Man U named world’s top football brand

Manchester United has been named the world’s most valuable football brand for the second successive year, while city rivals and Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City have broken into the top ten leading teams for the first time, according to a study.

Manchester United

Despite narrowly missing out on the Premier League title and getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League during the initial stages, United saw its brand value increase by 29% to $853m (£543m) during the last season.

The Brand Finance report, which ranks the top 50 football teams by estimating the value of trademarks and intellectual property, comes following a series of commercial deals for the team over the past 12 months, including deals with telecoms companies Globul and Du.

Rivals Manchester City boosted their brand value by 77% to $302m (£192m) during the last season with a string of marketing tie-ups with the likes of Nike, Electronic Arts and YouTube that saw it move ahead of AC Milan at eighth.

Champions League winners Chelsea remain fifth after a season where they also won the FA Cup.

Despite losing the final on Saturday (18 May), Bayern Munich jumped up two places to second to overtake Spanish champions Real Madrid with a $786m (497.8m) valuation. The German team generates the highest commercial revenues of any club at $254m (£160.9m) with lucrative deals with brands Audi, Adidas and Allianz.

Matt Hannagan, sports brand valuation analyst at Brand Finance warns that the club’s strategy to focus on deals with German brands could backfire and see the club become to reliant on its domestic fan base’.

He adds: “Bayern need to start building their brand in emerging markets or they will be left behind by relying too heavily on their domestic fan base.”

Generally, English and German clubs such as Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively have risen in the annual rankings, while Italian and Spanish teams including Juventus and Barcelona have seen there value wane as a result of their domestic economies being in crisis.

Newcastle United is the newest member to the league at number 20th and the highest climbers are Ajax, jumping from 23 to 14 with a growth of 150% during the last season.

2012 ranking 2011 ranking Club League Brand value US$m Change in value %
1 1 Man Utd Barclays Premier League 853 29%
2 4 Bayern Munich Fußball-Bundesliga 786 59%
3 2 Real Madrid BBVA Liga 600 -7%
4 3 Barcelona BBVA Liga 580 -8%
5 5 Chelsea Barclays Premier League 398 27%
6 6 Arsenal Barclays Premier League 388 29%
7 9 Liverpool Barclays Premier League 367 47%
8 11 Man City Barclays Premier League 302 77%
9 7 AC Milan Serie A TIM 292 7%
10 12 Schalke Fußball-Bundesliga 266 97%

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