Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams in the World (Infographic)

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Football is the worlds most popular sport which is played by over 250 million from 200 countries. Popular football tournaments like FIFA World Cup are watched by billions of people from around the world. Basketball is another popular sport with over 1 billion followers.

In spite of the global popularity of football and basketball, American football still stands as the topmost sport on the financial ledger. The 50 most valuable sports teams in the world land 29 teams of NFL with only the Bills, Bengals and Lions being missed out of the list. The other sports that have ranked in the list are basketball – 8 teams, football – 7 teams, and baseball – 6 teams with American football lying ahead of all these sports.

List of the World’s Most Valuable Sports teams

The NFL teams have always dominated the World’s biggest economy and even this year (2018), they have proved their dominance with thirty-seven percent of the Americans have chosen American football as their favorite sport. Though the last two years voting was around forty-three percent, it has still topped the percent of the other sports. According to Forbes, the annual list of the World’s Most Valuable sports teams are listed down below.

The Worlds Most Valuable Sports Teams
Infographic: Top 10 world’s most popular sports teams

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The repeated numbers in the list represent the tie in the overall value between the two teams.

#1 Dallas Cowboys

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $4.8 billion

The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team that competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The Cowboys have clinched the Super Bowl title five times and is the only NFL team to record twenty straight winning seasons from 1966 to 1985, in which only two of the playoffs were missed by them.

For the third consecutive year, the Dallas Cowboys have come in at No.1 in the annual list of the World’s 50 Most Valuable sports teams with a value of $4.8 billion which has raised by 12% from $4.2 billion last year.

Having topped the annual list for the third time in a row, the Cowboys have one of the highest revenue ($840 million) and earnings ($350 million) of any franchise. Apart from the Cowboys, there are three other European association football teams that have topped the annual list namely; Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

#2 Manchester United

Sport: Football
League: English Premier League (EPL)
Country: England
Value: $4.12 billion

The Manchester United nicknamed as the ‘Red Devils’, is a professional football club that competes in the English Premier League. The United team holds a record of winning 12 FA cups, 21 FA community shields, 20 League titles, and 5 League cups. They have also won the UEFA Champions League thrice.

The Manchester United ranks as the first football team to top the annual list. The Manchester United is ahead of other popular football clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona with a value of $4.12 billion.

The United who were the most valuable teams in 2011 and 2012 has reached the second place in 2018 with their value increasing 12% as compared to the previous year’s value. The commercial income and the TV rights deal are the two main sources of income for the team.

#3 Real Madrid

Sport: Football
League: La Liga
Country: Spain
Value: $4.09 billion

Real Madrid is one of the most supported teams in the world. It is a professional football club based in Spain. Real Madrid is a team that has maintained several records like winning 64 trophies in domestic football and 25 trophies in European and world competitions. They have also accomplished a record six club world championship and in 2010 awarded the Best European club of the 20th-century by the IFFHS.

Real Madrid has moved ahead of the rival FC Barcelona from fifth to the third position with a value of $4.09 billion in 2018. This is an increment of 14% as compared to the last year’s value.

Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football, winning five consecutive European cups since 1950. With the rewards and TV contracts, Real Madrid was the second highest earning football club in 2016 with annual revenue of $781.74 million.

#4 FC Barcelona

Sport: Football
League: La Liga
Country: Spain
Value: $4.064 billion

Barcelona is a professional football club which has won the La Liga title 25 times since its inception in 1928. It was the first Spanish club to win the Copa Del Rey, La Liga, and the UEFA champions’ league in a single year which is altogether called as the continental treble.

Barca won the UEFA super cup, Spanish super cup, and the FIFA club world cup and was the first club to do so. In 2015, on winning the fifth Champions league trophy, Barcelona won their second continental treble.

Barcelona stands as the fourth most valuable team in this list just like the previous year. In January 2018, Barcelona made the highest transfer fee in the club’s history by signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for €120 million.

Also the International Centre for Sports Studies in 2016, ranked La Masia, the Barcelona’s youth academy as one of the top-level players producing academy in the world. The achievements and titles won by the team along with the telecasting channel deals, has increased the overall value of the team.

The market value of 2018 Barcelona is $4.064 billion which has increased by 12% when compared to the previous year’s overall value.

