Bayern Ousts Manchester United From Soccer Brand-Value Throne

Bayern Munich, which won the Champions League title four days ago, has ousted Manchester United from first place in brand value, according to a survey of the world’s top soccer teams.

Brand Finance Plc gave Bayern a brand valuation of 668 million euros ($860 million), up 8 percent from last year, the company said in an e-mailed statement, citing its annual report. Manchester United, which won a record 20 English league titles, fell to second place with a brand estimated at 650 million euros.

“Bayern Munich is still very much a story of domestic dominance, however its continued presence in the Champions league has provided the club with access to a global audience,” Dave Chattaway, London-based Brand Finance’s Head of Sports Valuation, said in the statement. “The challenge now for all Bundesliga clubs and the league itself, is to see if they can export their domestic brand strength into global opportunities.”

Bayern took the top spot thanks to “impressive financials and a growing international reputation for quality football,” Brand Finance said. Spain’s Real Madrid was third at 482 million euros, Barcelona fourth at 444 million euros and Chelsea fifth at 325 million euros.

Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund 2:1 in the first all-German Champions League final on May 25 in London. Arjen Robben’s goal in the 89th minute gave Bayern its fifth title in Europe’s elite club competition and came after two losses in the past three finals.


Runner-up Dortmund, which finished second in the German Bundesliga and won its only Champions League title in 1997, climbed one spot to 10th after its brand value grew 13 percent to 202 million euros, passing by domestic rival Schalke at 201 million euros.

“The cheap tickets, high attendances, democratic ownership structure and financial prudence of the Bundesliga now looks like an attractive alternative,” to the Premier League, Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said in the statement. “Just as British politicians and business journalists have long been calling for our economy to emulate the German Mittelstand, now sports commentators are wondering whether we can learn from the Bundesliga.”

Germany’s Adidas AG supplies 18 of the Top 50 teams with uniforms, while Nike Inc. follows with 14 deals in a “hotly contested and increasingly lucrative marketplace,” Brand Finance said.


Manchester’s brand value dropped 3 percent amid a “truncated European campaign” and the departure of Alex Ferguson, who this month retired after having led the club to 38 trophies in 26 years.

While the Bundesliga is making strides, the combined brand value for its teams in Brand Finance’s Top 50 is 1.4 billion euros, compared with 2.4 billion euros for the U.K. teams in the study.

“Fussball may be coming home, but the Bundesliga still has a way to go before it is can mount a real challenge to the global allure of Premier League,” Brand Finance said.

*T Top 25 clubs by brand value (millions of euros): ====================================================

1. Bayern Munich 668

2. Manchester United 650

3. Real Madrid 482

4. Barcelona 444

5. Chelsea 325

6. Arsenal 319

7. Liverpool 280

8. Manchester City 257

9. AC Milan 204

10. Borussia Dortmund 202

11. Schalke 201

12. Tottenham 170

13. Juventus 140

14. Ajax 126

15. Inter Milan 117

16. Hamburg 112

17. Galatasaray 90

18. Olympique Marseille 86

19. Corinthians 80

20. Napoli 78

21. Lyon 78

22. Fenerbahce 74

23. Leverkusen 70

24. Paris Saint-Germain 66

25. Stuttgart 64 *

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.