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Leicester City league success followed by upsurge in brand value


Club adds nearly a hundred million sterling to brand value, making it the fastest growing football club brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Football 50. Manchester United remains the most valuable brand overall, with Real Madrid, fresh from Champions League victory, close behind.

The Football 50 league table is produced by Brand Finance annually, based on analysis of each club’s assets, from stadiums to purchased players and sponsorship kit deals.

This year’s research reveals that Manchester United continues to top the table with a brand value of £793 million, just ahead of a resurgent Real Madrid. The brand value of Man U, like all the Premier League Clubs, has been bolstered by a new TV broadcasting deal, which saw the rights to the next three seasons’ games divided between Sky and BT Sport for a record £5.14 billion.

Leicester City has seen the biggest jump in brand value overall; the team’s remarkable season on the pitch having translated into commercial growth too. According to the 2016 Brand Finance research, the club’s brand value has increased by 132% in just one year, following increases in sponsorship revenues to reflect the cachet of the Foxes’ newfound Premier League status. This year’s unprecedented title win, it is estimated, will see Leicester receive an additional £150 million.

Calculating brand value
Title and championship success, heritage, high-profile players, revenue from match-day, broadcasting and commercial agreements, as well as sponsorship, merchandising and ticket sales can all boost a football club’s bottom line.Trademark rights play a crucial role in setting the basis for, and shoring up, that brand success. As with all businesses, clubs need to consider the geographical markets in which they operate to ensure that they have adequate trademark protection in place. In addition, they need to ensure they have sufficient insight into the sale of their merchandise, and where future opportunities may lie. Here, an anti-counterfeiting strategy is just as critical if management is to safeguard the value of brands (find out more on developing an anti-counterfeiting strategy).

Brands, such as Leicester City, which have experienced relatively sudden success may be wise to undertake a brand audit to ensure they have the protection in place to maximise their brand value in territories which they previously may not have considered relevant due to market research (find out more about brand audits). They should also consider: if they have obtained the maximum from licensing agreements; if they have the right level of insight into how their competitors and peers organise their commercial activity; and, if they have the right levels of investment in place to ensure that levels of legal protection evolve in line with commercial and public success. Asking questions such as these will help legal heads to identify whether they are pursuing an IP strategy that contributes to the overall value of brands.

Contact us for further insight and advice on how to improve brand value. For the full Brand Finance Football 50 results, click here.