Baku, June 11, AZERTAC
Manchester United have been named the world's most valuable football brand, according to a new analysis.
The Red Devils have endured two consecutive trophyless seasons but the club's growing commercial clout has seen it leapfrog Bayern Munich and become the first billion dollar football brand.
The report, compiled by marketing experts Brand Finance, found that stellar signings, a return to the Champions League and the Premier League's new TV deal, helped deliver a 63 per cent growth bringing United's total brand value to $1.2 billion.
The club's lucrative commercial deals signed with brands including Chevrolet and Adidas (worth a record £750m over ten years) are regarded as landmark agreements in global football.
Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh said: “Manchester United’s success has been masterminded by Ed Woodward, the Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere.
"As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward -and United’s owners the Glazers - capitalized on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value.” That focus on extracting value from the brand, combined with United’s footballing success in the recent past, has allowed Woodward to mitigate the impact of the last two seasons’ mediocre results.