Pride of England: Man. United named world’s first billion-dollar football brand

Manchester United have become the world’s first billion-dollar footballing brand, according to a report which also shows Manchester City and Chelsea performing better than Arsenal.

The Brand Finance list, which measures a team’s ‘brand power’ and its ability to monetise its global recognition, shows United as top of the pile despite two trophyless seasons at Old Trafford.

  RANK 2015 RANK 2014 COUNTRY BRAND VALUE 2015 (USDM) BRAND VALUE 2014 (USDM)
RANK 2015 RANK 2014 COUNTRY BRAND VALUE 2015 (USDM) BRAND VALUE 2014 (USDM)
Manchester United FC 1 3 England 1206 739
FC Bayern München 2 1 Germany 933 896
Real Madrid CF 3 2 Spain 873 768
Manchester City FC 4 5 England 800 510
Chelsea FC 5 7 England 795 502
FC Barcelona 6 4 Spain 773 622
Arsenal FC 7 6 England 703 505
Liverpool FC 8 8 England 577 469
Paris Saint-Germain FC 9 10 France 541 324
Tottenham Hotspur FC 10 12 England 360 248
Juventus FC 11 13 Italy 350 247
Borussia Dortmund 12 9 Germany 326 327
FC Schalke 04 13 11 Germany 302 313
AC Milan 14 14 Italy 244 236
Everton FC 15 20 England 228 121
West Ham United FC 16 24 England 209 112
AS Monaco 17 New France 202  
Southampton FC 18 30 England 183 96
Galatasaray A? 19 17 Turkey 177 141
FC Internazionale Milano 20 15 Italy 160 152
Aston Villa FC 21 23 England 155 115
Newcastle United FC 22 27 England 155 102
Club Atlético de Madrid 23 19 Spain 151 126
SSC Napoli 24 21 Italy 147 121
AFC Ajax 25 16 Netherlands 145 149
Stoke City FC 26 41 England 140 75
Swansea City 27 New Wales 135  
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 28 22 Germany 135 116
Sunderland AFC 29 32 England 134 93
Crystal Palace 30 New England 133  
Olympique de Marseille 31 33 France 129 91
VfB Stuttgart 32 28 Germany 121 102
Fenerbahçe SK 33 35 Turkey 120 87
Celtic FC 34 38 Scotland 120 84
AS Roma 35 26 Italy 117 108
VfL Wolfsburg 36 34 Germany 116 91

Showing 36 entries
The report claims United’s ability to attract ‘unrivalled’ sponsorship deals is key to its success, and cites their £47m-per-year shirt deal with Chevrolet as an example.

United also reacted well to the breakdown of their kit manufacturing deal with Nike, by negotiating an even better one with Adidas almost immediately.

The German brand will now produce their kits for the next ten years in a deal worth £750 million ($1.1 billion), which is more than triple the £23.5 million ($36 million) per year Nike had been paying.

This savvy business operation is key and is, for example, why Barcelona, the club with the strongest brand in the world, is only rated sixth.

The report explains: “As glorious as Barca’s record may be, it simply has not been able to harness its brand to the same extent as rivals Real Madrid (whose brand is $100 million more valuable) or the rapidly growing English teams.

“Thanks to sporting success and a squad stacked with legendary figures such as Messi and Neymar, Barcelona actually has the strongest brand of any club, rated AAA+ by Brand Finance.

“However ‘brand strength’ only reflects the notional potential of the brand. For a club’s brand to generate income a business team that is as star-studded and tactically brilliant as the team on the pitch is required.”

And it’s this business power that has seen Manchester United storm to the top of the list.

All English clubs have benefitted from the bumper pay day associated with the new £5.14bn Premier League TV deal, and West Ham have made the top 20 for the first time after strong growth of 86% since last year.

Another stand-out performer is Southampton, which has the fastest growing brand on the list – a reflection of the club being very well run behind-the-scenes.

credit: telegraph.co.uk

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