Manchester United’s brand value down 98 million dollars

After a very bad football season, Manchester United’s brand value slid $98 million, from $837 million in 2013 to $739 in 2014, says consultancy Brand Finance. The club is now the third most valuable football (soccer) brand in the world, after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

‘Brand Value’, according to Brand Finance, is the cost another party has to pay in order to license the use of a brand. When working out the cost, it takes into account a series of factors, including the club heritage, how much the squad is worth, and the revenue mix.

Real Madrid, which has the biggest sales of any football club worldwide, will have its brand value enhanced after winning the UEFA Champions League on Saturday.

According to Brand Finance, as the Spanish economy recovers, domestic clubs’ brand value should rise.

For the second consecutive year, Germany’s Bayern Munich retains the number one spot for brand value, after winning the Bundesliga title in the 2013-2014 season.

Will new manager reverse Man Utd’s fortune?

Louis van Gaal, Man Utd's new manager.
An impressive track record.

Manchester United and its millions of fans around the world are hoping that the club’s new manager, Louis van Gaal, who is the current manager of the Dutch national team, and ex manager of Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, can reverse its fortunes.

Mr. Van Gaal, who said he had always wanted to work with a Premier League club, starts his three-year contract at the beginning of the 2014-2015 soccer season.

On RTL, a Dutch TV station, Mr. Van Gaal said last week that his first aim will be to return the club “to number one spot” ASAP, and that the players and fans “will think they are the champions of England within a year.”

Manchester United’s brand value could have slid more had it not been for the club’s shrewd commercial management, the Brand Finance report informed.

The authors added that another bad season with no Champions League matches would see its brand value “truly plunge”, as well as a mass exodus of sponsors.

Brand Finance Football Top 10, 2014

According to Brand Finance, the most valuable football (soccer) club brands in the world are (in order):

  1. Bayern Munich (Germany). Brand value $896m ($860m).
  2. Real Madrid (Spain). Brand value $768 ($621m).
  3. Manchester United (UK). Brand value $739m ($837m).
  4. FC Barcelona (Spain). Brand value $622m ($572m).
  5. Manchester City (UK). Brand value $510m ($332m).
  6. Arsenal (UK). Brand value $505m ($410m).
  7. Chelsea (UK). Brand value $$502m (418m).
  8. Liverpool (UK). Brand value $469m ($361m).
  9. Borussia Dortmund (Germany). Brand value $327m ($260).
  10. Paris Saint-Germain FC (France). Brand value $324m ($85m)

Manchester United reports higher profits

Manchester United PLC reported third quarter profits (ending March 2014) of £11 million, compared to £3.6 million in Q3 of last year. Revenue increased to a record £115.5 million.

In comparison to the same quarter last year, commercial and broadcasting revenues plus matchday takings increased, despite coming in seventh in the English Premier League season and not qualifying for the Champions League.

It has been nearly 20 years since the club was unable to defend its Premier League title as well as not qualifying for the Champions league.

Manchester United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, said:

“We once again generated record revenues as all of our businesses delivered impressive year-over-year growth. This puts us in a healthy position to continue to invest in the squad. Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season.”

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