Manchester United are the world’s third-most valuable sports team with an estimated value of $3.69 billion, according to a study by Forbes.
The American business magazine last month named United the world’s most valuable football club after overtaking Barcelona and Real Madrid.
But the Premier League side still rank third overall on Forbes’ annual list ranking all sports teams, staying behind the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys at $4.2bn and baseball’s New York Yankees at $3.7bn.
However, United’s valuation rose by 11 percent, while the Cowboys went up just 5 percent and the Yankees 9.
United’s climb is “a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen,” according to Forbes, as no other club brought in more advertising and sponsorship revenue than the club’s $405m.
Champions League winners Real Madrid had been No. 2 on the overall sports list a year ago, while Barcelona were third, but this year’s list sees them fall to fifth and fourth, respectively.
Madrid had been the No. 1 football club the previous four years, but fell to third among the sport with an estimated value of $3.58bn, a 2 percent decrease.
Barcelona climbed above their La Liga arch-rivals, after being valued at $3.64bn, a 2 percent increase.
Helping Barcelona’s rise was the extension to their kit deal they signed last year with Nike, which is worth at least $168m annually from 2018 through 2023. That figure broke United’s previous record $111m per year deal with Adidas.
Bayern Munich are the next football club on the list, coming in at 15th and worth a reported $2.71bn, behind six more NFL teams, the NBA’s New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, and baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers.
The other clubs in the top 50 are Manchester City (35th, $2.083bn), Arsenal (43rd, $1.93bn) and Chelsea (46th, $1.845bn).