Real Madrid is still the world’s most valuable sports team. Forbes published its most valuable sports team list, and football trusts the podium with the Merengues ($3.44 bn), FC Barcelona ($3.2bn) and Manchester United ($2.81).
The Real Madrid brand is valued at $3.44bn (compared to last year’s mark of $3.3bn), followed by archrival FC Barcelona with $2.81 bn, an increase of $600m compared to last year’s Forbes valuation.
Forbes pointed out that the fact that NFL and Major League Baseball teams play and do business on a national scale, while Europe’s top football clubs operate on a global basis, as a key factor in Real, Barcelona and United’s positioning.
Indeed, German Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich was the biggest mover in the top 10, jumping five spots to No.7 with a value of $1.85bn after claiming its fifth Uefa Champions League title in 2013.
The complete Forbes most valuable sports team 2014 list is here.
Forbes bases its rankings on enterprise values (equity plus debt) based on current venue deals – unless a new venue is pending.
What does such a ranking mean? Well it has many folds, but the most important one is for clubs to pinpoint exactly the value of their brand. It makes a difference on a sales and marketing standpoint, but most importantly it’s reflective of the global impact of the brand.
In other words, the Real Madrid brand has a more powerful impact to penetrate new markets as opposed to #9 Washington Redskins. Although Manchester United lost its second spot, the Red Devils sell branded products through 200 licensees in more than 130 countries.
The Forbes valuation is clearly an indicator of not only the weath of a club, but of the global reach of its brand.