Celtic moves up the wealth league
Red Devils reclaim top spot as football’s richest brand
Despite failing to win any silverware the Red Devils knocked European Champions League took top spot from Germany’s Bayern Munich.
United’s 63% growth has taken its value to $1.2bn (£785m).
The figures, in the latest Brand Finance Football 50 report, shows that even success does not guarantee a move up branding league table. Newly-crowned European Champions League winners Barcelona earned $28 million from Saturday’s 3-1 win over Juventus but slipped from fourth to sixth. Rival Spanish club Real Madrid is $100m more valuable and
Manchester City and Chelsea have both overtaken Barca for the first time.
Celtic is the only Scottish club on the list, rising from 38th to 34th with a value of $120m (£79m). It is behind clubs such as Swansea City, new to the list in 27th and worth $135m. Crystal Palace is also new in 30th and valued at $133m.
Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh said: “Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere. As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.”
That focus on extracting value from the brand, combined with United’s footballing success in the recent past, has allowed Woodward to mitigate the impact of the last two seasons’ mediocre results.
Sponsors’ desire to be associated with the Manchester United brand appears undimmed. The current shirt deal with Chevrolet (£47 million per year) is worth more than double that with previous partner AON. In 2014 Nike decided to end its longstanding relationship with United, but rather than heralding a loss of faith amongst sponsors, it merely opened the door for another record-breaking agreement. Adidas will be United’s kit provider for the next 10 years in a deal worth £750 million ($1.1 billion). On an annual basis, this is more than triple the £23.5 million ($36 million) per year Nike had been paying.
Premier League Payday
Manchester United received another boost to its financial potency this year thanks to a record-breaking new deal for the broadcast rights of the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 Premier League seasons. The deal is worth £5.1 billion ($7.8 billion) for the UK rights alone, closer to £9 billion ($14 billion) for the global rights, representing a 70% increase on the last round. The news saw Manchester United’s share price immediately jump 5%. The deal has been a boon to all Premier League clubs however. Each will receive close to £150 million ($230 million) a season, which has seen their brand values surge this year.
The Saints Go Marching On
Southampton is this year’s fastest growing brand. The Saints’ brand value is up 89% to $183 million. However Southampton has been more than a passive beneficiary of booming broadcast revenues. Ronald Koeman has masterminded a 7th place finish that means a club facing administration in 2009 and playing in the third tier of English football in 2010 can look forward to European football next season and the chance to build its own brand on the international stage.
West Ham pass Olympic test
West Ham is another club to benefit from the windfall. The Hammers’ 86% growth means puts them in the top 20 for the first time, with a brand value of over $200 million. When the club moves home to London’s Olympic stadium it can look forward to further growth thanks to its increased profile and match-day attendance.