Real has the power but Man U remains top of the brand table

Real Madrid is the world’s most “powerful” football brand according to the latest annual report from Brand Finance (hardly surprising as they’re the best club team) but Manchester United remains the most valuable at $1.7bn because of its success in forging “partnerships” with numerous companies, who seem to be prepared to pay to have their names on every bit of kit and accoutrement.

Here’s the top 20 (US$ this year and last with Brand Finance ratings.)

1 1 Manchester United 1,733, 1,170 AAA+ AAA+
2 2 Real Madrid 1,419, 1,148 AAA+ AAA+
3 3 FC Barcelona 1,418, 993 AAA+ AAA+
4 8 Chelsea 1,248, 776 AAA AAA-
5 5 Bayern Munich 1,222, 867 AAA+ AAA+
6 4 Manchester City 1,021, 905 AAA AAA-
7 7 Paris Saint-Germain 1,011, 792 AAA- AAA-
8 6 Arsenal 941, 858 AAA AAA
9 9 Liverpool 908, 748 AAA AAA
10 10 Tottenham Hotspur 696, 441 AA+ AA+
11 11 Borussia Dortmund 519, 371 AAA- AAA-
12 13 Juventus 492, 287 AAA+ AAA
13 16 Everton 360, 279 AA AA+
14 14 Schalke 04 338, 282 AA+ AA+
15 12 Bayer Leverkusen 332, 290 AA AA
16 18 Atlético de Madrid 324, 266 AAA- AA+
17 17 West Ham United 303, 274 AA AA
18 22 AC Milan 286, 207 AAA- AAA-
19 20 Southampton 281, 223 AA AA-
20 19 Leicester City 257, 237 AA- AA

Brand Finance describes a brand as “a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos and designs, or a combination of these, intended to identify goods, services or entities, or a combination of these, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits/value.”

Which is a bit of a mouthful but you get the point.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh says: “Real must now pay as careful attention to its off-pitch strategy as it does to its on-pitch performance. Newfound status as the world’s most powerful brand ought to provide the club with ammunition in ongoing discussions with Emirates to renegotiate the shirt sponsorship; Real must not miss the opportunity.”

Doubt that they will, Just persuade Ronaldo to pop over to the Gulf for his hols.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.