The most valuable football club brand in the world is that of Real Madrid.
Due to the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of the brand has fallen 13.8 percent to 1.419 billion euros, but retains top spot.
Barcelona come in second, slightly ahead of Manchester United, according to the Brand Finance Football 2020 study.
“Today two Spanish brands from the football world show off the Spain brand, Spanish sport is undoubtedly a source of pride for Spaniards and shows the power of our nation,” said Teresa de Lemus, managing director of Brand Finance.
The results show that Real Madrid could improve in the future after winning LaLiga Santander this year and having grown their commercial operations with the launch of an innovation brand, Real Madrid Next, focused on technology.
Los Blancos have also taken advantage of social media to increase engagement of their fans, such as through the creation of the paid channel Madridista Nation
Barcelona have managed the crisis better in terms of brand value with an increase of 1.4 percent which takes it to 1.413 billion euros, just six million euros behind their eternal rivals.
Problems caused by internal politics have come to light, but they have accomplished their objective of a billion euros in annual revenue in part thanks to licensing and merchandising.
The club has also taken on new approaches such as an innovation centre and investment fund for technological and sporting projects across the globe, while also developing their stadium as Camp Nou prepares for innovation rights with stadium sponsorship for 200 million euros.
All Spanish brands improved their ranking behind Real Madrid with Atletico Madrid in 13th, Sevilla in 32nd, Valencia in 36th, Athletic Club in 40th, Villarreal in 44th and Real Betis in 50th
Spain only behind the UK
With eight brands in the top 50, only the UK contributes more than the 3.938 billion euros (20 percent of the total) contributed by Spain as British clubs are worth 8.578 billion euros (44 percent).
Spain has grown 0.8 percent compared to 2019 in terms of Brand Strength, taking it to 79 from 100, the highest rating in the world, ahead of 75.1 for France, 74.9 for the UK, 74.1 for Italy and 73.2 for Germany.
“Football is very important for Spain beyond our borders and sporting excellence in our home, football brands are present in our culture and always have been, they’re a fundamental part of recognising our country from abroad,” De Lemus added.
Big losses from the pandemic
With a total brand value of 20.2 billion euros before the pandemic, almost 500 million euros have been lost since then.
“Football was a product of industrial revolution and it’s fair to say that modern play is a product of globalisation,” De Lemus explained.
“After the coronavirus crisis, football will face various challenges and the total damage still hasn’t been completely developed and it’s not unlikely that there are victims, clubs who go bust or change ownership.”
Despite the economic context, the strength of clubs’ brands has stayed solid and 23 of the top 50 have grown in the last year.
Real Madrid is still the strongest brand in the world with a rating of 94.9 out of 100, while Valencia has seen their rating grow 10.5 percent, with AC Milan falling the most with 10 percent.
The Premier League has seven brands which have grown while LaLiga has five and Bundesliga has four, all showing the challenge that they have handled well presented with a global economic crisis.