Leicester City’s brand value rose 132% year on year, making the club one of the top 20 most valuable global football brands in the process. It now comes in at 16th – it was 42nd in 2015 – after Leicester City increased its brand strength score by 13 points to give it a brand valuation of $237m (£160m).
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh says the club now needs to “carefully” manage its newfound success and not lose sight of the fact that its sponsorship revenue only stood at £5.2m back in 2012.
“Leicester’s success is something their existing sponsors will only have dreamed of and their return on investment has been spectacular,” explains Haigh.
“Armed with a thorough understanding of what its brand is really worth to potential sponsors, Leicester will now need to carefully manage the flood of offers and opportunities it receives to both maximise revenue and create partnerships that will reinforce the club’s brand as well as its bottom line.”
Manchester United dominance continues
The Football 50 list is compiled annually by Brand Finance, with a club’s brand value calculated by combining brand strength with revenue data across three major streams; commercial, broadcasting and matchday.
And despite its failure to qualify for the Uefa Champions League and complaints from chief sponsor Adidas of a negative style of football, Manchester United retained its position at the top of the list.
With a brand value of $1.17bn (£793m), a 3% drop on the previous year, United was primarily boosted by the new joint broadcast deal between Sky and BT Sport, which means Premier League clubs shared a windfall of £5.1bn.
The club with the biggest chance of overthrowing United as the world’s most powerful football brand is Real Madrid. Rising to second place, the Spanish club, which recently won an 11th Champions League cup, saw its brand value rise £251m to $1.15bn.
And with the forthcoming renegotiation of La Liga’s TV rights, established stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and a lucrative €140m year kit deal with Adidas, Real is expected to grow further over the next 12 months.