Nike, Roger Federer, and Super Bowl are Forbes’ Most Valuable Sports Brands of 2019

The Super Bowl, not the Olympics, is now the most valuable sporting event.

Forbes just released its Fab 40 list of 2019, which ranks the top-billed sporting brands in the world. And to no one’s surprise, Nike was crowned the most valued sporting business, knocking the likes of ESPN and Adidas out of the park. Tennis legend Roger Federer was dubbed the most valuable athlete in the world, while the Super Bowl beat out the Olympics as the most valuable sporting event.

With hordes of fans in every country, the sports world has become one of the most lucrative industries, and Forbes has determined which brand names have the heaviest, and most profitable, impact.

Note: The monetary value of a brand is not the same as its net worth/income. Forbes quantified how much the brand name contributes to the value of a business, event, athlete, or team.

In business brands, Nike has been the star pupil in the class for the last two years, beating out competitors Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, and Reebok by a mile. Valued at $36.8 billion, it's almost three times the value of the runner-up on the list of most valuable business brands in sports.

ESPN notched a value of $13.1 billion. That’s nowhere near Nike’s worth, but still better than Adidas, which settled in Nike’s shadow at $11.2 billion.

1| Nike (apparel) - $36.8 billion
2| ESPN (media) - $13.1 billion
3| Adidas (apparel) - $11.2 billion
4| Gatorade (beverage) – $6.7 billion
5| Sky Sports (media) - $4.4 billion
6| Puma (apparel) - $4 billion
7| Under Armour (apparel) - $3.5 billion
8| UFC (mixed martial arts) - $2.4 billion
9| YES (media) - $1.5 billion
10| Reebok (apparel) – $800 million


Meanwhile, Forbes revealed that the all-American Super Bowl, not the Olympics, is the most valuable sporting event in the world. The values of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games was not enough to stand against the giant that is the Super Bowl.

Valued at $780 million, the American football event trumped all the football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling events that made it to the list. The Super Bowl, which takes place solely in the United States of America, beat huge international events like the Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup, which are valued at $375 million and $282 million, respectively.

1| Super Bowl (American football) - $780 million
2| Summer Olympic Games (all sports) - $375 million
3| NCAA Men’s Final Four (basketball) - $300 million
4| FIFA World Cup (football) - $282 million
5| College Football Playoffs (American football) - $255 million
6| WrestleMania (wrestling) - $245 million
7| UEFA Champions League (football) - $168 million
8| Kentucky Derby (equestrian) - $155 million
9| Winter Olympic Games (all winter sports) - $150 million
10| MLB World Series (baseball) - $122 million

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Individual sports players dominated the list of most valuable athletes, with Roger Federer leading the pack with $62 million, almost twice the value of Tiger Woods’ value of $33 million. The list is evenly divided between individual sporting players, like Federer and Woods, and team sports athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo, valued at $29 million, and LeBron James, valued at $28 million.

Despite dominating the sports events list and team brands list, no American football players were recognized as the most valuable athletes of 2019.

1| Roger Federer (tennis) – $62 million
2| Tiger Woods (golf) – $33 million
3| Cristiano Ronaldo (football) - $29 million
4| LeBron James (basketball) – $28 million
5| Lionel Messi (football) – $20 million
6| Stephen Curry (basketball) – $17 million
7 (tie)| Neymar (football) – $15 million
7 (tie)| Phil Mickelson (golf) – $15 million
9| Virat Kohli (cricket) – $14 million
10| Conor McGregor (mixed martial arts) – $12 million


American sports are the frontrunners on the list of most valuable team brands. American football, baseball, and basketball teams make up eight out of the 10 teams below, with only two non-American teams making it to the list: UEFA’s El Clasico, Real Madrid, and Barcelona FC.

1| Dallas Cowboys (American football) – $1.04 billion
2| New York Yankees (baseball) - $815 million
3| Real Madrid (football) - $725 million
4| Los Angeles Lakers (basketball) – $674 million
5| Golden State Warriors (basketball) – $606 million
6| New York Knicks (basketball) – $563 million
7| Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball) – $554 million
8| Boston Red Sox (baseball) – $532 million
9| Chicago Cubs (baseball) - $518 million
10 (tie)| New England Patriots (American football) – $465 million
10 (tie)| Barcelona FC (football) – $465 million

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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