#5 New York Yankees

Sport: Baseball
League: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Country: USA
Value: $4 billion

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team. Based in the New York City, the Yankees participate in the Major League Baseball (MLB) as a participant of the American League (AL) East division. The Yankees have garnered enormous popularity by winning 18 divisional titles, 27 World Series championships, and 40 American League pennants with each one standing out as a record. They have a dedicated fan-base since they have not failed to amaze the spectators by winning titles of the four North American sports leagues. With Brian Cashman as the general manager and Aaron Boone as the field manager, the Yankees have won more titles than any other MLB team.

The Yankees are the first MLB team on this list of the most valuable sports team in the world. The estimated market value of the Yankees is $4 billion which is enough to enter the Top 5. The Yankees were the second most valuable team in the world last year (2017).

#6 New England Patriots

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $3.7 billion

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team which holds the record of reaching (8 times) and winning (5 times) the Super Bowl by a head-coach – quarterback tandem. The team has set a notable record of the longest winning streak including the playoff games and regular season in NFL history. The Patriots have won nine straight divisional titles from 2009 to 2017 which makes the team, the most consecutive divisional title-winning team in the history of NFL. The real unique revenue opportunities for the franchise is the Patriot’s loyal fan base. The cost of season tickets and the member-only clubs get high wages which add up to rise the Patriots value.

Patriots are the second National Football League (NFL) team to top the most valuable sports teams list. Their estimated 2018 value is $3.7 billion increased from $3.4 billion as in 2017. In 2009, the Patriots were ranked as the third NFL team after Cowboys and Redskins with an estimated value of $1.361 billion.

#7 New York Knicks

Sport: Basketball
League: National Basketball Association (NBA)
Country: USA
Value: $3.6 billion

New York Knicks are professional American basketball team that participates in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. In 1994 and 1999, the Knicks who were known for their tough defense strategy appeared for the NBA finals under the guidance of the two head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy. The Knicks won their first divisional title in the 2012-2013 season. The Knicks have many professional players that have won various individual awards such as the man of the year, scoring champion, defensive player of the year and so on.

The New York Knicks snatched the 7th spot with an estimated value of $3.6 billion. With the numerous individual awards won by the team like the NBA sportsmanship award, NBA scoring champion, NBA All-Rookie first team award, the Knicks is the first Basketball team to enter this list.

#8 Los Angeles Lakers

Sport: Basketball
League: National Basketball Association (NBA)
Country: USA
Value: $3.3 billion

Another NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers are next up on our list. Lakers are a member of the league’s Western Conference in the Pacific Division. As they compete in the NBA, they have bagged 16 NBA championships and stand as the second most successful championship winners behind the Boston Celtics. Initially, being a member of the National Basketball League (NBL), the Lakers had won five championships and the sixth NBA title in 1972. The Lakers hold the record of the NBA’s longest winning streak during the 1971-1972 season by winning thirty-three straight games.

The estimated market value of the Los Angeles Lakers is $3.3 billion ranking them as the eighth valuable team. Being one of the successful teams in NBA, the sponsorships and the ticket prices and the TV right deals of the Lakers are extremely high making them occupy the eighth position.

#9 New York Giants

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $3.3 billion

The New York Giants are a professional American football team that participates in the NFL as a member of the National Football Conference, East division. They rank third among all the NFL teams and have won eight NFL championship titles. They have made maximum appearances for the championship finals (19 times) than any other NFL team. The Giants have won five NFC championship which includes the two overtime win in 2007 and 2011.

The 2018 list place the Giants as the eighth most valuable sports team with an estimated cost of $3.3 billion. They finish with an equal estimation with that of the Los Angeles Lakers. The radio and television contracts along with the sponsorships are the sources of their estimated value.

#10 Golden State Warriors

Sport: Basketball
League: National Basketball Association (NBA)
Country: USA
Value: $3.1 billion

The Golden State Warriors are a professional American basketball team who play as a member of the Western Conference, Pacific Division. The Warriors participate in the NBA and have won six NBA championships. They have appeared for the NBA finals ten times winning the recent 2018 NBA championship. The best regular season has been awarded to the Warriors in 2018 and also the previous year. Warriors have also maintained a record of the most wins in a season which includes the regular season and the postseason along with the best postseason award in the 2016-2017 season.

