Real Madrid retain lead but brand values of top clubs hit by pandemic
Spanish soccer powerhouses Real Madrid remain the most valuable club brand in the world despite a drop-off in 2020, according to a new report.
Independent valuation consultancy Brand Finance now values Real at €1.42 billion ($1.68 billion), down 14 per cent from last year, with the coronavirus pandemic a contributing factor.
The new LaLiga champions are closely followed by arch-rivals Barcelona, following a rise of 1.5 per cent to €1.41 billion, overtaking England’s Manchester United, on €1.31 billion, down 11 per cent.
There are five other Premier League clubs in the top 10, led by 2019-20 champions Liverpool, now in fourth, with a brand value of €1.26 billion, up 6 per cent, enabling them to go above Manchester City, the winners of the league for the previous two seasons. London clubs Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also figure prominently.
Perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are the highest-placed German club, valued at €1.06 billion, but this represents a 20 per cent fall from 2019, while Paris Saint-Germain are France’s top team, in seventh, on €967 million. Juventus, winners of Serie A for a ninth straight season, came in 11th.
The impact of the pandemic is shown by the fact that this is the first time in six years that the cumulative value of the top 50 soccer brands has diminished.
With matchday, broadcasting and commercial revenue all hit, Brand Finance claimed that €751 million, or 3.7 per cent of the total, has been knocked off the value of the clubs.
Richard Haigh, the managing director of the consultancy, said: “Top-level football has been confronted with the largest existential threat since the Second World War. Loss of income, coupled with health concerns about mass gatherings, have raised question marks about the future of the industry and the financial resilience of clubs across all levels.
“The full damage of the Covid-19 crisis has yet to unfold and it is not inconceivable there will be casualties in the form of club bankruptcies and changes in ownership.”
However, club brand strengths are said to have remained robust, with half of the top 50 growing in the last year.
The figures, which take into account marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance, again put Real Madrid on top, with a rating of 94.9, with Barcelona second, with 93.6, both slightly down on 2019.
Liverpool have overtaken Manchester United to move into third place, with a rating of 93.2.
• LaLiga's CA Osasuna have switched kit suppliers in returning to German sportswear giant Adidas.
The four-year deal reunites the two parties, which were previously partners from 2013 to 2018, before the club from Spain’s north-east teamed up with Danish brand Hummel.
The new agreement comes after Osasuna signed a two-year deal with Navarrese Verleal, a frozen foods brand, to be their new shirt sponsor, replacing Kirolbet, which was dropped after the Spanish government introduced new restrictions on betting advertising.
The club finished 10th in the 20-team LaLiga in the 2019-20 season.