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A marketing research firm called Turnkey Sports and Entertainment has gone to a lot of effort to measure the "brand" strength of all 122 professional sports teams in the four major leagues (yes, that included the NHL).

The market research folks quizzed 12,000 fans in 47 markets – from 200 to 500 fans in each market. The firm asked questions that were in two broad categories, measuring popularity and loyalty. The surveying was done in May and June. Street & Smth's Sports Business Journal reported the results of the survey and the No. 1 brand belonged to the Pittsburgh Steelers followed by the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. The strongest non-NFL team brand was the Buffalo Sabres, followed by the Boston Red Sox and San Antonio Spurs.

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Considering this was done after a down season for the Steelers, those results were pretty impressive because when you look at the rankings, they pretty much reflect recent team performance. For instance, the Ravens, after a 13-3 season, were No. 12 overall (out of 122 franchises) and the sixth-ranked NFL team.

The Orioles were No. 84.

Turnkey also measured fan impressions of owners.

Hmm.  Bet you can see where this is going.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos ranked as the "worst owner in baseball," in the words of the Sports Business Journal. And he was fourth from the bottom among all owners. The cellar-dweller was Detroit Lions owners William Clay Ford. After this season with the Lions doing considerably better, Ford's rating probably will go up, meaning Angelos has a real shot at No. 122.

And the top owner was (drumroll) … again, remember that recent results seemed to be a key ...  Colts owner Jim Irsay. Patriots owner Bob Kraft was No. 2.

Photo credit:  Associated Press

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