When it comes to sports, New York is the go-to hotspot for fans and tourists alike. Whether you enjoy watching baseball, football, or ice hockey is more your jam, the state of New York offers a variety of iconic teams that hardcore sports fans can get behind.
Fans love arguing about which team is best on and off the field, it got us wondering – which New York sports team has the most engaged fanbase of all?
We looked at which sports teams in New York state and the Tri-State area have the most supportive fans on social media, by comparing engagement rates across Instagram and Twitter for every team in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, WNBA and NWSL.
We calculated the number of shares, comments, and likes each team regularly receives as a percentage of its overall following, to work out which set of fans are most vocal online:
- New York Yankees – Engagement rate: 1.87%
Taking the top spots with the most engaged fans, the New York Yankees smash it out of the park with an impressive 1.87% combined engagement rate across the two platforms. The Yankees also know what they are doing when it comes to attracting and maintaining an online following, boasting the highest number of Twitter followers at 3,670,595 and the third-highest number of Instagram followers at 2,969,491.
- Buffalo Bills – Engagement rate: 1.07%
In second place is the Western New York-based football team, the Buffalo Bills who have a combined engagement rate of 1.07% across Instagram and Twitter. The Bills have the second-highest engagement levels on Instagram of any team at 2.04% and the third-highest engagement on Twitter at 0.09%, enabling them to comfortably place second in the overall rankings.
- NJ/NY Gotham FC – Engagement rate: 1.00%
NJ/NY Gotham FC ranks third on the list with an engagement rate of 1.00% overall. Originally named the Jersey Blue Skies, the women’s professional soccer team received a rebrand in 2020 and currently sits 10th in the NWSL table. Gotham FC ranks third in terms of Instagram engagement at 1.94% but performs midtable on Twitter, joining four other teams with a 0.05% engagement rate on the platform.
- New York Rangers – Engagement rate: 0.91%
In fourth place are the men’s professional ice-hockey team, the New York Rangers, with an engagement rate of 0.91%. The Rangers place as the fourth most engaging New York sports team on Instagram with an engagement rate of 1.72% and garner an impressive 20,549 likes on each of their posts on average. They are also joint fifth with the Yankees when it comes to Twitter support, with a 0.09% engagement rate.
- New York Jets – Engagement rate: 0.74%
Cleverly coining their ‘Gang Green’ nickname due to the team’s emerald attire, the New York Jets achieve an overall engagement rate of 0.74%, just bumping them into the top five. They maintain a higher overall engagement rate than rivals New York Giants, who also play at the MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets achieve an Instagram engagement rate of 1.42% and a Twitter engagement of 0.05% which ties them in fifth place on the platform with four other teams.
- New York Liberty – Engagement rate: 0.72%
Despite having just 92,834 Instagram followers, the smallest following of any of the teams, New York Liberty achieves a respectable overall engagement score of 0.72% ranking them sixth on the list. The women’s basketball team currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference of the WNBA and is set to play the Las Vegas Aces at the Michelob Ultra Arena this week. The Liberty also rank as having the highest Twitter engagement score of any team, at 0.15%, despite having just 72,517 followers.
- New Jersey Devils – Engagement rate: 0.59%
Despite residing in New Jersey as their name suggests, the professional ice hockey team forms part of the Tri-state area and ranks seventh overall with an engagement rate of 0.59%. Interestingly, the Devils are the least active team on Instagram out of all the teams, with just 2,244 posts in total. Quality over quantity appears to rule supreme, as they receive an admirable Instagram engagement of 1.15% which also places them seventh in the Instagram rankings. Although their Twitter engagement rate leaves room for improvement at just 0.03%.
- Buffalo Sabres – Engagement rate: 0.54%
Taking the eighth spot is the NHL team, the Buffalo Sabres, with an overall engagement rate of 0.54%. The Sabres are no strangers when it comes to social media, having tweeted the most out of any of the teams on the list. At a staggering 98,681 lifetime tweets, they have tweeted 20 times a day on average since they joined in March 2009. Despite this, their engagement rate on Twitter stands at just 0.05%.
