Chennai Super Kings has been ranked No 1 in terms of fandom at the close of the latest season of the Indian Premier League, according to a report by Rediffusion’s Red Lab, which tracks consumer behaviour. While Mumbai Indians are at a not-so-close second place, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are at a distant third.

The Rediffusion Red Lab team tracked and analysed fan involvement of all teams over the past two months, and interviewed and interacted with 1,213 fans of all 10 teams that played in the tournament.

“CSK top score stood at 79 per cent. MI scored 72 per cent, while RCB was ranked third with 61 per cent. Of the new teams, Gujarat Titans (GT) have not done badly with a 58 per cent score that places them at fifth place, just a notch behind 4th ranked Kolkata Knight Riders which scored 59 per cent,” a statement added. Sunrisers Hyderabad (32 per cent) and Delhi Capitals (37 per cent) were ranked last and second last in the rankings.

The calculation of fandom looked at various parameters, such as active support for the teams, watching the team’s matches and making them a part of the daily conversations with friends and family, besides going to the stadium to watch and cheer their favourite teams

“This is a study of the glue that binds a team and its fans. IPL has been around for 16 years now — sufficient time has elapsed for choices to be made, loyalty to be shaped, and for fans to either love a team or be indifferent to it. Interestingly, 42 per cent of CSK’s fan base is from outside of Chennai. So, loyalty is not driven by city/geographical affiliation or residence alone. Not surprisingly, 72 per cent of the fans attribute their affinity and preference for CSK to MS Dhoni. Rohit Sharma of MI was way lower at 23 per cent, but Virat Kohli scored better at 51 per cent for RCB. For Lucknow Giants (LG), KL Rahul did well at 49 per cent,” said Sandeep Goyal, Managing Director of Rediffusion.

Team success

He added that fandom is also a function of team success. The success of CSK, MI and the quick rise of GT have endeared them to their fans. Rediffusion’s Red Lab tracks trends across genres. This study was conducted across all 10 IPL team franchisee locations.