Understanding the commercial opportunities that professional sports clubs offer can be challenging. The Club Index was developed as a means to benchmark top-flight domestic clubs across key metrics, ensuring that potential and existing partners can accurately assess the scale of opportunity across a range of top domestic leagues and team sports globally.
Teams with a storied heritage and packed venues are likely to have stronger loyal fanbases and in turn be more resilient to crisis than their peers. At the same time, the impact of a digital footprint globally has become an even stronger driver of overall team valuation during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows both local and global fans to engage with teams they support and illustrates commercial potential far beyond stadium confines.
Among the Top 10 clubs in the Index, eight positions are taken by clubs from top flight European football competitions: the Premier League, with Manchester United leading the rankings, La Liga and the Bundesliga. The list is complemented by two MLB franchises representing the US teams in the list. The Top 10 teams are global powerhouses offering wide brand visibility and strong sponsorship potential across the globe.
The Top 11-20 ranking is topped by Juventus (Serie A), but the list has seven teams from the legacy sports leagues in North America – NFL, MLB and NBA, boasting key ingredients of success, from strong competition to favourable economic conditions. The teams in the Top 11-20 list, in general, recorded bigger ranking changes in 2020 compared to the Top 10 list, as the teams tend to excel in seasonal metrics, such as matchday statistics, as opposed to the Top 10 teams excelling in legacy and global digital following.
The top teams are focusing on digital innovation as a major strategic investment for the future, with the aim of strengthening their relationship with fans and being able to leverage their growing online fanbase as a strong asset for potential investors.
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