Real Madrid Tops Forbes' List as World's Most Valuable Sports Franchise

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 15, 2013

After a trophy-less campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu, there is small reason for joy if you’re a Real Madrid supporter. Forbes has announced the Spanish club as the richest sports team in the world.

In 2012, it was Manchester United who edged Real in their financial tug-of-war, but 2013 has seen Los Merengues jump to the top of the franchise pile with an estimated worth of $3.3 billion.

According to Forbes, the 2011-12 La Liga champions have seen their revenue rise 62 percent over the last three years and have the second-highest gross income of any sports team in the world. The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys boast the top spot in that department.   

Here's a look at the world's most valuable sports franchises, courtesy of Forbes:


Team2013 Rank2012 RankSportsOwnerCurrent Value ($Bil)
Real Madrid12FootballClub Members3.3
Manchester United21FootballGlazer Family3.17
Barcelona 38FootballClub Members2.6
New York Yankees43 (tied)BaseballSteinbrenner Family2.3
Dallas Cowboys53 (tied)American FootballJerry Jones2.1
New England Patriots66 (tied)American FootballRobert Kraft1.64
LA Dodgers76 (tied)BaseballGuggenheim Baseball1.62
Washington Redskins85American FootballDaniel Snyder1.6
New York Giants99American FootballJohn Mara & Steven Tisch1.47


United aren’t incredibly far away from Real with a value of $3.17 billion, but they might be slightly surprised at the change considering they managed to win the Premier League last season.

However, the fall of the English titan could be due to England’s failure to perform in the Champions League during the 2012-13 term, where no Premier League club advanced to the quarterfinals of the competition.

James Tyler of ESPN shared this interesting tidbit:

Unsurprisingly, a huge amount of Real’s incoming cash originates from sponsorship and company partnerships, a staple amongst any elite franchise. 

Last year saw the Spanish club extend their kit deal with Adidas, raking in a reported $42 million, per Forbes. They were helped on by a further $39 million the club will earn as a result of their agreement with Dubai airline, Fly Emirates.

Just how long Real Madrid can maintain their rise under president Florentino Perez is anyone’s guess, but for now at least, Los Blancos have the world (of sport) quite literally at their feet.