The Club Index 2020: Commercial Attractiveness and Resilience to Coronavirus

August 2020

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.

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Key Findings

COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of teams’ legacy and digital footprint

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.

The Top 10 list in the Club Index is dominated by football clubs in Europe

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 list is populated by US teams from the NFL, MLB and NBA

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.

Revamping digital strategy is a key trend among top sports clubs

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.

Introduction

Introduction to Euromonitor International’s Club Index
Key findings from Euromonitor International’s Club Index 2020

Methodology

Scope of the Club Index
Value behind different metrics groups
Overview of metrics for the Club Index

Top 10 Results and Club Resilience

Top 10 clubs: 2019 and 2020 results compared
Index performance highlights: risers and fallers
Club Resilience: an important factor for commercial partners
The value behind metrics in the Resilience Score
Clubs according to Resilience Score: Americas
Top 10 clubs in Americas according to Club Resilience metrics
Clubs according to Resilience Score: Europe
Top 10 clubs in Europe according to Resilience metrics
Clubs according to Resilience Score: AMEA
Top 10 clubs in AMEA according to Resilience metrics

Clubs 1-10: Club Snapshot and Insights

Top 10 clubs according to the Club Index 2020
Manchester United: the most commercially attractive club globally
Manchester United also leads the Resilience ranking in Europe
FC Barcelona becomes the leading Spanish club in the Index
Recovery in attendances puts FC Barcelona in front of Real Madrid
Real Madrid wins 34th La Liga title and remains most followed club
Decline in attendances causes club to drop to third place in Index
Bayern Munich continues to enjoy supremacy in Bundesliga
Bayern Munich attracts vast audiences and strives for digital growth
Arsenal: s econd highest ranked Premier League club in top 10 list
Lack of sporting success is compensated for by brand value
Liverpool boasts strongest Sports Legacy score in Premier League
Success on the pitch leads to growing live and digital audiences
New York Yankees boast strong legacy and significant brand value
Despite dry spell on the field, Yankees remain among Top 10 in Index
Manchester City: among top 10 in social media following globally
The club is back to European football stage and focuses on digital
Tottenham Hotspur: final Premier League club to make Top 10 list
The club faces financial pressures but records rapid digital growth
Los Angeles Dodgers boast third highest ticket spend in US
Dodgers overtake Yankees in key metrics except digital following

Clubs 11-20: Club Snapshot

Top 11-20 clubs: 2019 and 2020 results compared
Index performance highlights: risers and fallers
Top 11-20 clubs according to the Club Index 2020
Juventus grows its digital following by over a third during 2019
San Francisco 49ers fight their way to Super Bowl and Index top 20
Chelsea records second highest digital following in Premier League
Boston Red Sox excel in ticket spend and global games metrics
Green Bay Packers records fourth highest avg. attendance globally
Golden State Warriors: flag bearer for NBA with strong following
Chicago Cubs boast record ticket spend globally
Dallas Cowboys attracts record average attendance across all sports
New England Patriots records strongest digital following in the NFL
Paris Saint-Germain earns second highest ticket spend in Europe

Conclusion

Key takeaways for clubs and commercial partners (1)
Key takeaways for clubs and commercial partners (2)

Appendix: Top 50 Club Ranking Results

The Club Index 2020 (1)
The Club Index 2020 (2)
The Club Index 2020 (3)
The Club Index 2020 (4)
The Club Index 2020 (5)

Appendix: Methodology

User’s guide to unlock the information behind the club snapshots
Methodology for the Club Index
Methodology for the Club Index

Appendix: Definitions

Definitions (1)
Definitions (2)
Definitions (3)
Definitions (4)

Appendix: Full League Ranking Results

The League Index 2020 (1)
The League Index 2020 (2)
The League Index 2020 (3)
The League Index 2020 (4)
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