Add another accolade to the Steinbrenner family trophy case. Their New York Yankees have dethroned Manchester United as the world’s most valuable team brand. It is the first time since we started tracking brand value – the portion of a team’s overall value that is derived from its name as opposed to its market and league – across sports three years ago that the Bronx Bombers have topped our list.
The Yankees brand is worth $328 million (21 percent of their $1.6 billion total team value), while we calculate the Man U name to be worth $285 million (16 percent of their $1.835 billion value). The two teams swapped spots as the Yankees saw a merchandising frenzy thanks to a 27th World Series title and the opening of their new stadium. Gross sales of World Series and Yankees championship-emblazoned products totaled $450 million last year, while the new ballpark spurred 40 percent growth in sponsorship revenue. Local TV ratings on YES Network (Forbes is a partner in a show on YES) were up 11 percent, even as most baseball teams saw ratings decline. Also helping push the Yanks to the top was a strengthening U.S. dollar, which gained 17 percent on the British pound over the 12-month period we reviewed.