Three Florida sports teams are lagging behind the rest of the competition on social media, according to a study by Bookmakers.com.
The online sportsbook recorded the most popular sports teams in the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, and the NHL across four social media platforms — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik-Tok. Unfortunately, it’s bad news for teams in the Sunshine State, as Florida-based teams have come out rock bottom in three of the four leagues.
The analysis found that the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Marlins, and the Florida Panthers are the least popular teams in each of their respective leagues. The Panthers led the trio as the single least popular team in the U.S. on social media, just barely breaking 1 million total followers. The Marlins followed closely with a total of 1.68 million total followers, while the Jags netted 2.36 million total followers across the four social media platforms.
The only squad to buck the trend that Florida teams can’t attract a big following on social media is the Miami Heat. The three-time NBA champions are fourth on the NBA’s list with 25.44 million total followers thanks to playoff appearances in all but four of the last 19 seasons.
“It’s clear that Florida teams have a lot of work to do, not just on the field, but off it too, as they lag way behind their competitors when it comes to their social media games,” said Bookmakers spokesman Darren Hughes. “While the Heat certainly hold their own in the Twitter stakes, their compatriots at the Jags, the Marlins, and the Panthers must have forgotten their Tik-Tok passwords, because those numbers are just embarrassing! Someone better get a message to them, stat- and not in 280 characters or less either!”
While some of these teams have had success — with the Marlins snapping a sixteen-year postseason drought during the pandemic shortened season in 2020 and the Panthers coming off an impressive 2021-22 season that saw them clinch the Atlantic Division title — the same cannot be said for Duval County’s football team.
It’s been almost 30 years since the Jaguars entered the NFL, and their fanbase is still waiting for its first appearance in the Super Bowl, despite reaching three AFC Championship Games. The Jags’ last appearance in a championship game was in 2017, and since then, the team as continually regressed to finish bottom of the AFC South in each of the last four seasons.
The Jags have also been plagued off the field. A 2-11 stint last season mired in controversy led to the firing of former head coach Urban Meyer just 13 games into his NFL coaching debut.
Other Florida teams with a notable social media footprint include the Miami Dolphins with 5.3 million total followers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 4.6 million total followers, Tampa Bay Lightning with 2.16 million total followers, and the Tampa Bay Rays with 2.09 million total followers.