Manchester United have beaten Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to reclaim their position as the biggest brand in world football, becoming the first club to pass the $1billion mark, the Daily Mail reports.
Despite another season without silverware, United have overcome Europe’s big-hitters at the top of The Brand Finance Football 50, according to a study released on Monday.
The Red Devils are now worth just over $1.2billion (£787.5million), almost $300million more than second-placed Bayern. Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea round out the top five.
Barcelona’s Champions League final victory over Juventus on Saturday alone added $28million to their brand value, but could not stop them falling two places to sixth below Man City and Chelsea- although their second treble triumph in six years will probably ease their pain.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said: ‘Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Cristiano Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere.
‘As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward (and United’s owners the Glazers) capitalised on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.’
United also received another boost to their financial potency thanks to the record-breaking new UK broadcast deal for Premier League rights commencing from the 2016-17 season worth $7.8billion (£5.1billion).
Southampton, thanks in part to their recent successes under Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman, are this year’s fastest growing brand. The Saints’ brand value is up 89% to $183million (£120million).