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No Trophies but Man United is still the Brand Champion

23-May-2012 | Source : | Visits : 10138
LONDON - Manchester United remains the world’s most valuable football brand with a brand value of US $853 million after solid performances on the pitch and great numbers on the income statement, according to Brand Finance plc. 

Champion’s League triumph secures another season in Europe for Chelsea but despite two trophies the club stays 5th due to a poor Premier League performance. 

Man City is steadily climbing up the rankings, placed 8th this year, but despite nearly $1.5bn of investment and a title win, it cannot yet challenge United’s accumulated brand equity. 

Despite disappointment in the Champion’s League final, Bayern Munich enjoys this year’s strongest growth, with a $293m increase in brand value that sees it take 2nd place from Real Madrid.
The two Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, have been afflicted by the state of their domestic economy, with unemployment hitting gate receipts and other revenue streams. 

A weak domestic economy has hit Italian clubs too, with all but Napoli falling this year.
Man United has put in a solid premier league performance this season, narrowly missing out on its 20th title after a nail-biting end to the season. Income from TV rights, gate receipts and merchandise remains strong, providing broad revenue base that spreads risk better than most clubs. Man United has huge and long-standing international appeal and is perhaps the most recognized football club brand worldwide, with vast accumulated brand equity. However after a season without any silverware, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. 

Shrewd commercial management and commanding Champion’s League performances by Bayern Munich could see United unseated from the top spot of the BrandFinance® Football 50 in the near future. Meanwhile the huge investment in local rivals, Manchester City, has finally yielded a Premier League victory. With Sir Alex Ferguson reaching the end of his career and the Glazers still paying off debts, the club may struggle to maintain the squad it needs to stay at the top. The huge investment by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, estimated at $1.5bn, is beginning to pay off for City. The club has matched United on the field and though still in its shadow in terms of Brand value, it is catching up rapidly. At $302m, the Man City brand is worth nearly double what it was in 2011. 

There’s some consolation for Bayern Munich who is this year’s big winner in terms of brand value, overtaking Barcelona and Real Madrid a value just short of US $ 800 million, despite losing out to Chelsea. The success in Germany and presence in the final of the Champions League has been bolstered by financial nous. In contrast to Manchester United’s international appeal, Bayern has focussed on its domestic market. This strategy has evidently paid off, as Bayern has the highest commercial revenues of any club at $254m. “However Bayern needs to start building its brand in emerging markets or they will be left behind by relying too heavily on their domestic fan base,’’ commented Dave Chattaway, Head of Sports Brands. 

Italian and Spanish clubs fared badly this year, affected by the economic turmoil in their home markets. Real Madrid and Barcelona suffered falls in brand value, with Barcelona’s dropping from $629m last year to $580m in 2012. Attendances are down due to high unemployment and uncertainty. Clubs in both countries must continue to look abroad for a steady stream of commercial and broadcasting revenues, capitalising on strong brands. 

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commenting on the table stated, “This year’s study shows that even football isn’t immune to the Euro Crisis, with Spanish and Italian teams being hit hardest. The two top teams operate different marketing strategies, Bayern prioritising its domestic fan base whilst United concentrates on global opportunities.” 

The Brand Finance® Football 50 2012 

Rank 2012 Rank 2011 Club League Brand Value 2012 US$ M Brand Rating 2012 % Change in Brand Value 

1 1 Manchester United FC Barclays Premier League 853 AAA+ 29%
2 4 FC Bayern München Fußball-Bundesliga 786 AAA 59%
3 2 Real Madrid CF BBVA Liga 600 AAA+ -7%
4 3 FC Barcelona BBVA Liga 580 AAA+ -8%
5 5 Chelsea FC Barclays Premier League 398 AA- 27%
6 6 Arsenal FC Barclays Premier League 388 AA- 29%
7 9 Liverpool FC Barclays Premier League 367 AA- 47%
8 11 Manchester City FC Barclays Premier League 302 BBB+ 77%
9 7 AC Milan Serie A TIM 292 AA+ 7%
10 12 FC Schalke 04 Fußball-Bundesliga 266 BBB+ 97% 

To view the full Brand Finance® Football 50 2012, visit

Brand Finance has used the ‘royalty relief’ approach to perform the brand valuation. This is an intuitively simple approach that assumes a company does not own its own brand and calculates how much it would need to pay to license it from a third party. 

The present value of that stream of (hypothetical) royalty payments represents the value of the brand. We have scored each club’s brand strength through a range of metrics to calculate the royalty each individual club could expect to command. We used the ‘royalty relief’ methodology for two reasons.
Firstly, it is the valuation methodology that is favoured by accounting and tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented, third-party transactions. Secondly, it can be performed on the basis of publicly available financial information. We have used a number of data inputs to complete this project.

Brand Value (BV): 

The value of the clubs “Trademarks and associated intellectual Property.” 

Brand Ratings: 

These are calculated using Brand Finance’s ßrandßeta® analysis, which benchmarks a brand relative to its competitors on a scale ranging from AAA to D. It is conceptually similar to a credit rating.Sector specific metrics are used to score the brand strength including brand awareness, revenue allocation, club heritage, Domestic / European honours, UEFA ranking, and stadium utilisation among others.
Brand Finance plc, the world's leading brand valuation consultancy, advises strongly branded organisations on maximising their brand value through effective management of their brands and intangible assets. Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

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