We compiled this list originally in 2017 but increasing revenue through TV rights deals and sponsorship means every single one of them has increased in value. Earlier this year we also did a salary comparison between the biggest best sporting leagues in the world in terms of their average salary. These include the NBA, MLB, NFL and finally the Premier League, with the NBA coming out on top.
We also looked at the biggest TV rights deals in sport and compiling this and the salaries data it’s no surprise to see the US teams make up the bulk of the teams rich list, and more than half of the top 50 are NFL teams.
Here’s a countdown of the richest sports teams in the world as of October 2021, according to Forbes – prepare to feel extremely poor…
The Liverpool FC, Bayern Munich, San Francisco 49ers and Manchester City FC are all too close to call outside the top 10. So we’ve added a few extra!
We will keep this rich list updated with any changes.
11. Manchester United, $4.2 billion, (Premier League)
This team has been top of the football rich list for years until the 2 Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona knocked it back a few places. The team’s gross income is being massively helped after entering a decade-long kit deal worth $1.1 billion with Adidas, beginning in the 2015-2016 season. Man U are also one most followed football clubs on social media.
The team has been owned by the Glazer family when they famously paid $500 for the franchise in 2005. The recent signing of Cristiano Ronaldo could do something to move Man U back up the list next year.
10. New York Giants, $4.4 billion, (NFL)
One of three New York teams on the list, The New York Giants are the fourth-most-valuable NFL team, they made operating income of $139 million last year. The Giants are owned by John Mara and Steven Tisch.
9. Los Angeles Lakers, $4.6 billion, (NBA)
The second-most-valuable team in the NBA is the Lakers. And with a 20-year $4 billion local television deal with Time Warner signed in 2012 the 16-time Championship winners won’t be leaving the top 10 rich list any time soon!
This phenomenally successful franchise is owned by Jerry Buss Family Trusts, Philip Anschutz
8. Golden State Warriors, $4.7 billion, (NBA)
This San Francisco Bay Area team saw a 14% jump in their valuation since last year and a massive 147% over the past 5 years. The team have been owned by Joe Lacob, Peter Gruber since 2010.
7. Real Madrid, $4.75 billion, (LaLiga)
They were over taken in value terms by Man United in 2018, but Real are back with a vengeance on 2019. The Spanish soccer team won the UEFA Champions League in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and were led by football’s highest-paid and most followed athlete on social media, Cristiano Ronaldo before his move to Juventus last year and Manchester United this year. Income was $112 million last year.
6. Barcelona, $4.76 billion, (LaLiga)
FC Barcelona’s market value of $4.76 billion and revenue of $706 million makes the organisation the third-most-valuable soccer team in 2018. Led by Neymar and Luis Suarez, FC Barcelona signed a kit deal with Nike that is estimated to be worth $175 million per year.
5. LA Rams $4.8 billion
Since Stan Kroenke bought the then St Louis Rams in 2010, the team has gone under a massive transformation. Fast forward to 2016 and the Rams are back in LA under the new name of LA Rams.
The team goes from strenght to strenht with every season in their new home, making a long awaited return to Super Bowl in Super Bowl LIII but lost to the Patriots, 13–3. Then in 2020, the Rams moved into its new $5 billion modern home, SoFi Stadium in LA. The team relocation gave LA it’s own football teams and legions of new fans.
Then in the 2021/22 season it all came right for the LA based team when they won Super Bowl LVI 23–20 against the Cincinnati Bengals. This recent success, legions of new fans and it’s enormous but beautiful stadium has given the team a massive valuation boost.
4. New England Patriots, $4.4 billion, (NFL)
The most successful NFL team are second most valuable team in the franchise, and the Patriot’s loyal fan base allow for unique revenue opportunities for the franchise. In 2015, the Patriots unveiled the Optum Field Lounge at the south end zone of their Gillette Stadium.
This member-only club carried an annual fee of $1,500, mandates that a minimum of two memberships be purchased at a time and does not include the cost of season tickets. Their recent Super Bowl victory also helped their addition to the 10 most valuable teams globally.
The Patriots is own by John Kraft since 1994.
3. New York Knicks, $5 billion, (NBA)
The NBA’s most valuable team is the New York Knicks. The Knicks took the title of most valuable NBA franchise from the LA Lakers largely due to a new 20-year media rights deal worth $100 million in its first year. Team owners since 1997, the Madison Square Garden company made $155 million last year.
2. New York Yankees, $5.25 billion, (MLB)
The New York Yankees is the only Major League Baseball team featured in the top 10 richest sports teams; its estimated value is $5.25 billion, up 20% from last year. The Yankees have moved from 5th position in 2018 to 2nd now. The team’s last championship was in 2009, but it has 27 World Series titles, more than any other MLB team.
The are owned by the Steinbrenner family who bought the team in 1973.
1. Dallas Cowboys, $6 billion, (NFL)
Although the team has not won an NFL championship in 20 years, it is the most valuable team in sports, largely due to its $1.2 billion home stadium constructed in 2009. In 2013, the Dallas Cowboys sold the naming rights of the stadium to AT&T for an estimated $400 million to $600 million. Operating income was a massive $365 million last year nearly twice as much as any other football team.
Owner Jerry Jones bought the team for $150 back in 1989!
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