This article is one I’m writing in order to give credit where credit is due. Since 2008, Thunder fans have proven to be some of the greatest in the NBA. Ever since the franchise began, Thunder fans have filled the seats to watch their team play. As the team has improved over its short tenure in the league, so too has the fan base. I remember back in 2012 when the Thunder were getting ready for their first trip to the Finals. I was at a resort in Mexico getting ready to watch Game 1 in the resort’s sports bar. The crazy thing though was that I was one of around a dozen people in their wearing Thunder gear. I couldn’t believe that I’d find so many Thunder fans in a place like that. Now of course I can sit here and talk about how amazing Thunder fans are, but that’s just talk. Let’s see what the stats say.
Right before the start of last season Dime Magazine released a ranking of the Top 10 Best Home Court Advantages In The NBA. According to the magazine the Thunder had the 2nd best fan base in the entire league, behind only Golden State.
Fanpagelist.com did a survey to find the most talked about NBA teams on social media. The Thunder ranked 6th among NBA teams. What makes this more impressive is that they were the highest ranked “small market” team. The teams in front of them: Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Celtics, Knicks.
Ticketcity.com created a formula which included things such as: ticket sales, attendance, home court capacity, and social media followers in order to come up with a way to rank the NBA’s Most Engaged Fan Bases. According to their formula, the Thunder have the 7th most engaged fan base in the NBA. Once again ranking behind such major markets as Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
Now those are just a few examples to put things into perspective, but it’s impossible to understand just how much Thunder fans love their team unless you see for yourself. I was in Oklahoma City during the 2011 offseason, and I remember being shocked at just how much the city embraced their team. Remember this was before the Finals run the next season. I’m aware that much of the teams fan base now has to do with people jumping on the bandwagon. It’s easy when you have a 50+ win team year after year and the reigning MVP along with another All-NBA talent. Regardless, Thunder Nation is taking over the country. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where college football has, does, and always will be king. Everywhere you go you’ll see Crimson Tide gear. What’s surprising is that next to Alabama the most represented team I see is the Thunder. I can’t go anywhere without seeing KD jerseys or Thunder shirts or hats. Thunder fans are popping up all over the country. It’s no surprise why they are viewed as one of the best fan bases around. They truly love their team and I think I speak for us all when I say Thunder Up!