knicks MEGA suck. Hard to say about St. John basketball. Nets, Islanders and especially the Devils are less of a threat than you think. The Jets have been winning lately, but too little, too late.
    Still can’t believe the Dragons are holding their own despite the Seahawks kicking butt, and Sounder soccer just winning the championship recently!
    And the star attraction, St. Louis. Which makes Vince an idiot for not placing teams in places like Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Portland, Louisville, and paying enough money to San Jose State to get a team in San Francisco/San Mateo/Alameda/Napa/Vallejo/Santa Clara counties!

  2. Joe

    December 1, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    mobile billboard advertising is great and I would love to see actual billboards
    off of highways that have a XFL ad a month or two prior to the season. It would be awesome seeing a DC Defenders billboard somewhere in the Washington, D.C. area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in XFL News