The Washington Post

What kind of a fan are you? Explaining the DC sports typology

The Washington Post conducted a large-scale, in-depth survey about Washingtonians’ interest and engagement with sports, with a focus on the area’s professional sports franchises. A statistical analysis of the poll findings revealed four types of sports fans – “megafans,” “hometown fans,” “social fans” and “drive-by fans” – as well as a fifth group of non-fans.

Area sports fans fit into these four groups based on a statistical procedure called cluster analysis, which we used to arrange respondents according to how they answered a series of sports-related questions. (See the full questionnaire.)

Key variables used to create these groups include: intensity of respondents’ allegiance to sports in general, how much they care about major professional sports leagues, favorable ratings of the local professional sports teams, whether they prefer professional or college sports, what media people use to follow sports, how and where they have spent money on sports in the past year, preference for watching sports live or on television, how many professional sports events attended in the past year and how many hours of sports watched per week.

The final grouping of four types was determined to be the best statistical fit to explain and separate Washington area sports fans into roughly equally sized groups.

Detailed descriptions and findings for each of the typology groups – megafans, hometown fans, social fans and drive-by fans – are available here. What kind of fan are you? Take the short online sports quiz to find out.


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