The estimated value of the Warriors is $3.1 billion. The Warriors have won many individual titles and with big market franchises valued at record multiples of revenue. They have occupied the tenth place of the Forbes annual list of the most valuable teams.

#11 Washington Redskins

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $3.1 billion

The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team playing as a member of the NFC East division. They compete in the NFL and have played more than a thousand games since 1932. In 2015, the Redskins made a record of winning six hundred regular and postseasons and are one among the five franchises in the NFL to do so. A total of fourteen divisional titles, six conference championships and five NFL championship has been won by the Redskins. In 2007, the Redskins made a record of single-season attendance and have maintained the record for the following ten seasons.

The Redskins are the fourth most valuable team in NFL and tenth as in the overall sports. The market value of the Washington Redskins is evaluated to be $3.1 billion as that of the Golden State Warriors. The two different sports team share the same market value.

#12 Bayern Munich

Sport: Football
League: Bundesliga
Country: Germany
Value: $3.063 billion

Bayern Munich is the most successful German football club who have won 18 national cups and 28 national titles. In 1932, the Bayern won its first national championship. Bayern is one of the most successful European clubs and the only German club to have won both the international titles. They have won the European Cup three times in a row with their most recent win in 2013 as a part of the continental treble. Bayern has been one of the dominant clubs in the German football with 28 titles and has won 10 of the last 14 titles.

The estimated market value of Bayern Munich is $3.063 billion. In accordance with the revenue details, Bayern Munich is the biggest sports club in Germany and is ranked as the fourth highest-earning club in the world with an estimation of €587.8 million in 2017.

#13 San Francisco 49ers

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $3.05 billion

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team who play as a member of the National Football Conference, West division. Between the years 1981 and 1995, the 49ers have won five Super Bowl championships. They have been division winners 19 times and have won six conference championships with the first one in 1981 and the last one in 2012. The records made by the 49ers are prominent like most touchdowns in a Super Bowl, most field goals in a season, most consecutive games scored and so on.

With respect to the 2018 annual list of the most valuable sports teams, San Francisco 49ers have made to the top 20 places with an estimated value of $3.05 billion. 49ers are in the thirteenth position with their income from various fields like sponsorships, TV rights deals, and radio broadcasters.

#14 Los Angeles Dodgers

Sport: Baseball
League: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Country: USA
Value: $3 billion

Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional American baseball team who are the members of National League (NL) West division. The Dodgers have won twenty-two National League pennants and six World Series titles. A total of 13 most valuable player award has been won by the Dodgers. The Dodgers have a loyal fan base, as they were the first MLB team to attract 3 million spectators for the 1978 season. The same estimation of fans was recorded from 1996 to 2010 (i.e.) for 15 consecutive seasons, making the longest fan base streak in all of MLB.

The market value of the Dodgers is calculated to be $3 billion and they stand as the fourteenth most valuable sports team. The Dodgers have also won many individual awards including the Cy Young award for 12 times which also adds up in the overall value estimation.

#15 Los Angeles Rams

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $3 billion

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team which belongs to the National Football Conference, West division. They compete in the NFL and have won three NFL championships representing three different cities. The Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans and won the Super Bowl in the 1999 season after a long break of five years. The Rams keep adopting new color schemes and had a complete makeover after winning the Super Bowl. In total, the Rams have appeared for the postseason 27 times and have won 15 divisional titles.

The Los Angeles Rams have been ranked as the fifteenth most valuable sports team in the world. The estimated cost of the team is $3 billion which is the same as that of the American baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers. Even though the Rams have been severe periods of failure, with the potent player’s individual awards, media and television the market value has been evaluated and ranked.

#16 Chicago Cubs

Sport: Baseball
League: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Country: USA
Value: $2.9 billion

The Chicago Cubs are a professional American baseball team that takes part in MLB as a member of the National League (NL) Central division. A total of eleven World Series have been covered by the Cubs. The most recent achievement of the club is the 2016 National League Championship Series win and the 2016 World Series win. The Cubs have capable players as they won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908 and were the first to appear for the World Series for three consecutive times out of which they won two Series making them the first team to do so.

In the annual list of most valuable sports teams, the Chicago Cubs is ranked as the sixteenth team. A cost of $2.9 billion has been estimated as their market value. The Cubs official magazine, television contracts, and the radio deals are some of the incomes of the calculated value.

