Bloomberg Businessweek’s second annual ranking of the smartest spenders in sports is online now at businessweek.com.
The ranking determines how well the 122 franchises in the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB spend their money. Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Ira Boudway compiled the list using regular and post-season records, and publicly available payroll data, to calculate how much teams spent per win over the last five seasons. (For baseball, he also included the first half of the current season.) Every team was then compared against league average to see how well they turn wages into wins, producing a total score cal led the “efficiency index.” The lower the index the better.
MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays topped the list with an efficiency index of -1.82, followed by the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Red Wings. Rounding out the top 10 were the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Boston Bruins.
Dead last on the ranking is NFL’s St. Louis Rams, coming in with an efficiency index of 4.07. Detroit's other pro teams had mrginal shows with the NBA's Pistons at No. 60, MLB's Tigers at No. 96 and the NFL's Lions at No. 110.
For this year’s ranking, bonuses were added for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. The scale 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. In their Super Bowl winning season in 2011, for instance, the New York Giants got credit for nine regular-season wins, plus a .5 game bonus for their ninth win — the one that put them above .500. Their four playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins. And the Super Bowl victory eight more, for total of 23.9 weighted wins. At businessweek.com, the rankings are interactive as readers can adjust the weights with their own values, and see how the rankings change. They can also sort the rankings by league.
Hockey: Top NHL team is the Red Wings (No. 3); Least efficient is the New York Islanders (No. 119)
Baseball: Top MLB team is the Tampa Bay Rays (No. 1 overall); Least efficient is the New York Mets (No. 120)
Basketball: Top NBA team is the L.A. Lakers (No. 4); Least efficient is the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 121)
Football: Top NFL team is the New England Patriots (No. 7); Least efficient is the St. Louis Rams (No. 122)