Football fandom can be a fascinating phenomenon. While the allure of silverware can attract new supporters, genuine devotion often has its roots in less conventional experiences.
Over the past year, two clubs from opposite sides of the footballing pyramid, Manchester City and Luton Town, have experienced a substantial surge in their fan bases.
This growth is not solely attributed to winning silverware but is a result of captivating narratives and experiences that become ingrained in the club’s folklore.
These elements can often act as potential magnets for new supporters, drawing an increasing number of followers to the fanbase.
Man City’s appeal has always been undeniable.
With Pep Guardiola’s tactical wizardry and a talent pool boasting established superstars and eye-catching prodigies, Man City have become a dominant force in English and European football.
The 2022/23 campaign saw Man City steamroll to a famous third Premier League title on the bounce under Guardiola’s stewardship.
In addition to their three-peat, the Cityzens snapped up a historic treble, winning the FA Cup and Champions League titles as Guardiola’s troops established themselves as arguably the greatest team in the club’s history.
Their remarkable on-field success translated into a meteoric rise in social media followers, with the Manchester heavyweights witnessing a 32.1% increase on Instagram.
The seven-time Premier League champions started 2023 with over 35.7 million followers. But the last 12 months have seen a staggering 12m+ social media users join the flock, taking their tally to 49.6m.
Across the footballing spectrum, Luton’s rise is as heartwarming as it is unexpected.
Having climbed from non-league obscurity to the Premier League, their astonishing journey has captivated countless neutrals and rekindled the interest of fans who had previously lapsed.
However, Luton’s surge in popularity goes beyond their on-field achievements. Their unwavering commitment to the local community serves as a cornerstone of their identity, nurturing a collective sense of purpose and pride.
Both elements combined have seen the Hatters record an astonishing 371.3% surge in Instagram followers, rising from 74,737 to 352,261 over the past 12 months.
Man City and Luton’s fanbases have already witnessed a seismic eruption this year, marking the most remarkable surge across the Premier League.
However, those figures could skyrocket even further in 2024.
Guardiola’s side are gunning for a fourth Premier League title in a row and are heavily fancied to retain their Champions League crown, while Luton are aiming to retain top-flight status in their inaugural campaign.
If both teams are successful in their endeavours, the potential magnitude of their fanbase expansion by the end of the next year could be mind-boggling.
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