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2013 World Series: Red Sox vs. Cardinals

Written by: Gabe Donnini, Optimization Analyst

After a disastrous 2012 season, the Boston Red Sox have returned to the World Series for the third time since their historic 2004 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. By comparison, the Cardinals had a victorious 2011 that nearly repeated itself in 2012–they still reached Game 7 of the NLCS. With the Red Sox and the Cardinals tied for the best record (97-65) in Major League Baseball, competition will be fierce to determine which team will be the next world champion.

Always interested in how the real-world trends are reflected both offline and online, Nanigans looked toward our Ad Engine platform to see how the Red Sox and the Cardinals stacked up against each other on Facebook. As Boston sports fans, it was exciting to see that the Red Sox knocked it out of the park compared to the Cardinals in terms of overall reach on Facebook (although that was somewhat expected given the Red Sox’s greater national presence).

Check out the stats below highlighting some key differences between the two teams on Facebook!

As was mentioned above, the Red Sox saw more than twice the overall reach than the Cardinals on Facebook.

The gender breakdown between the two teams was much more comparable, with the Red Sox’s fan base skewing slightly more towards men.

Next we looked at the age breakdown, with the Cardinals showing a slightly older fan base. That being said, the 13-20 and 21-30 age bands were the two largest fan segments for both teams.

Another interesting aspect of the two teams is how their players match up on Facebook. Using Nanigan’s Ad Engine platform, we compared the overall reach of each player from the Red Sox and Cardinals’ lineup to determine the top 5 players by reach from each team.


Matt Holiday led the pack for the Cardinals, and David Ortiz had the largest reach of any Red Sox player, potentially due to all of the love Boston has for Big Papi. Moreover, when the two sluggers go head to head, Ortiz’s total reach beats out Holliday by more than 2x.

Last but not least, we mapped the top 1000 zip codes by affinity for the Red Sox and the Cardinals across the US.

The Red Sox fan base is wide spread, with the largest focus taking place on the East Coast. As we speculated earlier, this may have to do with their standing as a national franchise.

The Cardinals saw a much more local fan base, centered mostly Saint Louis and the central US.

Despite an early win by the Sox over the Cardinals (8-1) on Wednesday night, the series is far from over. The Nanigans team is headed out to watch Game 2 tonight to root for the Red Sox; who are you rooting for? Go Sox!

If you thought this article was interesting, check out some of our other related pieces on the Stanley Cup and the NCAA Final Four.

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