Smartest Spenders in Sports Rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek

Tampa Bay Rays are the Smartest Spenders in Sports

The second annual Smartest Spenders in Sports (SSS) rankings for this past season are out by Bloomberg Businessweek and they offer up some interesting blog content and insight about whether Professional sports teams burn through big money wisely. The ranking determines how well the 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB spend their money. Does keeping up with the techie Joneses spending equal to a more efficient pro franchise?

Efficiency Index (EI):

Thanks to (Sports Techie) Ira Boudway and his Bloomberg team for collecting the data using regular and post-season records, and publicly available payroll data, to calculate how much each franchise spent per win over the last five seasons. For Major League Baseball they used the first half of the 2012 season. Their sources included: USA Today,, NBC Sports, and

Every team was then compared against league average to see how well they turn wages into wins, producing a total score called the “efficiency index,” or “EI.” The lower the index the better. The median EI score for every league is zero.

For this year’s SSS, bonuses were added for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. The algorithm counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season.

The N.Y. Giants are a top ten Smartest Spenders in Sports team

According to Ira, during their Super Bowl winning season in 2011, the New York Giants received credit for 9 regular season wins, plus a .5 game bonus for their ninth win—the one that put them above .500. Their 4 playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins. And the Super Bowl victory 8 more, for total of 23.9 “weighted” wins.

The SSS EI Top and Bottom Ten:
MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays came in at #1 with an efficiency index of -1.82, followed by #2 MLB’s Texas Rangers; #3 NHL’s Detroit Red Wings; #4 NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers; #5 NBA’s Boston Celtics; #6 NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins; #7 NFL’s New England Patriots; #8 NFL’s Green Bay Packers; #9 NFL’s New York Giants; and #10 NHL’s Boston Bruins.

Dead last on the ranking is NFL’s St. Louis Rams, coming in at #122 with an efficiency index of 4.07. Joining the Rams in the bottom 10 least efficient spenders are #121 NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves; #120 MLB’s New York Mets; #119 New York Islanders; #118 NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs; #117 MLB’s Chicago Cubs; #116 NBA’s New York Knicks; #115 NBA’s Brooklyn Nets; #114 NHL’s Winnipeg Jets; and #113 MLB’s Seattle Mariners.

At, the rankings are interactive meaning you can adjust the weights with your own values, and see how the rankings change.  Try sorting the rankings by league.

NOTABLE FINDINGS: – THE Sports Techie comment in bold

Baseball: Top MLB team is the Tampa Bay Rays (#1); Least efficient is the New York Mets (#120) The frugal Rays certainly spend wisely on global sports technology, the spendy Mets buy the over priced, hot tech

Basketball: Top NBA team is the LA Lakers (#4); Least efficient is the Minnesota Timberwolves (#121) – Showtime spending is a routine Lakers upgrade, while the tight fisted TWolves must buy obsolete overseas tech

Football: Top NFL team is the New England Patriots (#7); Least efficient is the St. Louis Rams (#122) – Coach B is wise to the value of spending on sports tech to win, rule number one Rams, football is made to be played outdoors

Hockey: Top NHL team is the Detroit Red Wings (#3); Least efficient is the New York Islanders (#119) – The Red Wings spend their International hockey cash dollars wisely, the Isles spend their International dollars like it’s Bestbuy credit

Boston: The Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins make the top 10, but the Red Sox come in at #70 – A Sports Techie Kind of City

New York Area: The #9 New York Giants and #14 New Jersey Devils are in the top 15, while the New York Rangers are at #45, New York Jets are at #54, and the New York Yankees are at #98, with the #115 Brooklyn Nets, #116 New York Knicks, #119 New York Islanders, and #120 New York Mets all in the bottom 10 – N.Y. spends more on sports tech than the GNP of half the countries on earth

Lakers history helps them maintain Smartest Spenders in Sports rankings

Los Angeles: The City of Angels also has a wide spread, with the Lakers at #4, the Kings at #37, the Anaheim Ducks at #65, the Dodgers at #79, the Clippers at #86, and the Angels at #90. – New sports technology is like a Hollywood blockbuster movie to L.A., next

Seattle: My beloved top techie city has the sports blues with the Seahawks at #80, the M’s at #113 and no NBA or NHL. Note, the OKC Sonics are at #22. – Their history is short so the Thunder’s high rank must be a testament to Seattle since we scouted, drafted and groomed, both Kevin Durant and Michael Westbrook

So what did this all mean, Sports Techie? It means that although it is odd, you can actually be an efficient winner like the Rays are this season and not spend huge cash unwisely doing it. When you look deeper into the rich history and long standing winning traditions of the nine other organizations as their common denominators, perhaps the bottom ten can learn from these values and adjust their frivolous spending habits to help make it so. One way to do that is to focus on wise sports technology expenditures to keep up with the techie Joneses. Time, good sports history, and superior fans, all appear to be some of the main ingredients for developing a winning EI sportsbiz SSS formula.

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Tags: Sports Techie, sports technology, sports tech


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