Yankees unseat Manchester United as Forbes top sports brand

Forbes magazine has produced its latest list of top sports brands and baseball team New York Yankees has toppled Manchester United from the top spot with a brand value of £227.8m against Manchester United’s £197.9m.

Next come Real Madrid, Dallas Cowboys, Barcelona, Bayern Munich (who knocked Man U out of the Champion’s League), Arsenal, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets with NFL team New England Patriots in tenth place.

Forbes says the value of these is defined by the “team’s overall value derived from its name as opposed to its market and league,” which seems sensible enough.

But these various brand surveys are somewhat confusing. WPP’s huge annual Brandz survey by Millward Brown uses wider criteria including financial performance so Google, the top brand, is valued somewhere north of $100bn or £60bn.

Man U is valued at around £1bn by the Red Knights group of rich fans who would like to buy the club and rather more by the American Glazer family owners. As the club would make around £75m profit if it didn’t have to pay the Glazers’ debts a multiple of ten times profits plus this brand valuation would almost get you to £1bn.

So Forbes seems to have got it just about right.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.