No. 5: Memphis Grizzlies

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 6, 2012, 5:31 PM ET
By Max Klinger | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 9
Title track: 85
Ownership: 55
Coaching: 40 (tie)
Players: 36
Fan relations: 34
Affordability: 6
Stadium experience: 20
Bang for the buck: 1

Having good bang for the buck means providing excellent value for a fan's ticket price, but having the best B4B in all of sports means offering a truly exceptional deal. The Memphis Grizzlies not only have an excellent stadium experience (only two NBA teams had more home wins last season) and an exciting young team (they had the best winning percentage in franchise history), they've done it while keeping the lowest average fan cost per game in the NBA. What the Memphis faithful get in return is a team payroll that's in the same tier as teams that charge three times as much. Their MVP program allows season-ticket holders special perks based on how long they've held tickets. But the buck doesn't stop at the box office. The Grizzlies are also one of the most community-invested teams in the league (fan relations made a 15-spot jump). Don't take our word for it: When the nonprofit organization Beyond Sport ranked franchises around the world on community outreach, the Grizz beat out teams from the NFL to the Premier League to win Franchise of the Year. Of particular merit is their TEAM program, which creates long-term community mentors and rewards them with free tickets. The Grizzlies are scheduled to play on national TV a record 15 times this season, giving the entire country a chance to join in on Grizzlymania. Of course, only the fans in Memphis will understand how much of a privilege that really is.