Newcastle United have been named as the world’s fastest growing football brand, according to industry experts, while Manchester United remain the most valuable.

Brand Finance today released their Football 50 report, an annual report on the most valuable football brands in the world, with values calculated according to the ‘Royalty Relief approach’. This approach estimates the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use.

According to Brand Finance, Manchester United’s value has increased by nearly 50% – from $1.17 billion to $1.733 billion – to retain their position as the world’s most valuable club. Real Madrid and Barcelona complete the top 3, while Chelsea saw the biggest increase in the top 10 as their brand value rose 61% from $776 million to $1.248 billion.


Real Madrid did displace Barcelona at the top of the world’s most powerful brands. “Real’s dominant on-pitch performance since Zinedine Zidane took charge, along with a continued mass following, both domestically and in foreign markets such as Latin America, has helped the club overtake eternal rivals Barcelona as the world’s strongest brand,” the report explains.

Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus are the world’s only other football clubs with an AAA+ rating. The brand strength rating is calculated through analysis across three key areas: investment, brand equity and finally the impact of those on business performance. Metrics included within these categories include, stadium capacity, squad size and value, social media presence, on pitch performance, fan satisfaction, fair-play rating, stadium utilisation and revenue.

Manchester United saw the biggest increase in terms of value, with an increase of $563 million, comfortably ahead of Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. “The club’s huge commercial revenue streams helped to push brand value up 48% year-on-year to US$1,733 million,” the report said. ” As with all Premier League clubs, United has benefited from the huge new Premier League TV deal, worth £8.3 billion over the course of three years.”


However the world’s fastest growing football brand in 2017 was actually Newcastle United, whose value increased by 92% as they were promoted back to the Premier League after a season in the Championship. “Newcastle United have just passed the most valuable threshold in world football; promotion to the Premier League,” Brand Finance’s communications manager Joslyn Pannu notes. “The Magpies have deep roots in the Premier League and the restoration of such an iconic club will boost the brand strength of the league as a whole.”

Behind Rafa Benitez’s side were Juventus (72%), thanks to another Serie A title win and their run in the Champions League, which improved their brand strength by three points. “Brand value has improved significantly too, growing 72% since 2016,” the report reveals. “However, like Real Madrid, Juventus has not adequately leveraged the strength of its brand for commercial purposes.”


Overall, thanks to the Premier League, the most valuable brands in football are found in England, with a combined value of $9.3 billion (45.7% of the total). Germany, primarily due to Bayern Munich, follows in second place with a total value of $4.1 billion (20.3%), just ahead of Spain on $3.8 billion (18.3%). France ($1.6 billion / 7.6%) and Italy ($1.4 billion / 6.6%) lag behind their rivals, while other clubs outside of Europe’s top 5 leagues make up just $0.3 billion, or 1.5% of the total.