#17 San Francisco Giants

Sport: Baseball
League: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Country: USA
Value: $2.85 billion

San Francisco Giants are a professional American baseball team which is a member club of the National League (NL) West division. The franchise competes in the MLB and is one of the most successful professional baseball teams. In the National League, the Giants have won eight World Series championships and rank second in the NL. A total of twenty-three NL pennants have been won by the Giants and they have appeared for twenty World Series. The most recent achievement is the 2014 World Series.

The Giants have made to the top 50 most valuable sports teams. They stand as the seventeenth team with an estimated market value of $2.85 billion. The Giants have the second highest winning percentage and have won games more than any other teams as they are one of the longest-established teams.

#18 Chicago Bears

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $2.85 billion

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team that competes in the NFL as a member of the NFC North division. The Bears have maintained a record of more victories than any other franchise. They have claimed nine NFL championships including one Super Bowl award. A record of the most treasures in the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been maintained by the Bears. The biggest margin of victory in an NFL is made by the Bears in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.

Being on the eighteenth position of the 2018 annual list of most valuable sports teams, the Chicago Bears have an estimated market value of $2.85 billion. This value equals the baseball team San Francisco Giants and is evaluated including the TV rights deals and radio contracts.

#19 Boston Red Sox

Sport: Baseball
League: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Country: USA
Value: $2.8 million

The Boston Red Sox are a professional American baseball team which plays as a member of the American League (AL) East division. They have made twelve World Series championship appearances and have won eight Series. Having won the 2013 World Series Championship, the Red Sox was the first team to win three World Series trophies in the 21st century including the 2004 and 2007 championships. They have consistently been one of the top MLB teams in average road attendance.

The Boston Red Sox has been ranked as the nineteenth team in the 2018 most valuable sports teams in the world. Their estimated market value is $2.8 million. They have a notable season and team records with 100 wins in the 2018 MLB season.

#20 Houston Texans

Sport: American Football
League: National Football League (NFL)
Country: USA
Value: $2.8 billion

The Houston Texans is an American football team that competes as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division. With their debut in 2002, the Texans are the youngest franchise team to play in the NFL. The 2011 season was their first achievement as they won the division championship. They were on full swing winning 2012, 2015 and the 2016 AFC South Championships. They finished fourth in the 2017 AFC South, ending their run of two straight divisional titles.

The most valuable sports teams, the Houston Texans have been ranked as the twentieth team with an estimated market value of $2.8 billion. The same market value has been shared by the American baseball team, Boston Red Sox which includes the TV rights deals and radio contracts.

Most Valuable Sports Teams (Countdown 21 to 50)

RankingTeam nameName of the sportOverall value
21New York JetsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.75 billion
22Philadelphia EaglesAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.65 billion
23Chicago BullsBasketball (NBA)$ 2.6 billion
23Denver BroncosAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.6 billion
25Miami DolphinsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.575 billion
26Green Bay PackersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.55 billion
27Boston CelticsBasketball (NBA)$ 2.5 billion
27Baltimore RavensAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.5 billion
29Atlanta FalconsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.475 billion
30Manchester CityFootball (EPL)$ 2.474 billion
31Pittsburgh SteelersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.45 billion
32Seattle SeahawksAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.425 billion
33Minnesota VikingsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.4 billion
34Oakland RaidersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.38 billion
35Indianapolis ColtsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.375 billion
36Brooklyn NetsBasketball (NBA)$ 2.3 billion
36Carolina PanthersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.3 billion
38Los Angeles ChargersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.275 billion
39ArsenalFootball (EPL)$ 2.238 billion
40Houston RocketsBasketball (NBA)$ 2.2 billion
41Los Angeles ClippersBasketball (NBA)$ 2.15 billion
41Arizona CardinalsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.15 billion
43New York MetsBaseball (MLB)$ 2.1 billion
43Kansas City ChiefsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.1 billion
45Jacksonville JaguarsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.075 billion
46ChelseaFootball (EPL)$ 2.062 billion
47Tennessee TitansAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2.05 billion
48New Orleans SaintsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 2 billion
49Tampa Bay BuccaneersAmerican Football (NFL)$ 1.975 billion
50Cleveland BrownsAmerican Football (NFL)$ 1.95 billion

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