Many professional sports teams are known to generate big dollars, but a handful are clearly a cut above the rest, and companies are clamoring for a piece of their air time…
In sports, they say winning is everything. That’s a pretty fair statement.
Typically, if a team is successful in the professional sport that it plays in, they tend to attract companies that are willing to offer financial support to latch onto the brand.
Sometimes there are instances where success on the playing field doesn’t necessarily equate to mega-riches (e.g. San Antonio Spurs). But on the whole, if you earn the fame…you earn the fortunes that come with it.
Forbes recently published its list of the top 50 most valuable sports teams in the world, and for the most part, those that are on the list have or have had a winning track record.
Some are enjoying recent success, while others have solidified their place in sports history with a winning legacy.
And because of their success, be it now or in the past, all of them have strong, established brands that have become widely recognizable across the globe.
With the brand recognition, they are then able to bring on lucrative sponsorship deals to further raise their value.
One could argue that a little business savvy has a part to play as well, especially for a few exceptions on the list.
Here now are the best of the best, beginning with number 10:
10) New York Giants
Value: $1.55 billion
Playing in the Big Apple (sort of) would, by default, make them an extremely popular team no matter what.
The Giants enjoy the richest and largest TV market in America, and has the second highest attendance average behind the Dallas Cowboys.
Though they didn’t make the playoffs last year, they did win 2 Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011 with Eli Manning at the helm.
Top Stock To Buy: Being the biggest sport in the US, the NFL is a huge revenue generator for Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) which outfits every team with its jerseys.
9) Washington Redskins
Value: $1.7 billion
Even though the team is currently mired in controversy over its name, it hasn’t kept the Redskins from raking in the dough.
Having a savvy businessman like Dan Snyder as an owner also helps. His wheeling and dealing has helped the team land huge sponsorship deals since he became majority owner in 1999.
Location gives them a big advantage as well, as they were historically the only team in the mid-Atlantic region for decades (the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers joined the NFL much later). Coach Joe Gibbs and rockstar QB Joe Theismann in the 80s fueled the team’s popularity.
Top Stock To Buy: The FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Field where the Redskins play was built in 2009. With the way new stadiums are designed nowadays, companies can achieve maximum revenue opportunities, be it luxury boxes, premium seating, or strategically placed concessions and merchandise kiosks.
8) New England Patriots
Value: $1.8 billion
The Pats of the 2000s weren’t quite a dynasty in the conventional sense, but they did earn 3 Super Bowl rings and have been regulars in the NFL playoffs to this day.
Quarterback Tom Brady still plays at an elite level, so assuming that he and Coach Bill Belichick continue their winning ways, the Patriots will continue to command the second-highest ticket prices in the league and possibly build even more value.
Top Stock To Buy: The brand power and influence that is the NFL certainly did its part to springboard UnderArmour (NYSE:UA) to becoming one of the most sought after athletic apparel names in the world. And with Tom Brady as one of its spokespeople, it’s a win-win situation.
7) FC Bayern Munich
Value: $1.85 billion
They are consistently ranked as one of the biggest soccer teams in all of Europe, much less the world.
Bayern Munich of Germany won the last 2 Bundesliga titles as well as the UEFA Champions League title in 2013.
With the success of the German side in the World Cup, more eyes will be on Bayern Munich, precisely because its roster almost reads like the country’s starting lineup.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Midfield Thomas Müller, Striker Miorslav Klose, and of course the man with the golden touch, Mario Götze.
Top Stock To Buy: With likely more TV airtime in store for such a celebrated team, T-Mobile (NYSE:PCS) should get plenty of exposure by being Bayern Munich’s jersey sponsor.
6) Los Angeles Dodgers
Value: $2 billion
Not long ago, the team was barely worth the spit on the pitcher’s mound.
If you recall, the Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 when they couldn’t meet certain financial obligations.
They were then snatched up by Guggenheim Baseball Management – a consortium which includes Magic Johnson, for over $2 billion — which remains the most expensive sports team purchase in history.
Following the acquisition, the team underwent a major facelift in the dugout, which nearly resulted in them reaching the 2013 World Series after a 26-year absence.
Top Stock To Buy: Though the Dodgers lost in the big dance, it didn’t stop Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) from signing the team onto a 25-year, $8.35 billion broadcasting deal. If the Dodgers can maintain their momentum for future seasons, it can be hugely profitable for both groups.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of our countdown to the richest sports team in the world.