You may be under the impression that success is the driving force behind a professional sports team’s value. It certainly doesn’t hurt. However, a lot of the time, it simply comes down to the name. That, in and of itself, is how you determine the power of a brand. And thanks to the good people at Forbes, who were kind enough to construct the Forbes Fab 40, we have a clear measurement of the value of the top brands in the world of sports today.
While Forbes has kindly calculated the value of sports brands in four distinct categories — teams, athletes, businesses, and events — we can’t help but feel like “teams” is a great place to start. According to Forbes, the methodology for determining the brand value in this particular group is as follows:
“Team brands are the amount of the team’s value that can be attributable to local revenue streams such as television and tickets, above and beyond what the typical team in the same sport and in a similar market generates.”
Since we know you’re all about the good stuff, we figured it was only right that we provide you with the key information. Here’s a look at the seven most valuable sports team brands in 2015.
Brand Value 2015: $437 million
FC Barcelona isn’t just one of the best teams in La Liga, it’s also one of the preeminent clubs in the entire world. In 2014, thanks to the incredible form from players such Lionel Messi and Neymar, Barca was able to earn domestic glory, while also capturing the fifth Champions League crown in team history. For reasons such as these, according to Forbes, Barcelona has managed to reach a brand value of $437 million in 2015.
6. Manchester United
Brand Value 2015: $446 million
While Manchester United hasn’t won the English Premier League since 2013, the club’s 20 domestic titles is still more than any other team in the league. Whether this club finds success on the pitch or not, that doesn’t change the fact that Man U’s name is still one of the most recognizable in the sport. As a result, it’s managed to earn the richest jersey deal in the game — $80 million a year from Chevrolet — and forge a brand value of $446 million.
5. Real Madrid
Brand Value 2015: $464 million
They don’t call them the “Galácticos” for nothing. Real Madrid is such a major club around the world that, like Barcelona, it earned $160 million in La Liga television revenue during the 2014-15 season. And while Forbes noted that Real Madrid’s brand value did decrease in the past year, at $464 million, it still puts the club at No. 5 on the list of most valuable sports team brands in 2015.
4. New England Patriots
Brand Value 2015: $465 million
With Bill Belichick on the sidelines and Tom Brady running the huddle, the New England Patriots have become the NFL’s ultimate model of consistency — and they have the Super Bowl rings to prove it. However, as far as brand value is concerned, Forbes makes sure to note how the defending world champions had an average premium ticket price of $567 last season; the highest of any team in the league and double the National Football League’s average. With figures such as these, owner Robert Kraft can rest at night knowing his Patriots now have a brand value of $465 million.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Brand Value 2015: $497 million
Thanks to an impressive 2014 campaign that saw the Dallas Cowboys lead the NFL in premium seating revenue ($120 million), average attendance (90,000), and stadium revenue generated from non-NFL events ($30 million), Jerry Jones now finds himself with the most valuable sports team brand in the National Football League ($497 million). Clearly the star is still shining bright in Dallas.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Brand Value 2015: $521 million
Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers ended the year with a 21-61 record and finished in fifth place in the Pacific Division for the second consecutive season. However, if you thought losing would hurt this team’s brand power, you were sorely mistaken. Even with their lackluster play on the court, according to Forbes, the Lakers could still get away with having an average ticket price of $102 dollars per contest — the second-highest in the National Basketball Association. Not only that, but the purple and gold saw its brand value increase from $254 million last year to $521 million in 2015. Only in Hollywood.
1. New York Yankees
Brand Value 2015: $661 million
Once again, it’s all about the pinstripes. The New York Yankees may not have been able to advance past the Wild Card stage during this year’s postseason, but this team continues to reel in the money. In 2014, the Yankees generated a ridiculous $508 million in revenue. On top of that, since Forbes began calculating team finances in 1998, the Bronx Bombers have been at the head of the class each and every year.
If you’re looking for the most valuable team brand in all of sports, with $661 million, the buck stops in New York.
To see Forbes’ complete list of “The Most Valuable Team Brands in Sports,” check out the gallery here.
All statistics are courtesy of Forbes.com.