San Antonio Spurs Named Best Sports Franchise in ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings Survey for 2014
September 19, 2014
The San Antonio Spurs were named the best franchise in ESPN The Magazine’s 12th annual Ultimate Standings survey, which ranks in order all 122 teams from the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. This is the third time San Antonio has finished first and the Spurs are the only franchise to rank in the Top 10 every year since ESPN introduced its annual survey in 2003. The Silver and Black placed second in last year’s rankings.
The Spurs ranked first overall in four categories that were part of the judging process to determine the best overall sports franchise: ownership (honesty and loyalty to core players and to the community), coaching (strength of on-field leadership), players (effort on the field, likability off it) and fan relations (courtesy of players, coaches and front offices toward fans and how well a team uses technology to reach them).
ESPN The Magazine’s Ultimate Standings survey rates all 122 teams from the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB in order, based on a weighted average of scores in eight areas: fan relations (23.9%), title track (19.1%), players (13.9%), affordability (13.6%), ownership (11.3%), stadium experience (10.2%), “bang for the buck” (5.4%) and coaching (2.5%).
Working with consulting firm Maddock Douglas, opinion research firm NetReflector, and Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, ESPN polled more than 101,000 fans to determine what they want most in return for the emotion, money and time invested in their teams. ESPN combined each team’s score across all categories into a weighted score.
When the Ultimate Standings survey debuted in 2003, the Spurs ranked third overall with the Green Bay Packers placing first and the Arizona Diamondbacks second. In 2004, the Spurs garnered their first title ranking from ESPN, followed by the Dallas Mavericks in second place and the Green Bay Packers third. In 2005, the Spurs ranked second overall behind the Detroit Pistons, and ahead of the third ranked Indianapolis Colts. In 2006, a year after their third NBA Title, the Spurs were voted to the top of the list again with the Detroit Pistons second and Pittsburgh Steelers third. The Spurs finished second behind the Buffalo Sabres and above the Dallas Mavericks in 2007. The following year, the Spurs were ranked second overall behind the Indianapolis Colts. In 2009, San Antonio ranked ninth overall and seventh overall in 2010. In 2011, the Silver and Black ranked fifth overall and placed third in 2012.