A Super Bowl Grudge Match: Boston vs. New York

Call this year’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Giants a rematch or call it a grudge match. One thing we know for sure. When we match up the characteristics and behaviors of football fans and residents of Boston and New York, the two cities don’t share a lot in common. What they do share is a competitive spirit characterized by a dash of gamesmanship, mutual disdain, and a perpetual desire to antagonize each other. And that’s putting it mildly.
So exactly how is Boston different than New York and vice versa? We broke down the differences in several categories including leisure pursuits, sports interests, demographics, television viewing habits, automobile ownership, online activities, beer drinking preferences, and others. Think of it as a snack bowl of facts and figures good for pregame and halftime chatter.

The analysis is based on Experian’s ConsumerView database of lifestyle and demographic data as well as media, purchase, and online behaviors tracked by Experian Simmons. Index values are provided in parentheses. An index of 150 indicates a 50% greater likelihood for a particular characteristic to be descriptive of a given market compared to the total U.S.
Here are some key munching points:

  • New Englanders have made a way of life tromping around in the great outdoors. Heard of L.L. Bean? Carrying on in the outfitter’s tradition, Bostonians are actively engaged in Canoeing/Kayaking (134), Bicycling (130), and Backpacking/Hiking (116).
  • Asphalt basketball courts dot the New York City streetscape. Isn’t Harlem the adopted hometown of the world renowned Globetrotters? Carrying on in the urban tradition, New Yorkers have a high propensity to say they are very interested in the NBA (130) and have a high likelihood to visit NBA.com (181).
  • Tennis anyone? You’ll hear that line more often in and around New York where residents have an above average propensity to play tennis (129).
  • Tailgating anyone? You’ll hear that line more often in Boston where Patriots fans are 1.61 times more likely than Giants fans to take part in tailgating festivities.
  • Basketball and hockey fans in Boston root for the Celtics and Bruins. In New York they cheer the Knicks and Rangers. Both markets have an over-abundance of sports enthusiasts. But which market has the most fanatical sports fans? That’s a tough call. Based on likelihood to visit a combination of sports-oriented websites including ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS Sports, and league sponsored websites including the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, the most fanatical fans reside in New York.
  • Boston-area residents are more likely to have a green thumb. About one-third of area residents say they enjoy Gardening. That’s 1.41 times the corresponding percentage for New York.
  • Mark Twain is credited with saying “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” That holds as true today as it did then. But now you can “like” the weather in New England. Boston-area residents have an above average propensity to visit weather.com (129) and accuweather.com (130).
  • Donald Trump, Rockefeller Center, and the misadventures of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are all synonymous with Manhattan. Perhaps that’s why New Yorkers have a high propensity to watch Celebrity Apprentice (125), 30 Rock (134), and reruns of Seinfeld (143).
  • New England families are close knit. Many who live in the area have deep roots that span multiple generations. Then it’s probably no coincidence that Bostonians have a higher propensity to watch family-themed programs including Modern Family (137), Brothers & Sisters (130), Parenthood (126), and How I Met Your Mother (123).
  • Samuel Adams is known for leading a revolt. We mean the beer, not the historical statesman and Revolutionary War Patriot. A sports bar in New York is banning the beer from being served during the Super Bowl. What’s all the fuss about? The beverage is highly popular with beer connoisseurs in both Boston (204) and New York (129).
  • American beer companies have historically dominated the Super Bowl advertising sweepstakes spending big bucks on their humor-laden commercials. Ironically, it’s the Canadian imports that might be getting the last laugh. In Boston, area residents have a high propensity to drink Molson Canadian (234), Molson Golden (200), Labatt Blue (154), and Moosehead (146).
  • The head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick, is the brainchild behind the team’s lasting success. But there’s lots of other brain power going on in Boston. Nearly 40% of the adult population has a college degree. That’s 1.46 times the national average.
  • Most will agree that driving in Boston or New York is like training for a demolition derby. What are all those distracted drivers driving? Volvo (177), Acura (172), BMW (157), Toyota (146), Subaru (144), and Mazda (138) are among the most over-represented new vehicle nameplates in Boston. Topping the list in New York are Acura (179), Infiniti (165), BMW (163), Mercedes Benz (157), and Lexus (143).
  • There are some things about New York that Boston residents can’t resist. Reading the online edition of the New York Times (239) tops the list.