This is seen throughout football, the sports industry and even across continents – Allen and Biles have proven a great example of this growing phenomenon.
For those without a map, southeast Wyoming is thousands of miles from Buffalo. So why do people care there?
Former CBS CEO Steve Warner tells me that local television stations broadcast the Bills games because they know their viewers are interested in watching Allen play.
The Allens Bills are the most searched team over the past year in New York, and not surprisingly, likely due to their back-to-back East Asian League titles, and recent New York Jets and Giants struggles.
It is also the second most searched team in Wyoming. To put that into perspective, there is no other state outside of the Northeast where there are bills even in the top five most searched for over the past year. The Bills were also ranked in the top two in Wyoming from March to August 2021 before the NFL season started, so people aren’t looking for the Wyoming Bills just to view their games there.
An examination of Google’s data in 2017 – before Allen arrived in Buffalo – shows that things were very different. While the Bills ranked #1 in searches in New York, they didn’t make the top 20 in Wyoming.
In other words, the data suggests that Allen is driving interest in billing among a group of people who previously had little interest in the Buffalo team.
Allen is no stranger in the NFL regarding this phenomenon.
During the 2021-2022 season, the Chargers were the most searched team in the Eugene region. Five years ago, chargers did not rank among the top 15 most searched for in the Eugene area.
But it’s not just about college football fans who go after individual players. NFL fans do it too.
New England still loves its patriotic rockets, but now has a second love in pirates. The Buccaneers were the second most searched team in every New England state in 2021, with the exception of Connecticut.
In 2017, the Buccaneers weren’t even in the top 20 most searched for in any New England state.
The basketball star clearly has fans in markets across the country – and in the world.
In Ohio, where James belongs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are always the most searched team on Google. But each time after James left — for the Miami Heat in 2010 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 — his new teams became the second most-searched team.
But with more fans joining social media and traditional media becoming less important, we shouldn’t be surprised to see players become more important than teams.
True, that wouldn’t be the case for a fan like me. I love my bills.