Bayern Munich oust Man Utd as top football brand

Champions League winners Bayern Munich have toppled Manchester United as the world’s most valuable football brand, according to Brand Finance’s Football 50 study.

Bayern Munich’s growing profile as one of Europe’s elite clubs has help grow its brand value.

The Bavarian outfit’s brand value has jumped nine per cent to $860m (£567m) in the 2012/13 season. The increase was driven by lucrative extensions to deals with Coca-Cola and national airline Lufthansa.

The hike was enough to knock United, who secured their 20th English League title this season, off the top spot with the club’s valuation dropping from £853m (£562m) to $837m (£552m) season on season. The retirement of manager Sir Alex Ferguson knocked 2 per cent off of the value of the club, the report adds and partly offset major sponsorship deals such as the £120m eight-year tie-up with Aon for the naming rights to the club’s training ground.

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona were third and fourth respectively, followed by Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and AC Milan. Borussia Dortmund, who were beaten by Bayern in last week’s final, broke into the top 10 for the first time with brand value of $260m (£171m), a 14 per cent rise on last season.

Despite the growing popularity of German football, the national league still lags behind the Premier League’s global appeal. The combined value of the English teams featured in the study is $3.1bn (£2bn) compared to the $1.9bn (£1.2bn) for the biggest German clubs.

David Haigh, chief executive at Brand Finance says now the Bundesliga is delivering “world-beating, fluid football rather than the more workmanlike style German teams had been known for” it could be a more attractive alternative for sponsors.

He adds: “The commercial transformation of the English game, which has created hugely successful global brands, had been seen as the model to emulate. However, the escalation of player wages, poor financial management and alienation of grass roots fans has left many people jaded.”

Separately, the study showed there are now 10 different kit suppliers to the 50 clubs. Adidas topped the pack with 18 kit deals, followed by Nike’s 14 supplier contracts. Both however face growing competition from rivals Under Armour and Warrior who have deals with Tottenham Hotspur (12) and Liverpool among others.

The rankings are based on an analysis of tangibles and intangibles such as revenue, market share and brand equity.

The Brand Finance top 10 most valuable football clubs

Rank Club Country Brand Value 2013 (£ m)
1 FC Bayern München Germany 567
2 Manchester United FC England 552
3 Real Madrid CF Spain 409
4 FC Barcelona Spain 377
5 Chelsea FC England 275
6 Arsenal FC England 270
7 Liverpool FC England 238
8 Manchester City FC England 219
9 AC Milan Italy 173
10 Borussia Dortmund Germany 171

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here