In 2009, the New York Yankees averaged the second highest per game attendance of any team in Major League Baseball. On LiveJournal, there was only one team with more communities dedicated to it, only one team with more total members of those communities, and only one team with more posts and total comments. On bebo, the Yankees had more groups dedicated to them, more total members, more total profile views and more total loves than any other team. The Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland Athletics have the lowest average per game attendance in Major League Baseball. There are only one or two communities on LiveJournal, LinkedIn and bebo dedicated to these teams.
Social media is an increasingly popular tool to connect with others who share your same interest. Sports fans, baseball fans, fans of Major League Baseball teams are participating on social media to do just that. They are on popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Sports fans and Major League Baseball fans are also on less popular networks liked bebo, BlackPlanet, CafeMom, Dreamwidth, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, orkut.
The less popular networks are not examined as often ones with greater traffic and more media attention. The discussion regarding social networks, and the sports and Major League Baseball communities located on these sites is even less. These sites are worth analyzing to answer questions such as: Is there a relationship between the number of communities on social networks and a team’s at ballpark attendance? Is there a relationship between the volume of activity on these networks and ballpark attendance? Is there a correlation between size of a community in members and attendance? MLB Game Attendance and Social Network Group Engagement seeks to answer those questions and a few related ones.
The results show that baseball communities dedicated to Major League Baseball teams are large and well established on several social networks like bebo, LiveJournal, LinkedIn and orkut. There is a community presence on other networks including biip, BlackPlanet, Blurty, CafeMom, DeadJournal, Dreamwidth, Eons.com and InsaneJournal. Community does not exist on BIGADDA, buzznet, cloob.com, DontStayIn, Inksome, JournalFen and VampireFreaks.com.
Where communities exist on a network, so does a correlation between the size of that community by team using the average number of people attending games featuring that team and using the percentage average game attendance. In general, the more people on average attending a team’s games, the larger and more active social network community around that team. There is a predictive value where you can determine the size of a community or average attendance based on the other variables.