The Vikings nearly made it to the Super Bowl this year, they landed a top quarterback and are about to open their new state-of-the-art training facility. Yet a just-released report ranks their fans 24th out of the 32 teams for the team's branding.

The report, by Emory University, ranks the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Giants and Steelers as the top five teams. The Browns, Jaguars, Chiefs, Rams and Titans occupy the bottom five positions.

Dr. Michael Lewis of the business school at Emory ranks teams in three areas to determine their branding. Minnesota ranked 21st in how much fans spend on tickets and merchandise. The Vikings ranked 29th in how passionate their fans are on social media platforms. Minnesota got its best ranking in regard to how well they draw on the road, landing 15th.

Dr. Lewis states in the report, "The analysis is grounded in economic and marketing theory, and uses statistical tools to shed light on the question of which teams have the most loyal or "best" fans...It's driven by data, not emotion."

The Bears' fans rank 6th. Packer fans are 10th. Detroit is 20th. I'm not sure if the results of this survey are more shocking or not than the recent Gallup Poll indicating that soccer is more popular than hockey in the U.S.