The top 10 of the world’s most valuable sports franchises consists of four soccer clubs (Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester United & Real Madrid), four NFL teams (New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots & Dallas Cowboys) and two Baseball teams (Los Angeles Dodgers & New York Yankees).
Of the four soccer teams, two are from the English Premier League and two are from the Spanish La Liga. Both Spanish clubs are owned by the club members.
Arsenal FC, English Premier League – $1.326 Billion
Owned by American Sports Mogul Stan Kroenke, Arsenal finished fourth in the Premier League last season. They enjoy a huge matchday revenue, totaling at $149 million for the 2011-2012 season, the third highest for any soccer team in the world.
New York Giants, NFL – $1.468 Billion
A huge revenue comes from the stadium deal, with MetLife is paying more than $425 million over 25 years for naming rights to stadium the Giants share with the Jets. The Giants missed out on the playoffs last year, failing to defend their Super Bowl.
Washington Redskins, NFL – $1.6 Billion
Owned by Daniel Snyder, the Redskins (probably with a new name very soon) made the postseason for the first time in six years thanks to their new franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III. His jersey set a single season record for most sales on NFLShop.com.
Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB – $1.615 Billion
Owned by the Guggenheim Baseball management group, the Dodgers are close to finalizing a 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable worth as much as $8.5 billion, making up for the payroll that exceeds $200 million, which hasn’t helped the Dodgers make the playoffs for the last three seasons.
New England Patriots, NFL – $1.635 Billion
The Patriots are still waiting for their first Super Bowl ring since 2005, but are consistently the most successful NFL team during the regular season. Owned by Robert Kraft, The Patriots have sold out every game at Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002 and have more than 60,000 people on a waiting list for season tickets.
Dallas Cowboys, NFL – $2.1 Billion
A perfect example of how to run a business wonderfully financially but still manage to mess up on the field, with the Cowboys missing the playoffs for three straight seasons. The Cowboys have been the NFL’s most valuable team since 2007 thanks to the league’s highest sponsorship and premium seating revenues–a combined $200 million.
New York Yankees, MLB – $2.3 Billion
Owned by the Steinbrenner family, the Yankees have been trying to trim the salary bill over the last few years. The team’s rights fee from YES will increase from $85 million this season to $350 million in 2042 as part of the deal.
FC Barcelona, La Liga – $2.6 Billion
Barcelona won their fourth league title in five years last season, continuing to base their success on the best footballer in the world, Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s jersey sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investments is worth an average of $38 million a year through the 2015-16 season.
Manchester United, Premier League – $3.165 Billion
Owned by the Glazer family (who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), the team signed a record shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors for the automaker’s Chevrolet brand kicks off in 2014-15 and is worth $559 million over seven years. They won the league title in 2012-2013, and enter their first season without Alex Ferguson since 1986.
Real Madrid, La Liga – $3.3 Billion
The most valuable sports franchise in the world, Real Madrid have been waiting for 10 years to win the Champions League, missing out on the final as well during that period. They finished second last season in the Spanish La Liga. Real inked new deals with Adidas and Emirates Airlines over the last 12 months that will bring in roughly $80 million combined annually, and they enjoyed the highest revenue in all of sports during the 2011-2012 season with $650 million.