With the London Series coming up next month, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at just how popular the Yankees are around the world. Forbes has an annual list of the most valuable sports teams – the Yankees ranked fifth in 2018 with a value of $4 billion. This was the highest MLB team. But for this article, I dove deeper into the search metrics regarding the Yankees.
The below graph shows the relative interest over time for the topic “New York Yankees”, which includes all search terms relative to it. The peak interest occurs during the week of October 7-13, 2018, which was for their ALDS matchup with the Red Sox. Other than that, there does not seem to be anything interesting with this graph, except for the fact that interest appears to be higher during last season this this season so far.
The Yankees generate the most absolute interest in the United States. Yet if you look at it as a fraction of total searches, the U.S. is fourth. Here are the top five and their values, where 100 indicates the location with the most population as a proportion of total searches:
- Puerto Rico, 100
- Nicaragua, 71
- Panama, 67
- United States, 64
- Dominican Republic, 60
Yankees vs. Red Sox
How about we compare the team they will be playing in the London? The graph shows worldwide interest. Obviously, the Red Sox had a lot more interest last fall when they walked their way to a World Series title. However, the Yankees hold the slight edge when it comes to average interest in the world over the past 12 months (20 to 18, relative to 100). The Red Sox also happen to be their most related topic.
What is the interest in the Yankees specifically in England? Well, the trends appear to be similar to those in the United States: peaking during playoff time. The initial announcement of the London Series came on May 8, 2018 (circled) – this was a relative peak but strangely nothing too big.
One player I looked at was Gio Urshela, considered the unexpected impact he has had on this team. As expected, his interest has spiked in recent weeks. However, he still does not come close the most popular current Yankee Aaron Judge, even while Judge is on the IL. And looking just at Judge: what city has the most interest in him relative to total searches? Yonkers, New York (100), with NYC coming in second (60).
Lastly, if you throw Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez into the mix looking at just the last year, they still dominate. A-Rod leads the way with a average relative value of 15, Judge is at 6, and Jeter is at 5.
One last nugget: oddly enough, the month Masahiro Tanaka signed (January 2014), the relative interest was only at a 33 in Japan. The spikes in the country still occur around playoff times, most notably in 2004, 2012, and 2017.
Who is the most popular team in New York?
Yeah, when looking at the last 12 months, the Yankees took this one pretty easily. Their average relative score was 36; the Mets’ was 16.