Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The U.S. Racial Distribution of NBA Fans

To go in hand with the Donald Sterling banning news, the folks at FiveThirtyEight decided to come up with an appropriate chart. The below chart shows the racial distribution - Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians -  of all NBA fans in the United States for each franchise.

Nate Silver explains how he was able to come up with these statistics:

It’s also possible to come up with some crude estimates of the racial composition of fans for individual NBA teams. My process for doing this was as follows:
  • I used Nielsen estimates of the racial composition of the population in each of the United States’ 210 media markets;
  • I used the frequency of Google searches for each NBA team in each media market as a proxy for its per-capita popularity;
  • I multiplied each team’s Google search frequency in each media market by the population by race there, then summed the totals to produce an overall estimate of the racial distribution of its fans;
  • I recalibrated the estimates to ensure that the whole matched the sum of the parts. In other words, I added or subtracted from the fans assigned from each racial group to each team such that the sum total matched my estimate of the overall distribution of NBA fandom throughout the country (e.g. 46 percent white, 31 percent black, and so forth). The estimates were weighted by the overall popularity of NBA teams, according to their number of Google searches.

In regards to the Magic, you can see that its racial distribution is very similar to the overall average NBA fan distribution. Orlando has the 15th-highest distribution of Whites (45.6%) among the thirty franchises. The 11th-most distribution of Blacks (34.4%). The Magic rank 12th in distribution of Hispanics (15.5%). As well as being #21 in distribution of Asians (4.6%).

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