A sports pundit worth his salt will tell you, the glitz, glamour and glory that surrounds a sports team is just a tip of the iceberg. A football team is like an enterprise. Image is everything. If you are going to sell out season tickets, win over fans and fill the trophy closet, you will need to keep the cash rolling in. Relying on ticket sales is the work of tier 2 sports teams. The richest names in the game know how to invest in advertisements, endorsements, sponsorships and imagery both on and off-season. This in turn translates to slots in our countdown of the top 10 richest sports teams in 2017.
List of Top 10 Richest Sports Teams in The World in 2017
10. Los Angeles Lakers
With an estimated market value of just over $2.7 Billion, the Los Angeles Lakers do not shy away from showing us just how rich they are. With a salary cap space of $60 Million for this season, owner Jeanie Marie Buss can sit comfortable and watch her players shine. Why wouldn’t they? They get paid handsomely. Revenue is projected at $304 million with a speculative income just shy of the $100 million mark. Let the numbers not fool you, the past three seasons have been the worst for the Lakers. The future, however, looks bright, thanks to the $3.6 Billion deal with cable company Time Warner.
9. New York Giants
The New York Giants sell the most expensive tickets in the NFL. Compared to the league’s average ($86), a ticket to the MetLife Stadium will set you back $123. In 2015 the Giants earned $400 Million in revenue. With four Super Bowl titles the latest in 2011, they have a list of long standing rivals that include the Redskins an Cowboys. The Giants’ fans can expect surprise packages from owners John Mara and Steve Tisch.
8. Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins (formely Boston Braves), winners of the 1982, 1987 and 1991 Super Bowl have been doing very well of late. Plans are underway to revamp the Redskins’ home ground. The new 60,000 capacity stadium will have stream for kayaks, an ice arena, wave pool and 25,000-vehicle capacity parking lot. It is meant to boost ticket sales and improve the revenue generating capacity by 35%. Their rivalry with the Cowboys, dating back to the 1960’s is one of sports oldest. Currently led by Quarterback Kirk Cousins, it will be very interesting how the 2017 season unfolds.
7. New York Knicks
Representing the National Basketball Association first on the list is the New York Knicks, overtaking the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017. They brag a $100 million a year broadcasting rights that will run for 20 years. Ticketing sales netted $90 million in 2015 alone. Their on-the-court exploits have raised their profile significantly and owner James Dolan is a happy man. Their residence, the Madison Square Garden, being a famous arena, is a great contributor to their fortunes adding over 300 million dollars to their annual revenue.
6. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots current net worth stands at $3.2 billion. Being the second most successful team in the NFL, the Patriots have something worth smiling about in 2017. Robert Kraft’s team, previously the Boston Patriots, have appeared in the Super Bowl 8 times. They owe their revenue stream to Kraft’s relentless business endeavors and their broadcast and imaging rights keep them in the top 10 rich list as of 2017.
5. Manchester United
Manchester United held the title as the richest sports franchise in 2011 and 2012. Fifth placed in 2017 at 3.3 billion, the team owes its plunge to the recent dive in form on the pitch. Sir Alex Ferguson left and the hangover is still being felt. Being the richest club in England against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and their ‘’noisy neighbors’’ Manchester City, the downward trend does not stop them from investing heavily in players like Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both with a $350,000 weekly wage. The future looks bright and their Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho looks like the man to restore the club’s back to its glory days.
4. New York Yankees
The last time the Yankees lifted the MLB title was back in 2009. With 27 world-series titles, more than any other team, it is not hard to see why the franchise bankrolls big time. However, their resources plunged 5% during their first season without Derek Jeter. They however recovered the subsequent year netting a 6% rise. They are arguably the most successful Major League Baseball team out there, and know how to invest their money wisely. Their ability to attract potential drafts in Blake Rutherford (18) and Nick Solak (62) just goes to show how influential the Yankees are.
3. FC Barcelona
Barcelona is slated for a $650 Million Camp Nou Stadium facelift. With Europe’s elite club competition strkers in the name of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr, Barcelona are a delight to watch. Being the second richest club in football is no walk in the park. I mean if you are to keep Real Madrid on a leach, you have to match their financial power. Barcelona grossed 200 million Dollars in profit last year, from ticket sales, player sales, broadcast and image rights alone. The future is bright and they do not need to spend big buying players; Barcelona is known to graduate super talent straight from their academy.
2. Real Madrid
The European club champions have nothing to worry about even if the number one spot has been taken over in 2017. They have been number one since 2013 anyway. The team, synonymously associated with big name signings and a whopping 11 Champions League titles, is rich, to say the least. Currently top of the Spanish La Liga, Real Madrid owes its wealth to the owners and its players alike. It is rumored that apart from signing players on merit and talent, you will have to have the looks in order to play for them talk about taking imaging seriously!
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys takes the crown from Real Madrid in 2017 as the richest sports team. Despite the fact that they have not lifted the NFL trophy for over 20 years, it is clear you do not have to replicate your success on the field and in the bank. Their new stadium has boosted revenue from ticket sales by over 30%, and as the NFL gains popularity in Asia and the Middle East, more is yet to come for these football giants.
While the income sources for these teams are majorly ticket sales and broadcasting, imaging is everything. To stay on the top 10 rich list is far from easy. These A-list teams’ goals include a trophy a season, if not, at-least a finals spot in every major sporting event they compete in. It will be interesting to see who makes it on the 2017 top 10 richest list.