New research sees the Cardiff Devils listed as the sixth most loved sports team in the UK – and the most engaged team in Wales.
The study, by sports retailer Sports Direct, placed Premier League football giants Arsenal at the top, ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.
Premier League football teams took the first five spots on the list, but the Cardiff Devils beat some of the biggest names in rugby union, cricket, athletics, and netball to take sixth place on the list.
The study was based on several metrics, including brand sentiment, social followings, online social mentions, Instagram engagement rate, percentage of stadium capacity in 2019 (to consider Covid-19 limitations), and merchandise searches online. The different metrics were then given an index score on a scale of one-10 according to proportionality.
This is welcome news for the Devils, which, as an organisation, used the pandemic to pause, re-evaluate, and strategise a more fan-centric digital approach to keep fans and corporate partners engaged while hockey was on ice.
Along with independent research and fan surveys, the Devils off-team team have spent the last 24 months developing the online fan experience to get fans closer to the action, while also presenting opportunities for brands looking to gain brand exposure to an incredibly loyal and engaged fan following of more than 110,000 active users and nearly 200,000 online searches.
And it’s a formula that Wales’ most loved team have carried into the season.
We are so pleased to see this and to be included in the same list as some of the greatest sports franchises in the world is a real honour.
“We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our fans and trying to keep it fun and engaging whether we win or lose. I’m so proud of the staff who are the real drivers for this and of our team for buying into the vision of putting fans first, ahead of everything else.”