Ultimate Standings: Our Methodology

We created the Ultimate Standings in five steps.

First, Markitecture, a Norwalk, Conn., marketing consulting firm, conducted
a poll of 1,000 fans across North America to determine what they want most
in return for their emotional and financial investment in their favorite
teams. The survey covered 21 topics, from "has strong leader as coach" to
"provides avenues for fan feedback."

Second, through ESPN.com, we asked fans of MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams to
rate their clubs in these 21 categories. We gathered more than 80,000

Third, we grouped those responses into seven categories.

Fourth, for an eighth category, Bang for the Buck, we examined how
efficiently teams convert dollars from fans into on-field wins (regular and
postseason). Fan costs were determined by researchers at the Warsaw Sports
Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.

Fifth, we combined each teamĀ¹s scores (not its rankings) across all eight
categories into one final, weighted score, taking into account, for example,
that fans rated Affordability as about 50% more important than Stadium

The result: a ranking that combines the fan perspective with an objective
measure of how well teams turn fan dollars into wins.

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