The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a new accomplishment that they can pat themselves on the back for. The brand made the Forbes Fab 40 for the first time ever, coming in at number 10.
From Forbes Magazine: The full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2014/10/07/the-forbes-fab-40-the-worlds-most-valuable-sports-brands-2014/
Brand Value 2014: $440 million
Brand Value 2013: not listed
Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s largest promoter of mixed martial arts events and the UFC brand is now synonymous with MMA.
The Forbes Fab 40 consists of the 10 most valuable sports brands in each of four categories–businesses, events, teams and athletes–and quantifies the earning power of each brand relative to its competitors.
The most valuable sports business brand is Nike, worth $19 billion by my count, $1.7 billion more than last year. In other words, if the athletic apparel company had a different name, its market value would be $52 billion instead of $71 billion. For businesses that are not publicly traded, or are subsidiaries of another company, the brand value is the difference between the estimated value of the business brand and what the value of a similar business is worth.
Example: the UFC, a new member of the Fab 40. The estimated value of the mixed martial arts promotion company is $1.65 billion (15 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), while the average business with the same profitability would be worth $1.21 billion (11 times operating income). The UFC brand is worth $440 million ($1.65 billion minus $1.21 billion).
Sporting event brands are based on revenue-per-event-day. The top event brand is the Super Bowl, which last season generated an estimated $518 million in revenue from broadcasting, tickets, the halftime show, concessions and licensing (alas, the numbers are from reliable sources but not precise, so the NFL championship game’s brand value was rounded down to $500 million). The Super Bowl has been the most valuable sporting event brand in each of the six Fab 40 rankings we have compiled since 2007, largely due the record television ratings and advertising rate the game generates.
A new member among Fab 40 events is WrestleMania, an annually staged event put on by WWE, the most successful professional wrestling promotion in the world. The WrestleMania brand is worth $105 million by my calculations, placing it eighth among sporting events. In April, WrestleMania 30 broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event, marking the fifth-consecutive year WrestleMania broke the host venue’s single day revenue record.
Team TISI -0.58% brand values are calculated by applying the same multiple we use to value the entire team to only those revenues not associated with the size or demographics if its market as well as equally-shared league revenue. The New York Yankees are the most valuable team brand in sports, worth $521 million, or about one-fifth of the baseball team’s enterprise value. The $521 brand value captures the name recognition and incremental earnings power that comes with winning 27 World Series. But it omits the portion of the team’s media, ticket and concession revenue that any team playing in the Bronx would get, and also excludes the $26 million that each of the 30 MLB teams took in from broadcasters Fox , TBS and ESPN in 2013.
The NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, who have built a powerful brand in the country’s second-largest media market, join the Fab 40 for the first time this year. Since 1980 the Lakers have won 10 NBA championships with stars that are global brands, such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The team cashed in big time on its success when it started their blockbuster $3.6 billion, 20-year TV deal with Time Warner Cable during the 2012-13 season (only the amount by which the Lakers new cable deal exceeds what the typical big-market NBA team generates from local cable fees is included in the Lakers brand value).
For athlete brands, my partner, Kurt Badenhausen–the world’s top expert when it comes to calculating how much money sports figures earn on and off the field–mined his extensive database for the athletes whose endorsement income exceeded the endorsement income earned by their peers by the largest amount during the past year.
For the first time since 2007 the top athlete brand is not Tiger Woods. This year the top spot belongs to LeBron James, who will be rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers after fours season and two NBA titles with the Miami Heat. James pulled in $53 million off the court during the past year and his brand is worth $37 million, which is the amount his endorsement and non-basketball earnings exceeded the average of the top 10 off the court earners in the NBA.
Tennis star Rafael Nadal made the Fab 40 for the first time this year with a brand value of $10 million. Nadal’s two Grand Slams (French Open, U.S. Open) last year and top year-end ranking kicked in bonuses from sponsors in addition to the $14.5 million in prize money he earned for the 12 months ending in June.
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