DataPOWA & Soccerex: Barcelona ranked the Most Powerful Soccer Brand in North America
Interestingly, both clubs are adjudged to have a greater brand power than LaLiga itself, with the Spanish league positioned in 8thplace. This certainly highlights why in times gone by that LaLiga have looked to utilise their two biggest assets to help grow the competition in new international regions.
The POWA index is a data-driven, real-time sports sponsorship valuation engine, providing a transparent view of the market by incorporating traditional media, social, digital and fan platforms. POWA index is continuously analysing over 2.4 trillion data points a day, across 60 unique data sets via our patent pending POWA engine. These inputs create one summary POWA score composition. We will now delve into the top 20 international leagues, clubs and national teams in terms of their appeal in North America.
LaLiga North America
That Barcelona and Real Madrid both rank higher than LaLiga – the league is ranked 8th– shows both the potential the two clubs have to cementing the league’s foothold in North America but also the opportunity to exploit through growing the awareness and appeal of their other member teams across the region.
LaLiga have put a considerable amount time, effort and money into doing this by establishing partnerships with US Club Soccer and Relevant Sports to develop their grassroots and commercial interests respectively. The Relevant Sports partnerships is particularly important given its focus to host a regular season LaLiga match in the US, something that has drawn widespread interest, and if plan to hold the match are approved this could be a significant step that sees them moving further up the table in next year’s report.
The Premier League & NBC
Whilst the top two in our ranking are Spanish Clubs, it comes as no real surprise that the Premier League is the highest placed domestic league and 3rd most powerful soccer brand on the DataPOWA Report, with their global popularity further expanding into the North American market year upon year. A large portion of this market strength can be attributed to the highly lucrative and successful long-term TV right deal with NBC, which is currently due to run until 2022. This is supported by a range of in-market fan and community-based activities that look set to expand as the Premier League are increasingly targeting the US for growth.
MLS & Liga MX
The potential and recent growth of both the MLS and Liga MX has not gone unnoticed in our report with the US league positioned in 6thplace and the Mexican league at 11th. The recent partnership between the two which has seen this year’s launch of the Leagues Cup, a tournament featuring club sides from both countries, and the Campeones Cup, where the winner of the MLS Cup plays the winner of the Campeon de Campeonesm may have helped to further grow interest in both leagues.
Success & Activation
Whilst there are many off-field methods that clubs can and will utilise to grow their brand in North America, nothing breads interest from new regions quite lie the power of on-field success. Of the European teams that feature in the top 20 of the report, 5 are current champions of their domestic leagues, one is the UCL 2019 winner and a further 4 have won their respective league at least once in the past decade.
In order to further capitalise on this success, many of the clubs in question have also integrated on-the-ground activation plans that go a little further than simply playing matches in North America on an annual basis. Of the 11 European teams that make the top 20 of the report, the vast majority now have gone down the route of setting up US based offices to specifically focus on their interests in North America in order to further strengthen their foothold in the market.
Men’s V Women’s USA National Teams
Considering the large gulf in terms of success between the Men’s and Women’s national teams in recent years, with the Women’s team winning the year’s World Cup and the Men’s team not even qualifying for last year’s tournament, it might surprise a few that interest in the Men’s team still appears to be higher at this point in time according our report. This is testament to the commercial imbalance that still exists between the men’s and women’s games but, with women’s soccer experiencing an unprecedented swell in popularity, it will be interesting to see how commercially the USWNT and its many stars can ride the crest of this wave.
Tottenham & NFL
Tottenham Hotspur have solidified their place as a top 4 Club in the Premier League in recent years, but having not been able to mark their on-field success with silverware as of yet, some might be surprised to see them creep into the top 20 of our report. This could though be partially attributed to their new stadium which opened earlier this year to rave reviews and involves a partnership with NFL which sees American football matches played at the stadium as well. In fact, after playing in an NFL game there, Oakland Raiders Quarterback was quoted as saying “This is definitely one of, if not the best stadiums I’ve been in”, which by association is likely to attract attention from US sports fans.
France’s Team of Influencers
Another perhaps surprising appearance in the top 20 is the French National team. Such is the power of the brand of the FIFA World Cup, winning the tournament last year has seen the strength of the team’s brand escalate rapidly in the time since. It might also be worth noting that the presence of star players with world class credentials within the squad will have done no harm to further strengthening their footing in North America, with well-known social influencers such as Paul Pogba and raw talent such as Kylian Mbappe playing their parts.
MLS Club to Break into Top 20?
Although as mentioned, the league itself has seen a sharp increase in popularity in recent years and is positioned in 6thplace in our report, this year’s top 20 doesn’t feature an MLS club. That said, if the list were expanded to a top 25, Atlanta United would feature and when you consider the well established brands that they’re coming up against, this bodes well for the future and we could yet see MLS clubs creeping into the top 20 in the coming years.
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