A recent edition of Forbes plotted out the most valuable sports teams and athletes. There are a few surprises but, mostly, an acknowledgment of where the most value resides in the world of professional sports.
Interestingly, it is a non-U.S. team which is first on the team list--Manchester United, the soccer powerhouse of the English Premier League. The estimated value of Man U is $1.8 billion. Owned by the Glazer family--the fact that an American family owns this franchise is of great consternation to most in England--the team boasts the star power of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. They receive revenue through relationships with the likes of Nike ($470 million over 13 years plus a 50% share of profits on merchandise) and Aon (shirt sponsorship at $34 million annually.) And, MUTV, the team's dedicated television channel, is shown in 192 million homes.
Next on the list is a group of teams which should be of no surprise--the Dallas Cowboys ($1.65 billion), New York Yankees ($1.6 billion), Washington Redskins ($1.55 billion) and New England Patriots ($1.361 billion.) In total, there are teams/clubs representing five sports: soccer (nine teams), motorsports (two teams), basketball (two teams), baseball (five teams) and football (all 32 NFL teams.)
Where do local teams rank? Not surprisingly, the Kansas City Royals--a poster-child for small market baseball--don't make the top 50 list. The Kansas City Chiefs check in at the #19 spot--ahead of major market or more recently successful brethren like the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, and San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs' estimated value is $1.027 billion, which is just slightly higher than the Colts' $1.025 billion and just behind the Cleveland Browns' $1.032 billion.