Bernard Lee

World's Top 5 Most Valuable Football Brands

Press Release   •   Jul 12, 2012 15:42 +08

Singapore, 9 July 2012 - Manchester United was crowned the world's most valuable football club brand in a comprehensive study conducted by Brand Finance. The study examined the fixed tangible and disclosed intangible assets of almost 200 football clubs from 40 different leagues around the world, including world renowned football brands like Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and AC Milan amongst others. 

One particular football club remained victory however.  Manchester United, exceeding the likes of Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC, achieved a brand value of US$853 million and an AAA+ brand rating in 2012 - a rating that only the cream of the top brands can achieve. The Red devils have been consistent in their approach to international appeal and vast accumulated brand equity keeps the club to maintain their first positioning in football brand value despite a season without trophies.

Trailing behind Manchester United is FC Bayern Munchen with a brand value of US$786 million, an increased by 59% from last year. In 3rd ranking is Real Madrid and FC Barcelona with brand values of US$600 million and US$580million respectively. 

Chelsea's fifth placement in the 2012 World's Most Valuable Football Brands has garnered it a brand value of only US$398million and a brand rating of AA-, despite winning the title of 'Champion of Europe' in 2012. Reason attributing to this, according to analysts by Brand Finance, shows that the current Stamford Bridge Stadium is severely limiting Chelsea's growth potential and ability to challenge its European peers.

Stamford Bridge's 41,837 capacity ranks only 30th in current European stadium. Despite regularly selling out with the highest general admission prices in Europe, the club still lacks the fixed assets to compete. With only 5,000 corporate hospitality tickets available, Chelsea cannot fully tap into the higher corporate hospitality yields that its rivals enjoy. Meanwhile, in comparison Arsenal Emirates Stadium has 24,000 hospitality tickets available and Manchester United's Old Trafford has 33,000.

Chelsea FC has stated that current proposals to redevelop Stamford Bridge into a 55,000 or 60,000 seat stadium does not stack up financially with the current site, logistics and transport links. As a result, the club has recently expressed an interest in the Battersea Power Station site, though decision is still currenly pending.

Besides stadium issue, Chelsea's commercial strategy has been very much adopted after Manchester United where the brand focused on local community based initiatives mixed with global marketing of the brand itself. The club has set up international football schools, retail outlets and used its partnerships with sponsors to create awareness in their home territories. There are 15 million Chelsea fans in South Korea as a result of its long term sponsorship deal with Samsung. The club has also recently signed new commercial contracts with Audi and Bank Negara and we expect this portfolio to expand on the back of its Champions League title. 

One unique area where Chelsea has excelled above its European peers is in digital marketing. The club has been a leader in rolling out social media initiatives and adapting to new digital technology. Its new partnership with Sauber F1 team is a good example of the club looking at new platforms to extend the reach of their brand to new audiences.

Contact Details:

South East Asia:

Samir Dixit, Managing Director, Brand Finance Singapore


T:   +65 90698651 (Singapore)

Brand Finance is the world's leading brand valuation and strategy consulting firm. We advise strongly branded organisations on how to maximise their value through the 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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'Brands are the most valuable intangible assets in business today. They drive demand, motivate staff, secure business partners and reassure financial markets. Leading edge organizations recognise the need to understand brand equity and brand value when making strategic decisions.' -David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance Worldwide

'The valuation of brands is an important function, to provide tnagible, financial evidence of their status as assets and an indication of the value generated through the investment in brand equity.' - Samir Dixit, Managing Director of Brand Finance Singapore.