Manchester United named football’s ‘first $1bn brand’

Manchester United’s disappointing season on the pitch has not stopped it becoming the first football club to reach a $1bn brand valuation, according to Brand Finance.

Premier League club beats other global giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to milestone.

The brand valuation and strategy consultancy released the Brand Finance Football 50 today (Monday, 8 June). It reveals that Manchester United is now valued at $1.206bn.

This puts the club ahead of Bayern Munich ($933m) and Real Madrid ($873). Despite a hugely successful season in which it has won both La Liga in Spain and the UEFA Champions’ League, Barcelona drops from fourth to sixth place. Despite this it did see its value increase from $622m to £773m.

The legendary Catalan club has been overtaken in the rankings by two English clubs that are known for their uber-rich backers and lavish spending. Manchester City now lies fifth in the global rankings ($800m) and Chelsea sixth ($795m).

>See also: Andy Murray serves up tech investment with Seedrs partnership

There are three more English clubs in the top 10: Arsenal (6th, $703m), Liverpool (8th, $577) and Tottenham (10th, $360).

Despite huge investment over the past 24 months, French club Paris Saint-Germain only climbs one place – from tenth to ninth – ­ as its brand value increases from $324m to $541m.

The top Italian club in the list is champions’ league finalist Juventus. It sits in eleventh place with a valuation of $350m.

Both huge Milan clubs are in the top 20. AC Milan retains its place in fourteenth place with a value of $244m. Inter drops from fifteenth to twentieth place as its value increases by only $8m – up to $160m.

Surprisingly, this puts the club behind both Everton in fifteenth ($228m) and Southampton in 18th ($183m).

Further reading on sport brands:

Six sportsmen who started their own business


Hywel Roberts

Hywel was editor of Growth Business in 2015 and then moved on to be deputy editor at Works Management.

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