The lack of champions league football last season did not stop Manchester United from passing Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to reclaim their position as the biggest brand in world football, becoming the first club to pass the $1billion mark.
The Red Devils are now worth just over $1.2bn (£787.5m), almost $300m more than second-placed Bayern. Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea round out the top five.
Despite winning the Champions League on Saturday, which added an estimated $28m to their brand value, Barcelona still dropped below City and Chelsea in overall value, although I am sure the Catalan giants would prefer to have their second Treble in six years.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said:
‘Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Cristiano Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere.
‘As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.’
A recent report in Spanish newspaper Sport had suggested that Man Utd’s global fan base had fallen because of its couple of barren seasons.
But the Brand Finance report said:
“Even if recent reports of fan losses are to be believed, United retains legions of followers in India, South East Asia and China, contributing to a total of over half a billion individuals and the news certainly does not appear to have deterred sponsors.”
They point to the club’s lucrative shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet and “record breaking” kit supply deal with Adidas, which was signed in 2014 and is worth £750m to United over 10 years.
They added that “the huge windfalls that Man Utd can expect, will see both revenues and brand value continue to increase in the coming years”.
They also say that the club’s brand value has increased by 63% since 2014.
“The most critical success factor in the Manchester United brand’s renewed financial potency has been this year’s record-breaking, £5.1bn deal for the UK broadcast rights of the Premier League.”
United, and the rest of the Premier League clubs received a massive boost to their finances thanks to the record-breaking new UK broadcast deal for Premier League rights commencing from the 2016-17 season worth $7.8bn (£5.1bn).
One team benefitting from the TV windfall is West Ham United. The Hammers’ 86 per cent growth puts them in the top 20 for the first time, with a brand value of $209m (£137m). And they are set to get even bigger over the next few years as they prepare for a move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016.
Despite their run to the Champions League final and domestic double in Italy, Juventus have missed out on a place in the top 10. They are the highest-ranked Serie A club in 11th place.
Overall, the the top 50 is made of 17 of 20 clubs who were in the Premier League last season. Unsurprisingly it is the relegated trio of Hull City, Burnley and QPR who missed out.
Nine of the teams are from Germany, seven from Serie A, just five from Spain, four from France and eight from other league’s including Portugal, Scotland, Turkey and Brazil.
You can see the full table here:
|Rank||Club||Brand value (US$m)||2014 rank||Change since 2014 (US$m)|
|16||West Ham United||209||24||97|