Australia’s most valuable sporting brands – sorry NRL fans, AFL has it covered

An analysis of Australia’s most valuable sporting brands shows AFL teams dominate the rankings, despite an NRL team taking out the top spot in rankings.

The analysis, released yesterday by brand valuer Brand Finance, took all Australian club sporting brands into account. It didn’t consider national teams.

But despite Australia having several football codes, only two had club brands valuable enough to make the top 20.

The most valuable sporting brand was the NRL team the Penrith Panthers, whose brand was valued at $46.2 million, followed by AFL team the Collingwood Magpies, at $39.1 million, and NRL team the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, valued at $34.5 million.

There were 14 AFL teams in the rankings, and six NRL teams. Together, their brand valuation was worth nearly $500 million.

Brand Finance uses what’s called the Royalty Relief method of brand valuations. This means considering a hypothetical third party owned the brand, and then working through how another party would have to pay in life-type royalties to license the brand.

Real-life third-party transactions for similar brands guide Brand Finance’s analysis, as do surveys to gauge the relative value of the brands. It is a similar methodology to those used by many national tax authorities.

Richard Haigh, the director of Brand Finance Australia, told SmartCompany that while all club teams were analysed for the rankings, the only non-AFL or NRL teams who came close to the top 20 were Queensland Reds and the New South Wales Waratahs.

“Branding is important to sports teams because it validates their ability to generate value both on and off the field,” he said. “This is particularly true amongst Aussie Rules brands which excite incredible brand loyalty but even they were pipped by the Penrith Panthers.”

The greater values given to many AFL teams were partly due to their greater fan engagement. The study found 27% of respondents interacted with their AFL team more than once a week, compared to only 21% who did the same for the NRL.

The top 20 most valuable sporting brands in Australia

1)      Penrith Panthers (NRL) – $46.2 million

2)      Collingwood Magpies (AFL) – $39.1 million

3)      Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (NRL) – $34.5 million

4)      West Coast Eagles (AFL) – $32.6 million

5)      Hawthorn Hawks (AFL) – $27.1 million

6)      Geelong Cats (AFL) – $26.8 million

7)      Carlton Blues (AFL) – $25.3 million

8)      Fremantle Dockers (AFL) – $24.3 million

9)      Essendon Bombers (AFL) – $24.0 million

10)   Sydney Swans (AFL) – $22.7 million

11)   Parramatta Eels (NRL) – $21.3 million

12)   Richmond Tigers (AFL) – $21.1 million

13)   Adelaide Crows (AFL) – $20.9 million

14)   Brisbane Lions (AFL) – $20.4 million

15)   Brisbane Broncos (NRL) – $18.6 million

16)   Port Adelaide Power (AFL) – $17.8 million

17)   St Kilda Saints (AFL) – $16.5 million

18)   Canberra Raiders (NRL) – $16.0 million

19)   Melbourne FC (AFL) – $15 million

20)   Sydney Roosters (NRL) – $14.5 million


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