Sports fan heat maps are all the rage these days.
On Friday, the New York Times published the definitive college football fan map, a really cool interactive map that lets you zoom down to a zip code level to find out precisely who your community is pulling for.
Here's the breakdown for a few ZIP codes around campus:
02467 -- Boston College 15%, Florida 5%, Michigan 5%
02460 -- Boston College 13%, Michigan 5%, Ohio State 5%
02081 -- Boston College 11%, Florida 6%, Notre Dame 6%
01773 -- Boston College 10%, Ohio State 6%, Oregon 6%
02035 -- Boston College 8%, Florida 6%, Notre Dame 6%
Not exactly the healthiest of market shares for the Eagles. If you zoom out a bit, BC's fan base centers around the 128 loop and not much of anywhere else. UMass owns about a dozen ZIP codes in and around Amherst/Hadley, but doesn't own Foxborough (02035). That goes to the Eagles. Notre Dame stakes a healthy claim to western Mass. (they can have it), while apparently the Cape and the South Shore are big Florida Gator fans?
Now before you go on a profanity-laced tirade about how Boston College is clownshoes and how the school treads lightly in its own market, there's a pretty significant flaw in these numbers. The numbers were based on Facebook football page 'Likes.' The athletic department runs a football-specific Facebook page, but it only has a total of 1,286 likes--not enough to make a huge dent on these maps. Athletics chooses instead to put a majority of its Facebook content on their general athletics Facebook page, which has over 22,000 Likes.
In comparison, Ohio State football maintains a Facebook page with over 1.9 million Likes. Michigan's official football page has close to 1.5 million Likes, Oregon has over 839,000 and Notre Dame over 575,000. That's why several bigger name programs have a pretty big presence in the Boston area based on sheer volume alone.
But hey, at least Boston College is on the map. That's more than North Carolina can say. #goacc