Most Valuable Sports Clubs

The value of professional sports franchises has become increasingly exorbitant with the potential sale of the Lon Angeles Clippers to ex-Microsoft head Steve Ballmer at an eye-popping price of $2 billion. The proposed purchase price for the Clippers is 15 times its revenue, which is far greater than the previous NBA record of five times revenue for the sales of Washington Wizards in 2010 and Milwaukee Bucks in March. The deal, which is currently hung up in courts, has proved that the value of big market American sports teams is higher than ever.

Although the American sports properties have become immensely valuable, they can’t match the elite European soccer clubs when it comes to global reach and value. The three richest clubs in the world are soccer clubs, eclipsing giant American franchises like the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Manchester United, worth $3.6 billion, leads the way for yet another year, just a bit ahead of Spain’s Real Madrid which is worth $3.44 billion. Fellow Spanish soccer power, Barcelona, rounds out the top three with a worth of $3.2 billion.

Manchester United may not have won the Premier League title, finishing seventh this season, but it can lay claim to another title: the world’s richest sport club. United sacked its manager David Moyes in April after just one season. Moyes replaced the legendary Alex Ferguson, who led United for nearly three decades before retiring. Despite all the troubles both on and off the field, companies continue to flock to United. Just this month, Adidas signed a 10-year $1.3 billion kit deal. General Motor’s 7-year $559 million shirt sponsorship deal kicks off next season. Wall Street has also increased United’s enterprise value from $2.8 billion to $3.6 billion in May.

Read Madrid has made it to the Champions League semifinal for four consecutive years and won the title this year, defeating Atletico Madrid 4-1 to take home its record 10th Champions League title. Due to the win, Real got a $78 million payout instead of the $62 million payout it earned for its semifinal finish last season. Read Madrid has Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning player of the year and global icon, playing for it and generates more revenue than any other sports team in the whole world. It earns its commercial revenue through a $39 million-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates and a kit deal with Adidas worth $41 million annually. Real is also planning to renovate its stadium Santiago Bernabeu, which will cost $540 million and will be completed by 2017.

Barcelona, led by Lionel Messi, Neymar and now the notorious Luis Suarez, has won six La Liga titles in the past decade. Like Real Madrid, Barcelona will also renovate its Nou Camp stadium for $800 million, which will start in 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2021. The renovation will add a roof and 5,000 additional seats, increasing the total seating capacity of the stadium to 105,000.

The biggest mover to the top 10 is yet another soccer club, Bayern Munich. It jumped to No. 7 with a $1.85 billion worth after it won its 5th Champions League title in 2013. Its record $308 million commercial revenue is the second highest in the world, just behind Paris Saint-Germain. It also has the richest kit deal ($38 million annually with Adidas) and shirt sponsorship ($40 million a year with Deutsche Telekom) in the German Bundesliga.

Although soccer clubs dominate the top of the list, American football teams make up the bulk of the top 50 list with 30 teams (only Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders didn’t make the cut). Dallas Cowboys is leading the way, ranking 5th overall with a worth of $2.3 billion. Since 2007, the Cowboys have been the NFL’s most valuable team, largely due to the league’s premium seating revenues and highest sponsorships – a combined $220 million. It also has the highest operating income in sports at $251 million for the 2012 season.

Social media doesn’t exactly determine the actual popularity, but the different between the top American teams and elite soccer clubs is vast. Barcelona (69 million), Real Madrid (67 million) and Manchester United (53 million) are the top sports teams to have the biggest fan following on Facebook. In fact, the top 8 spots are all taken by soccer clubs. On the other hand, the NFL’s 32 teams have a combined Facebook fan following of 75 million, which is just barely more than Barcelona alone. This could be due to the fact that NFL is mostly watched on a national scale, while European clubs have worldwide fans.

The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 list consist of eight soccer, six baseball and four basketball clubs. The basketball teams are led by the New York Knicks at No. 13, with a worth of $1.4 billion. Completing the top 50 list are the NHL’s most valuable team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, at No. 26 with a valuation of $1.15 billion, and a Formula 1 franchise (Ferrari ranking 21st with a worth of $1.2 billion). New additions to the list include Boston Celtics and St. Louis Rams, who are tied for the 45th position at $875 million, along with Manchester City which ranks 49th at $863 million. Formula 1’s McLaren is one of the three teams that were dropped from this year’s top 50 list; the other drop-offs include the New York Mets and the Raiders.

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The average team in the top 50 has a valuation of $1.34 billion, which has increased by 8% from last year. There were only 33 teams worth $1 billion last year; now there are 38. There are now six teams in the list worth more than $2 billion as compared to three years ago, when there were none. Four years ago, $586 million was the minimum requirement to enter the top 50, but now it is $856 million (which is AC Milan’s valuation).

Below list is about to 10 most valuable clubs in the world according to forbes.com. in their list you can see Real Madrid is at number 1 but in their latest article they accepted Wall Street’s Ranking which Manchester United Mentioned as the Richest Sports Team in the World.

Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Clubs in the World

10. New York Giants: $1.55 billion

New York Giants
Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Teams in the World

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