- New York Mets – Engagement rate: 0.52%
In ninth place are MLB superstars, the New York Mets, with an engagement rate of 0.52% overall. Despite being the fifth most followed on Instagram, the Mets rank ninth for engagement on the platform at 0.93%. They perform better than other teams on Twitter, however, ranking second behind New York Liberty, with an engagement rate of 0.11%.
- New York Islanders – Engagement rate: 0.37%
Taking the tenth spot is the final NHL team on the list, the New York Islanders, with an overall engagement rate of 0.37%. Based in Elmont, New York, the Islanders’ most heralded players include defenceman Denis Potvin and winger Mike Bossy. The team is one of the most active on Instagram, with 10,358 posts in total, achieving an engagement rate of 0.68% on Instagram and a Twitter engagement rate of 0.05%.
- Brooklyn Nets – Engagement rate: 0.36%
In 11th place is the Brooklyn Nets with an overall engagement rate of 0.36%. The NBA team boast the highest number of Instagram supporters out of any of the teams, with a whopping 4,368,290 followers on the platform and an of average 26,774 likes on each of their posts. Despite this, their engagement rate of 0.62% is relatively low, but they perform better on Twitter where they place joint third with the Bills with an engagement rate of 0.10%.
- New York Giants – Engagement rate: 0.31%
Coming in 12th place are the New York Giants with an engagement rate of 0.31%. The Giants, who are the most well-known NFL team from the Tri-State area at a global level, share their home games with the aforementioned New York Jets at the MetLife Stadium in Rutherford. The Giants also place twelfth in the Instagram rankings with an engagement rate of 0.59% and rank among the lowest teams in terms of Twitter engagement, at just 0.03%.
- New York Red Bulls – Engagement rate: 0.26%
Taking the 13th spot are the New York Red Bulls with an overall engagement rate of just 0.26%. The Red Bulls are one of two Major League Soccer teams that are based in the New York metropolitan area and are currently top of the Eastern Conference division table. Despite having 204,711 followers on Instagram, the Red Bulls only achieve 990 likes per post on average – the lowest engagement rate of any of the teams.
- New York Knicks – Engagement rate: 0.20%
Placing second to last, the New York Knicks total an engagement score of just 0.20%. The Knicks are the most active team on Instagram with 13,362 lifetimes posts and have the second most Instagram followers of any New York team, at 3,364,081. Unfortunately, a high rate of posting does not always translate to a high level of fan engagement, and their Instagram rate of 0.34% appears to reflect this.
- New York City FC – Engagement rate: 0.11%
Rounding off the list in last place is New York City FC, with the lowest social media engagement of any of the teams on the list at just 0.11% overall. This men’s soccer team seems to have a hard time keeping the interest of its followers, with NYCFC ranking lowest on Instagram, with an engagement rate of just 0.18% and joining three other teams on Twitter with the lowest engagement rates at just 0.03%.
New York Sports Teams with the Most Engaged Fans
|Rank||Sports Team||League||Instagram Engagement Rate||Twitter Engagement Rate||Overall Engagement Rate|
|1.||New York Yankees||MLB||3.65%||0.09%||1.87%|
|3.||NJ/NY Gotham FC||NWSL||1.94%||0.05%||1.00%|
|4.||New York Rangers||NHL||1.72%||0.09%||0.91%|
|5.||New York Jets||NFL||1.42%||0.05%||0.74%|
|6.||New York Liberty||WNBA||1.28%||0.15%||0.72%|
|7.||New Jersey Devils||NHL||1.15%||0.03%||0.59%|
|9.||New York Mets||MLB||0.93%||0.11%||0.52%|
|10.||New York Islanders||NHL||0.68%||0.05%||0.37%|
|12.||New York Giants||NFL||0.59%||0.03%||0.31%|
|13.||New York Red Bulls||MLS||0.49%||0.03%||0.26%|
|14.||New York Knicks||NBA||0.34%||0.05%||0.20%|
|15.||New York City FC||MLS||0.18%||0.03%||0.11%|
Sources: Instagram, Twitter, Influencer Marketing Hub