Manchester U Keeps Scoring On The Field, At The Bank

By BarryJanoff
Sep. 23, 2017

Manchester United is the third most valuable sports franchise in the world — worth $3.69 billion — and the club’s just-released year-end financial statement shows they have kept, and are ready to keep, making money.

Among the numbers shared this week for the 12 months ending June 30, 2017:

• Total revenue was a record $786.2 million, up 12.8% versus 2016, when the team set a then record revenue of $696.8 million.

• Sponsorship revenue was $219.5M, +1.4% over the prior year.

The club said it had 12 sponsorship deals signed during the fiscal year, nine global sponsorship partnerships, one regional sponsorship partnership and two financial services and MUTV partnerships.

• Retail, Merchandising, Apparel & Product Licensing revenue was $140.6M, an increase of 6.9% over the prior year, “primarily due to a full year contribution from (our) adidas agreement.”

Manchester United’s kit deal with adidas, which began with the 2015-16 season, was put at more than $101.4 million.

• Broadcasting revenue for the year was $262.5 million, an increase of 38.2% over the prior year “primarily due to the new Premier League broadcasting rights agreement plus progression to, and success in winning, the UEFA Europa League final.”

The team is majority owned by members of the Glazer family, who also are majority owners of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

European news agencies are reporting that Real Madrid is on verge of signing largest jersey sponsorship deal in soccer history, renewing with Emirates Airline for $335.5 million through 2022.

That would top Manchester United’s deal with Chevrolet $190.7 million and FC Barcelona’s $254.2 million deal with Rakuten (which last week signed a three-year $60 million deal for jersey-patch sponsorship with the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors).

ManU sponsors also include Aon, 20th Century Fox, DHL, EA Sports, Epson, New Era, and Tag Heuer.

Manchester United embraced its fans in the U.S. with a summer tour that included games against MLS’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Salt Lake City as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The club has more than 14.4 million followers on its main Twitter account, 72.1 million plus on Facebook and 19.1 million followers on Instagram.

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys top the list of the 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams worldwide, valued at $4.2 billion, with MLB’s New York Yankees second at $3.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Two soccer teams follow Manchester United: Barcelona ($3.64 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.58 billion).

“We concluded a successful 2016/17 season with a total of three trophies and a return to Champions League football,” Ed Woodward, executive vce chairman for Manchester United, said in a statement.

“We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season.”

The Manchester Untied year was not all about games and finances.

Sports teams and athletes in the city responded in force to the tragic events that occurred just outside Manchester Arena on May 22 following a concert by Ariana Grande, when 22 people were killed and many others injured in a bombing attack.