In 2012, it was Manchester United who edged Real in their financial tug-of-war, but 2013 has seen Los Merengues jump to the top of the franchise pile with an estimated worth of $3.3 billion.
According to Forbes, the 2011-12 La Liga champions have seen their revenue rise 62 percent over the last three years and have the second-highest gross income of any sports team in the world. The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys boast the top spot in that department.
Here's a look at the world's most valuable sports franchises, courtesy of Forbes:
|Team||2013 Rank||2012 Rank||Sports||Owner||Current Value ($Bil)|
|Real Madrid||1||2||Football||Club Members||3.3|
|Manchester United||2||1||Football||Glazer Family||3.17|
|New York Yankees||4||3 (tied)||Baseball||Steinbrenner Family||2.3|
|Dallas Cowboys||5||3 (tied)||American Football||Jerry Jones||2.1|
|New England Patriots||6||6 (tied)||American Football||Robert Kraft||1.64|
|LA Dodgers||7||6 (tied)||Baseball||Guggenheim Baseball||1.62|
|Washington Redskins||8||5||American Football||Daniel Snyder||1.6|
|New York Giants||9||9||American Football||John Mara & Steven Tisch||1.47|
United aren’t incredibly far away from Real with a value of $3.17 billion, but they might be slightly surprised at the change considering they managed to win the Premier League last season.
However, the fall of the English titan could be due to England’s failure to perform in the Champions League during the 2012-13 term, where no Premier League club advanced to the quarterfinals of the competition.
James Tyler of ESPN shared this interesting tidbit:
Forbes Rich List: Four of Top 10 are soccer including 1st, 2nd, 3rd (Real Madrid, Man Utd. and Barcelona). Arsenal: #10.— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) July 15, 2013
Unsurprisingly, a huge amount of Real’s incoming cash originates from sponsorship and company partnerships, a staple amongst any elite franchise.
Last year saw the Spanish club extend their kit deal with Adidas, raking in a reported $42 million, per Forbes. They were helped on by a further $39 million the club will earn as a result of their agreement with Dubai airline, Fly Emirates.
Just how long Real Madrid can maintain their rise under president Florentino Perez is anyone’s guess, but for now at least, Los Blancos have the world (of sport) quite literally at their feet.