SUNDERLAND’S Great Escape has helped propel the club up the league of football’s financial big hitters.
Brand Finance has published its annual Football 50 report, which analyses the worth of the world’s top clubs – not their value in assets and cash but the total cost payable to license the use of their logos, imagery and other brand rights.
Sunderland are ranked 31st, with the Black Cats’ brand worth an estimated $93million – up $21million from last year.
The list drives home the importance of staying in the top flight, with 10 of the top 30 most valuable brands in football being Premier League sides.
Bayern Munich is world football’s biggest brand, worth a whopping $896million, but the year’s big climbers are Real Madrid, with Saturday’s Champions League win helping to boost the Spanish side’s worth from $147million to $768million, leapfrogging over last year’s runners-up Manchester United.
The impact of the Old Trafford club’s disappointing season is underlined by the survey, which values the Red Devils brand at $730million, down $98million on last year, when they were champions of English football.
United’s profile and heritage are still enough to make the Old Trafford club English football’s most valuable brand, but upstart neighbours Manchester City are closing in, with its brand value jumping by more than half to $510million.
At the opposite end of the table, Fulham’s demotion to the Championship wiped more than a third off the brand’s value to leave them rock bottom of the top 50 brands.