Vivid Seats, North America’s largest independent marketplace for everything entertainment, is more than just a great experience. They’re also obsessed with data. Their talented data team, gifted engineers, and skilled designers created a look at the most popular MLB teams in each state in this vivid visualization.
This project and others, like the October 2018 Most Popular Music Genre and Artist in Every New York City Neighborhood are perfect examples of how visualizations can tell a story. Through their unique buying and selling ecosystem, they learn a lot about their users — what they like, what they watch, what they’re interested in. But on a spreadsheet, it’s flat. Vivid Seats wanted to bring their user stories to life. With their proprietary data and Mapbox, Vivid Seats feels they’ve finally found their sweet spot with mapping data visualizations.
“Mapbox helped us breathe life into our data in an engaging, interactive way.” — Stephen Spiewak, Digital Content Marketing at Vivid Seats
The map explores America’s rooting interests by identifying the most popular MLB team in each county. It is based on Vivid Seats’ ticket data from 2018-present and excludes spring training and postseason ticket sales. They accomplished this by overlaying their data on top of our map and drilled down to state and postal code level boundary data. Then, they shaded in with the color corresponding with that county’s most popular team.
Vivid Seats noticed a few key takeaways like:
- With over 459 counties, the Braves can easily claim the most popular team in the US — possibly due to their television fame, or relative lack of competition in the South.
- The Oakland A’s are the only team without at least one county on the map.
- Whether it’s the Fenway Effect, or many former Massachusetts residents moving to a warmer climate, the Red Sox are the top team in two Florida counties: Levy & Bradford
For me, growing up in Northern Virginia before the Washington Nationals graced us with their presence, baseball meant trips out to Baltimore dressed in black and orange cheering on the Orioles and cleaning Boog’s Barbecue sauce off my fingers a picturesque Camden Yards. Those memories have made me forever an O’s fan, but fandom is not always static. As Vivid Seats put it, “Teams rise and fall in popularity, as they win, lose, relocate or as franchises are added.“