Chelsea have risen four places in the world’s top 10 most valuable football clubs, after seeing their overall brand value rise by an incredible 86% in the past 12 months.
That is according to a new report, which also states that the Blues have climbed from ninth to eighth in terms of their global brand during the same time frame.
The 11th annual Brand Finance report, entitled “Football 50 2017”, ranks Real Madrid as the most powerful brand in football. But the Champions League winners are still behind Manchester United in terms of value because of the Old Trafford club’s powerful commercial success.
Chelsea are valued at £975m, a rise of £450m over the past 12 months, which has seen them climb above Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal in the rankings.
The club’s jump in the table comes after their Premier League title triumph and record breaking £900m kit sponsorship deal with Nike, the biggest in the club’s history.
The report states: “Chelsea has seen a 61% increase of brand value to nearly US$1,248m, while brand strength also improved significantly from 83 to 88. The club has soared back to the summit of the Premier League this year after a 10th place finish in 2015/16. The league victory has helped the club climb the Brand Finance Football 50 to 4th place, up from 8th last year.
“Chelsea signed the largest commercial deal in the club’s history in 2016. Worth £900m, the kit sponsorship contract with Nike will see the club earn £60m annually, starting from next season, a 100% increase on its current deal with Adidas. This follows the £40m annual deal with Japanese tyre company, Yokohama.
“The Chelsea hierarchy hopes the Nike deal will help to support the brand’s expansion into new markets and enhance Chelsea’s ability to commercially compete with Europe’s elite. As with many of the top Premier League and European clubs, Chelsea is actively looking to widen its fan base in regions such as Asia and North America in order to maximise revenue generation.
“After the stadium redevelopments of London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, Chelsea is also preparing to increase capacity at Stamford Bridge to 60,000. In the short run, this means Chelsea would have to move out of Stamford Bridge for three years from the 2018/19 season, but the £500 million revamp will mark an increase of almost 50% on current capacity, boosting match-day revenue in the long run.”
Speaking about the findings from the study, David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, said: “It is becoming increasingly important for clubs, no matter what their size, to recognise the value of their brands.
“Enduring fan loyalty, ever-increasing income from broadcasting rights and the deep pockets of owners can mean that brand is overlooked as an opportunity to maximise revenue by some major clubs.
“However, with the vast sponsorship deals agreed over the past couple of seasons such as Manchester United’s £52 million-a-year deal with Chevrolet, it is clear that harnessing your brand in the correct way can be hugely beneficial in terms of generating added revenue that can be invested into playing staff or infrastructure.”
The top 10 most valuable world football clubs (Brand Finance, last year in brackets)
1 (1) Manchester United FC £1.354bn 71% (£793m)
2 (2) Real Madrid £1.109bn 43% (£778m)
3 (3) FC Barcelona £1.108m 65% (£672m)
4 (8) Chelsea FC £975m 86% (£525m)
5 (5) FC Bayern Munich £955m 63% (£587m)
6 (4) Manchester City £798m 30% (£613m)
7 (7) Paris Saint-Germain £790m 47% (£536m)
8 (6) Arsenal £736m 27% (£581m)
9 (9) Liverpool FC £710m 40% (£507m)
10 (10) Tottenham Hotspur £544m 82% (£299m)