Cheer Smarter: Using Advanced Metrics to Analyze the Cost of Being a Sports Fan
The significance of a sports team varies for every person. Childhood memories, historic rivalries, and the underdog mentality make allegiance to a team personal and emotional.
But allegiance also costs money: Americans spend about $56 billion on sporting events each year. Almost 60 million people in the United States and Canada participate in fantasy sports leagues, investing an average of more than $500 a year in the competition.
So, how can fans reckon their emotional attachment with the financial decision to support a team? Amit Bhattacharyya, datascience@berkeley professor, said data is the answer.
“Sports just has a steady stream of statistics and numbers and ways to quantify what’s going on,” he said.
It provides context: How many times has something seemingly impossible happened? How often does a team win under certain circumstances? And why are some fans paying a much higher premium to go to a game?
“So why do [we] like data? It’s because it feels like it can help take the emotion out of some of these things.”
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