For awhile there, Manchester United was the most valuable team brand in the world, as determined by the people who determine these things, Forbes. Thanks to the fluctuating value of currency, however, United has – gasp – dropped to second place behind the New York Yankees.
The Yankees’ brand is valued at $340 million, $71 million more than Manchester United ($269 million). It’s all down to the gains the dollar made against the pound since the original Forbes survey back in 2007:
To be fair, Manchester United’s brand value was hurt by the increase in value of the U.S. dollar relative to the British pound from the time of our first survey through last season (all of our brand values and the financial data are in U.S. dollars). Had the exchange rate held fast since 2007 the Red Devils, who are looking to capitalize on their global fan base with an IPO, would still be the most valuable team brand.
Including United at number two, the top ten team brands has a total of six football clubs.
3. Real Madrid – $264 million
5. Bayern Munich – $179 million
7. Barcelona – $172 million
8. Arsenal – $158 million
9. AC Milan – $147 million
I honestly have no idea what these valuations mean, other than they’re fun to talk about. Forbes could be totally making all of this up (they say they have a formula, but whatever – you try to figure it out). It’s not like you could buy just the brand if you had enough cash, so what’s the point?
Meanwhile, United is worth $1.8 billion in total, like the actual team if you wanted to buy them or borrow a crap load of cash to do so, so this “brand value” thing is a mere fraction of the club’s total insane worth. The Yankees, if you were wondering, are valued at $1.7 billion. Soccer wins, I guess.