NBA Fans are Getting Excited for the Playoffs!

By Aarun Rumbaugh

Today was the first day of the NBA playoffs. I thought it would be interesting to see which teams fans are most excited and engaged in today’s match-ups. We found the difference between the team’s PTAT% (People talking about This, also known as 7 day storytellers) on Facebook from Friday (4/18) to today (4/19).

Monitoring PTAT changes over just one day can be noisy. However, the PTAT bump from the regular season to the playoffs is big enough to overcome these fluctuations.


Every team had an increase in PTAT% except the Brooklyn Nets, who actually lost engagement.  Toronto had the highest percent increase at 1.6%, which represents 12,000 more active storytellers.   

Oklahoma City’s 1.29% increase from yesterday to today might not seem impressive.  Yet on a gross basis this represents an additional 50,000 active users.  The more fans a team has, the more active users you need to make a 1% difference in your engagement rate.

PTAT Amount of fans playoffs

Although the Raptors had the highest percent change, they didn’t have the highest amount gross of engagement. They’re actually right in the middle. This shows that the more fans you have, the harder it is to raise your %PTAT.  

This is the paradox of popularity. The larger the fan base, the lower the engagement. We’ve measured this to be true not just across professional sports, but CPG, banking, retail, and every other category. There is a strong negative correlation between fan base size and engagement rates.

So why did Brooklyn’s PTAT decline by 20,000 fans?
They lost their last 2 games of the regular season. Fans of losing teams are quiet compared to teams that win, as we demonstrate here.

Facebook is taking away the PTAT metric soon, so this is a good opportunity to get the most you can. We don’t know what the new metric is, but it probably breaks out engagement by type, instead of rolling it into a single number that treat all engagement with the same weighting. Perhaps LCS (likes, comments, shares) will be separate.

Coming tomorrow is the rest of the pack! We’re going to analyze the rest of the team’s in the Playoffs that play tomorrow.


Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is on a mission to create a million jobs.

He is the host of the CoachYu show, a digital marketing certification program that partners together with industry professionals just like doctors, engineers, and teachers where people can get trained and have a job at the same time.

He has been building brands and teaching marketing for over 13 years.

Specializes in helping young adults to grow into the leaders of tomorrow, by confidently developing their marketing skills through training programs and seminars with enterprise clients like The Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

He developed the Technology Partner for Digital Marketing Agencies and Personal Brands. A RevShare Partnership Program that enables growing companies to stay competitive.

None of this would be possible without the generous support of partners such as DigitalMarketer, Social Media Examiner, Fiverr, GoDaddy, Keap, OmniConvert,, Tom Ferry, Barry Habib, and others who believe in training up millions of digital marketing professionals.

Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CNN, CBS Evening News and co-authored “Facebook Nation” – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities.

Dennis is an internationally acclaimed speaker in Facebook Marketing who has spoken countless times in 17 countries, spanning five continents including keynote events at L2E, PubCon, Digital Agency Expo, Marketo Summit, and B2C Growth & Innovation Virtual Summit.

Besides being a data and ad connoisseur, Dennis enjoys eating spicy buffalo wings or might just spot him playing Ultimate Frisbee under the sun.

You can contact him at or on one of his social accounts below.