Forbes ranks UFC #7 ‘World’s Most Valuable Sports Brand’

Monday, October 24, 2016

When the UFC sold for over $4,000,000,000 in July, it was the largest sports property sale in history. Now Forbes magazine has published their 2016 Forbes Fab 40: The World’s Most Valuable Sports Brands.

Note, this is not the worth of the company, it is the worth of the brand alone. Brand worth is, for example, the difference in price between a generic and a brand name in the supermarket.

“Our brand values do not tell you how much the teams and businesses are worth, how much the top athletes earn, or how much money the biggest sporting events earn,” explained Mike Ozanian. “Instead, the Fab 40 measures how much the name of each brand–all by itself–contributes to their value or earnings.”

“The purchase of a brand can have a big impact its value. The UFC was acquired by WME/IMG this summer for $4 billion. By my count the price allocation of the deal valued the UFC’s brand at $2 billion–more than three times its value a year ago–based on the enterprise value premium paid for the mixed martial arts promotion. The UFC posted the biggest year–over-year increase among business brands. But if the UFC does not become bigger and more profitable–thereby justifying its $4 billion price tag–its brand could fall sharply in value.”

1. Nike • Current brand value: $27 bil
2. ESPN • Current brand value: $16.5 bil
3. Adidas • Current brand value: $7 bil
4. Under Armour • Current brand value: $5.5 bil
5. Sky Sports • Current brand value: $5 bil
6. MLBAM • Current brand value: $2.2 bil
7. UFC • Current brand value: $2 bil
8. YES • Current brand value: $1.4 bil
9. Reebok • Current brand value: $800 mil
10. NESN • Current brand value: $750 mil

It is no small irony that apparel brand Reebok did a sponsorship deal with the UFC in 2014, and now the UFC brand is worth two and half times that of Reebok.