Franchise Ranks Second Overall with Top Honors in Ownership, Coaching and Players
Matt Schad, Sr. Digital Developer
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 25, 2016) – The San Antonio Spurs led all franchises in ownership, coaching and players en route to a No. 2 spot overall in ESPN The Magazine’s 14th Annual Ultimate Standings, which rank in order all 122 teams from the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. San Antonio came in behind the No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers finished third. The Spurs remain the only franchise to rank in the Top 10 every year since ESPN introduced its annual list in 2003, including No. 1 finishes in the 2004, 2006, 2014 and 2015 rankings.  
The Spurs ranked first overall in three 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) and players (effort on the field, likability off it). San Antonio led in the same categories in the 2014 and 2015 standings.
ESPN The Magazine’s Ultimate Standings rate all 122 teams from the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB in order, based on a weighted average of scores in eight areas:  fan relations (27.2%), title track (3.9%), players (14.7%), affordability (12.2%), ownership (12.8%), stadium experience (11.7%), “bang for the buck” (14.7%) and coaching (2.8%).  The Spurs ranked in the top 10 in seven of the eight categories.
Working with consulting firm Maddock Douglas, opinion research firm NetReflector, and Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, ESPN polled more than 70,000 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.
Since the debut of the Ultimate Standings in 2003, the Spurs have earned four No. 1 rankings, five No. 2 spots, two seasons at No. 3, and one finish each at No. 5, No. 7 and No. 9.