The Green Bay Packers rank 13th among the 122 major North American professional sports franchises in ESPN The Magazine's eighth annual Ultimate Standings.
The standings measure how effective teams are in paying back their fans' investment of time, energy and money. The standings combine results from fan surveys and from analyses of how efficiently teams use the money fans spend.
The Packers rank second among the NFL's 32 teams and second among the state's pro teams. The Milwaukee Brewers rank seventh overall and second in baseball.
Baseball's Los Angeles Angels topped the charts, followed by the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, NHL's Detroit Red Wings and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
Due in large part to a 6-10 season, the Packers slipped from fourth overall in the rankings.
"Lambeau is a juggernaut," ESPN's Jason Catania wrote for the July 13 edition, which ESPN previewed in an e-mail to Packer Report and other media outlets. "The Pack's home has been the top NFL venue each year of the standings, and this year it landed in the top overall spot for the fourth time. Attribute that to the G-Force campaign, a team-sponsored directive launched in 2007 to rally fans. At kickoff, Lambeau's TundraVision salutes the 79,928 G-Forcers on-screen while giveaway towels are waved from the stands and a Packers anthem (‘G-Force Roar') blares over the speakers. Not all the fun is reserved for game time, though. The Tundra Tailgate Zone, a climate-controlled area in the parking lot, opens four hours before game time, and fans can mingle with former Pack players (‘Dude, is that Elijah Pitts?'), catch the action on the plasma-screen TVs and consume vast quantities of Vitamin B (burgers, brats, beer). ‘Nothing is quite like being inside Lambeau,' a team rep says of the TTZ, ‘but it's almost as good.' Not so good, though? Ownership and Coaching ranks dropped 27 and 37 places, respectively. That's what 6 W's and a 1–5 finish will get you."
The Packers, with Lambeau Field as the backdrop, ranked first overall in stadium experience. The Packers checked in third among the NFL teams and 18th overall in fan relations, including the top spot in football in responsiveness to fan feedback (second overall) and player accessibility (fifth overall).
Other than the fall to 56th in the coaching category, the Packers ranked in the top quarter in every other category.
The worst five teams, starting from the bottom, are the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA's New York Knicks, the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, the NFL's Detroit Lions and the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. The Chicago Bears are 69th and the Minnesota Vikings 89th.
For Wisconsin readers, the Milwaukee Bucks are 110th.
To see the whole survey and a breakdown of what everything means, click here.
Crosby on ESPN commercial
He's a bit character this year, unlike last year's clever Reebok spot in which he kicked footballs at the bell tower in downtown Green Bay, but kicker Mason Crosby again is a pitchman for fantasy football. To see the 16th-round pick in action, click here.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.