Messi, Manchester United Make Their Mark As Soccer’s Most Valuable Franchises
Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 09:03AM in Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Forbes, Leo Messi, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Soccer, Soccer, sports marketing

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

June 13, 2018:
Soccer supporters call their sport the biggest in the world.

They have a solid argument, especially during the World Cup.

The 20 most valuable soccer teams in the world are worth an average of $1.69 billion, up 14% over the past year and 74% since 2013.

The top 20 teams raked in an average of $428 million in revenue during the 2016-2017 season, 40% more than five years ago, according to a new report from Forbes.

Manchester United is the world’s most valuable soccer team, valued at $4.12 billion.

That figure is up from $3.69 billion last year.

In addition, Manchester United generated the most revenue ($737 million) during the 2016-2017 season and nearly 50% more operating income ($254 million) than any other soccer team, according to Forbes.

Among ManU’s partners are automotive and jersey sponsor Chevrolet, adidas, AON, 20th Century Fox, DHL, EA Sports, Gulf, Epson, New Era, Tag Heuer and Uber.

The Top Ten most valuable soccer franchises in the world behind ManU include: 2. Real Madrid ($4.09 billion), 3. Barcelona ($4.06 billion). 4. Bayern Munich ($3.05 billion), 5. Manchester City ($2.47 billion), 6. Arsenal ($2.24 billion),  7. Chelsea ($2.06 billion), 8. Liverpool ($1.94 billion), 9. Juventus ($1/47 billion) and 10. Tottenham Hotspur ($1.24 billion).

The top-valued uniform sponsorships are led by Barcelona (Rakuten $247 million), Manchester United (Chevrolet $202 million) and Real Madrid (Emirates Airlines $200 million).

Manchester United brings the heat in media, as well: More than 73.6 million likes on Facebook, 18.3 million followers on Twitter, 22 million followers on Instagram.

The highest-paid soccer players in the world, according to Forbes, are led by Leo Messi, who earned $111 million over the past 12 months, including $27 million in endorsements.

His deals include adidas, Pepsi/Gatorade, MasterCard, Huawei Technologies and Ooredoo.

He also is his own social media cottage industry, with more than 89.7 million likes on Facebook, 93.1 million followers on Instagram, 29.3 million followers for Messi’s Barcelona club plus several fan-run Messi Twitter accounts that top three million followers.

Among the other top-paid soccer stars are Cristiano Ronaldo ($108 million, with $47 million in endorsements), Neymar Jr. ($90 million, $17 million in endorsements),  Gareth Bale ($34.6 million total), Paul Pogba ($29.5 million total), Oscar ($27.4 million), Luis Suarex ($27 million), Wayne Rooney ($27 million), Sergio Aguero ($23.5 million) and Angel Di Maria ($22.6 million).

Even with all of its assets, Manchester United is not the most valuable sports franchise in the world.

That title belongs to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), followed by Manchester United, according to Forbes.

The Top Ten also includes Real Madrid ($4.09 billion), Barcelona ($4.06 billion), MLB’s New York Yankees ($4 billion), NFL's New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), NBA’s New York Knicks ($3.6 billion), Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), New York Giants ($43.3 billion) and two time-defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion).

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