The price tag on some of these clubs continue to rise… but their sponsors are only more than happy to pay… The countdown carries on…
We continue our countdown with number 5 on the list:
5) Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
Value: $2.3 billion
The big blue star is unmistakable.
The Cowboys were unofficially declared “America’s Team” in 1978, after NFL Films produced a special highlight reel on the team.
NFL Films took note of the huge number of Dallas fans clad in blue and silver that always filled the stands of every stadium they played in. On certain occasions, you see just as many Cowboys fans as the home team fans.
Championship success and fierce rivalries with the likes of Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventies cemented their notoriety.
It carried over to the nineties when they won the Super Bowl three more times.
Its recent incarnation isn’t much to celebrate, but the organization remains chockfull of star-studded individuals, from its owner down to its players.
Top Stock To Buy: Though the Cowboys have missed the playoffs for four straight years, their games still generate some of the highest viewership on TV. So when one of their home games are selected for a prime time slot on Sunday or Monday nights, the impressive AT&T (NYSE:T) stadium is front and center.
4) New York Yankees
Value: $2.5 billion
Perhaps the only sports brand more iconic than the Cowboys is the “NY” of the Yankees.
The numbers of legendary players who’ve donned the pinstripes are too numerous to list, and when you have songs written about your team, it’s safe to say that it’s a pretty big deal.
No matter where they play, rival fans will make the extra effort to attend the game just because their team is facing the Yankees.
When it comes to television markets and merchandise, no other team in the Major Leagues can command the same level of cheddar as the boys of New York.
Top Stock To Buy: Of course, the story that’s even bigger than the team itself is the pending retirement of shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter is MLB’s top pitchman and has endorsements with a slew of companies, including Nike and Gatorade. Watchmaker Movado Group (NYSE:MOV) is going the extra mile by launching a trio of special edition watches to celebrate the career of #2 and their 8-year partnership.
3) Manchester United
Value: $2.81 billion
You can’t talk the value of sport without mentioning the team that pretty well established the benchmark for all to follow.
But long before the money, there was the fame. And the Red Devils established its infamy through tragedy when a number of players on a promising young squad perished in a plane crash in Munich, Germany on February 6, 1958.
The crash sent shockwaves across England, and despite the often heated rivalries between teams and cities, United’s losses set the path to it becoming a team beloved beyond the city of Manchester.
And by staying at or near the top of the English Premier League year in and year out, it enables the team to pay for the world’s best talent and maintain its winning ways.
Top Stock To Buy: As the only sports team that’s publicly traded, Manchester United Plc (NYSE:MANU) will be assured of its riches, thanks in part to the recent completion of a massive 10-year, $1.3 billion uniform deal with Adidas.
Value: $3.2 billion
Although they’re more than a century old and have been a top contending side for decades in European soccer, the Catalans only recently fell into its wealth, if you compare them to the other storied teams.
They made a big splash in the early eighties with the signing of Diego Maradona — but he only stayed for 2 seasons. It wasn’t until a decade later that Barça really rose to stardom when it began to win practically all there was to win in Europe. It’s remained a powerhouse ever since.
Its crowning achievement came in 2009 when it won an unprecedented 6 out of 6 competitions in a single year: Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
The team consistently attracts top rank players, with Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Eto’o, and Lionel Messi, all having worn the jersey.
Top Stock To Buy: With Barcelona securing Messi through 2018, the megastar spokesperson for Adidas AG (ETR:ADS) will continue to give Nike a run for its money at least in the soccer world.
1) Real Madrid
Value: $3.4 billion
They’ve historically been one of the biggest clubs in the world, across all sports.
Founded in 1902, Real Madrid’s winning history really took off in the 1950s, and has played its home matches in the same 85,000-seat stadium (Santiago Bernabéu) since 1947.
Its trophy case includes: a record 32 La Liga titles, 19 Copas del Rey, 9 Supercopas de España, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la Liga, a record 10 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, three Intercontinental Cups, 2 UEFA Cups, and 1 UEFA Super Cup.
They’ve made it to the Champion League semifinals the last four years, finally winning the crown in 2014 and earning a cool $78 million in the process.
Real is home to the reigning player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo, and generates more revenue than any sports team in the world ($675 million for the 2012-13 season).
Additional revenues include a $41 million-a-year uniform deal with Adidas and a jersey sponsorship with Emirates Airlines worth $39 million annually.
Furthermore, Madrid is planning a $540 million renovation to Santiago Bernabéu, which is expected to be completed in 2017.
Top Stock To Buy: Having Ronaldo as the face of the team is a license to bank, regardless of the industry. Adidas and Nike will continue its sports rivalry since Ronaldo just re-upped its contract with the latter. But on the health and nutrition front, Ronaldo just signed a 5-year deal with Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) in June.
In the US, the NFL remains America’s big moneymaker.
30 out of the League’s 32 teams made it onto Forbes’ top 50.
While soccer has quite a disparity between the haves the have-nots, those in the upper echelons of success and star power are likely to stay up there indefinitely.
After all, success begets success. And these teams have done it right from the get-go.