According to Forbes Publication for the World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams 2014, soccer clubs dominate the top of the list.
The world’s richest people value trophy sports properties at record levels. Credit the massive wealth created in the stock market over the last five years, exploding TV rights fees and the limited number of teams available.
As expensive as prime U.S. sports properties have become, they can’t match the top European soccer clubs when it comes to value and global reach.
Here is the list of the Top 5 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2014:
1. Real Madrid [$3.44billion]
Real Madrid has made it to the Champions League semifinals for four consecutive years and took home the crown this year, defeating Atletico Madrid 4-1 for its record tenth Champions League title. The win means a payout of $78 million versus the $62 million Real earned last season for its semifinal finish. Real Madrid, which features global icon and reigning player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch, generates more revenue than any sports team in the world ($675 million for the 2012-13 season). Commercial revenue is padded by a $41 million-a-year kit deal with Adidas and a shirt sponsorship with Emirates worth $39 million annually. Madrid is planning a $540 million renovation to its stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, which is expected to be completed in 2017.
2. Barcelona [$3.2bilion]
Barcelona has won six La Liga titles in the past decade and is led by Lionel Messi and Neymar, who are two of the highest-paid players in the sport. Barcelona, like Real Madrid, is owned by its club members called socios. The members approved an $800 million renovation of the team’s Nou Camp stadium in April. The project will add a roof to the stadium, as well as a development around the venue. The plan calls for more than 5,000 additional seats, bringing capacity to 105,000. The project will commence in 2017 and be completed in 2021. Barcelona told Forbes earlier this year that the Nike store at Nou Camp stadium had the highest sales of any Nike store in the world.
3. Manchester United [$2.81 billion]
Manchester United finished seventh this season in the English Premier League. It marked the club’s worst season since the launch of the EPL in 1992. United sacked its manager David Moyes in April after only one season. Moyes had replaced the legendary Alex Ferguson, who led United for nearly three decades. Companies continue to flock to United despite the troubles on the field. Adidas inked the team to a 10-year, $1.3 billion kit deal this month that is more than double the next biggest pact in sports. General Motor’s seven-year, $559 million shirt sponsorship deal with United for its Chevrolet brand kicks off next season. Wall Street has pushed up the enterprise value of the publicly-traded United to a recent $3.6 billion from $2.8 billion in May.
4. The New York Yankees [$2.5billion]
The Yankees are the most valuable non-soccer team in the world with a worth of $2.5 billion. TV is driving the value of the Bronx Bombers. Fox exercised its option to increase its ownership of the Yankees’ regional sports network, YES, to 80% earlier this year (Yankees Global Enterprises, which is majority owned by the Steinbrenner family retains 20%). As part of the deal, the programming rights fee for the Yankees starts at $105 million (including the amortized value of a $400 million upfront payment) and will hit $350 million a year by 2042.
5. Bayern Munich [$1.85billion]
The biggest mover in the top 10 is another global soccer power, Bayern Munich. It jumped to No. 5 with a value of $1.85 billion after claiming its fifth Champions League title in 2013. Commercial revenue hit a record $308 million, second highest in the world behind Paris Saint-Germain, according to Deloitte. Bayern Munich has the richest shirt agreement ($40 million annually with Deutsche Telekom) and kit deal ($38 million a year with Adidas) in the German Bundesliga.
5. Dallas Cowboys [$1.85billion]
On a tie with Bayern Munich at 5th spot, Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is a master salesman and has attracted the NBA All-Star game, the Super Bowl, a Manny Pacquiao fight, soccer matches, concerts and more to Cowboys Stadium since the $1.2 billion venue opened in 2009. It will host the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four as well. The stadium can hold 110,000 people, including standing room. One thing Jones has not been able to sell is naming rights to the building, which could fetch $15 million annually.
The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 include eight soccer and six baseball clubs, as well as four from the NBA led by the New York Knicks at No. 13, with a valuation of $1.4 billion. Rounding out the top 50 are a Formula 1 team (No. 21 Ferrari at $1.2 billion) and the NHL’s most valuable franchise, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who rank 26th at $1.15 billion. New additions include: St. Louis Rams and Boston Celtics who tied for No. 45 at $875 million, as well as No. 49 Manchester City at $863 million. The Raiders, New York Mets and Formula 1’s McLaren dropped out of the top 50.