Cowboys, Yankees Ranked As World’s Two Most Valuable Sports Franchises
New estimates place the Cowboys and Yankees at the top of the list of the most valuable sports franchises in the world.
A new estimate from Forbes values the Dallas Cowboys as being worth $5 billion, making them the most valuable sports franchise in the country:
The Dallas Cowboys is the most valuable sports team in the world according to Forbes, worth a staggering $5 billion.It’s the fourth consecutive year that the NFL outfit has topped the rankings, this year fending off competition from teams from the worlds of baseball, basketball and European soccer
.Owned by businessman Jerry Jones, the defending NFC East champions generate twice as much sponsorship and seating revenue at its AT&T Stadium than any other team.
Major League Baseball (MLB) outfit New York Yankees jumped up from fifth last year to second, with its value coming in at $4.6 billion — an annual increase of 15%
Coming in at third place, Real Madrid is ranked as the most valuable soccer team in the world.
The Spanish side may have struggled on the field last season, finishing third in La Liga, but that had little impact on its financial power with its value increasing 4% to $4.2 billion.
Just behind is Madrid’s fierce rival Barcelona with the Catalan club worth $4.02 billion after winning the Spanish domestic league. NBA side New York Knicks make up the top five.
Forbes’ valuations suggest the NFL is the most powerful sports league in the world, accounting for more than half of the current top 50. This is due to rocketing broadcast contracts that cannot be compared to with other sports.
The MLB has seven teams in the list while the NBA has nine and European soccer eight.
You can find the full Top 50 List at the link, but here are the top ten
- Dallas Cowboys — Valued at $5 billion (up 4% from last year);
- New York Yankees — Valued at $4.6 billion (up 15% from last year);
- Real Madrid — Valued at $4.24 billion (up 4.24% from last year);
- Barcelona FC — Valued at $4.02 billion (down -1% from last year);
- New York Knicks —- Valued at $4 billion (up 11% from last year);
- Manchester United — Valued at $3.81 billion (down -8% from last year);
- New England Patriots — Valued at $3.8 billion (up 3% from last year);
- Los Angeles Lakers — Valued at $3.7 billion (up 12% from last year);
- Golden State Warriors — Valued at $3.5 billion (up 13% from last year);
- (tie) New York Giants — Valued at $3.3 billion (unchanged from last year)
Los Angeles Dodgers — Valued at $3.3 billion (up 3.3% from last year.
Among the interesting things to note is the fact that only two Major League Baseball teams appear in the top ten, the Yankees at second and the Dodgers, who are tied for tenth place. The NFL, meanwhile, has three teams in the top ten, the NBA has three teams in the top ten, and the remaining three teams are international soccer franchises, with two from Spain and one from the United Kingdom. The next five places are dominated by American teams such as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Rams, who are tied at 12th place, the Washington Redskins and Chicago Cubs, who are tied at 14th place, and the San Francisco 49ers who sit at 16th place.
Also worth noting is the fact that every franchise in the three major American sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, and NBA — are worth at least $1 billion. It’s also worth noting that there are no NHL or MLS (Major League Soccer) franchises in the top fifty list and that there are eight international soccer franchises, most of them from the United Kingdom, in the top fifty. This isn’t entirely surprising given the fact that it was just four years ago that the Los Angeles Clippers, generally seen as the lesser of the two Los Angeles NBA franchises, were sold for $2 billion at what was essentially a “fire sale” given the fact that the previous owner had been banned from the NBA due to a history of racist comments on his part. As several analysts who look at the issue of the valuation of sports franchises noted at the time, if the Clippers were worth $2 billion then there were dozens of other teams in all the other American leagues that were likely worth far more. Indeed, the current list values the Clippers at $2.2 billion which places them near the bottom of the top fifty, while the Lakers are valued at $3.7 billion.
To some extent, these valuations are somewhat arbitrary and reflect analysts valuations of the teams involved and their various properties, including television contracts and associated networks. In the end, though, the true value of the teams can only be determined by putting them on the market and seeing what they would go for under those circumstances. In such a case, I suspect that many of these teams, such as the Cowboys or Yankees would likely sell for far more than they are valued at. That’s unlikely to happen any time soon, of course. Jerry Jones is not going to give up ownership of the Cowboys, and the Steinbrenner family considers the Yankees to be the crown jewel of the family’s assets. Indeed, dating back to George Steinbrenner’s acquisition of the team from CBS in 1973, the family has owned the franchise for 46 years, the longest of any owner in the team’s history.