The Sports Industry has always been very lucrative, even before the modern era where every live game can be watched or recorded on the television or streamed through other devices. Every year, billions upon billions of dollars get funneled in from the bank accounts of sponsors, advertisers, and loyal fans alike and straight into the franchises that handle the world’s biggest sporting teams. However, in the dozens upon dozens of teams competing in different sports, there are always those franchises that make a lot more money than the rest. Forbes Magazine has released their latest list of this year’s top earners to give you an idea of who’s breaking the bank in the world of sports.
American Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States and the NFL continues to be one of the most dominant sporting leagues in the country in terms of sheer financial valuation. In Forbes’ list of the top 50 most valuable teams in 2019, 3 NFL teams made it to the top 10 while an article from sports website Bleacher Report notes that 26 out of 32 of the NFL’s franchises made it to the Forbes list.
Unsurprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys has once again reached the number 1 spot in the list, topping off their three-peat with another chart-topping record. The Texas-base football franchise has reached a whopping $5B in valuation according to Forbes, rising above all of the other sports franchises across the world by a fairly significant margin. The Cowboys, owned by Jerry Jones, has had its total value increased by an additional 4% of their value from last year with an astounding $365M worth of operating income, trumping everyone else by at least $100M.
The New England Patriots and the New York Giants have also made it to the list, sitting at the 7th and 10th spots with $3.8B and $3.3B respectively. The Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, saw an increase of 3% from last year while John Mara and Steven Tisch’s Giants retained its spot in the list, showing no growth. Both teams have a very healthy operating income, however, clocking in at $235M for the Patriots and $149M for the Giants, further reinforcing Football’s status as one of the highest-grossing sports in America.
When it comes to sports, soccer comes in as one of the world’s most beloved games. European countries like Spain, Germany and the UK have huge soccer fanbases while Brazil counts soccer as the country’s most popular sport. The fans are plenty and the players even more so; all over the world, there are leagues like FIFA, the Premier League, and the UEFA where teams compete and fans congregate over their love for the sport. Although, despite soccer’s global popularity, it still pales in comparison to American Football in terms of the overall valuation of each team.
Unlike the American Football franchises in the NFL, there are only 8 soccer clubs that made it to the Forbes’ top 50; 3 of which made it to the top 10. Spain’s Real Madrid F.C. ranks highest among the clubs in the list, sitting at the number 3 spot valued at $4.24B. Wholefully owned by the members of the club and with Florentino Perez sitting as the president, Real Madrid is enjoying an operating income of $112M USD and has seen a 3% growth in overall value compared to last year. Real Madrid is also one of the oldest soccer clubs in Europe and also holds the record for most victories in the UEFA Champions League according to Topend Sports, an online sport and science resource.
Barcelona F.C. and Manchester United are also present in the top 10, capping at $4.02B and $3.81B and sitting on 4th and 6th place respectively. That makes two Spanish clubs at the higher end of the spectrum in terms of value while Manchester United sits on top of the rest of the United Kingdom’s clubs as the only English sports team in the top 10.
It wouldn’t be a sports list without basketball, and it wouldn’t be a sports list involving money without one of the NBA’s most famous teams in it. Though not quite as popular as Football in the US, basketball still enjoys legions of fans and the NBA also has quite the following both abroad and on American soil, which means more money for the franchises that operate under the league.
The New York Knicks is the league’s top performer with $4B in value. The Knicks, owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, have seen an 11% increase in total value since last year and they are recorded to have an operating income of $155M. This also makes the Knicks the third New York-based sports franchise to make it to the top 10, coming in at 5th place while the Giants are at 10th and the MLB’s New York Yankees are on the 2nd spot with $4.6B in tow. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors are also on the list at the 8th and 9th spots respectively. The Lakers, which is widely considered to be the NBA’s golden goose, is currently valued at $3.7B while the Warriors, one of the NBA’s top-performing franchises in terms of playing the game itself, is at $3.5B in value.
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