Tiger Woods leads Forbes top sports brand list

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major golf champion who has not won a title in nearly two years, and baseball's New York Yankees lead Forbes magazine's lists of top sports brand values released on Tuesday.

Updated: October 04, 2011 23:05 IST
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New York: Tiger Woods, a 14-time major golf champion who has not won a title in nearly two years, and baseball's New York Yankees lead Forbes magazine's lists of top sports brand values released on Tuesday.

Woods lost some endorsements after his infamous sex scandal erupted in 2009 and he has struggled with a knee injury most of this year, but he was ranked top of the list of athlete sports brands with a value of $55 million.

The former World No. 1, chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, fell to 51st in this week's world rankings, his first time outside the top 50 after 778 weeks in a row over 15 years.

The Yankees, record 27-time World Series champions who reached the playoffs this year with the second-best record in Major League Baseball, topped the team lists at $340 million with Manchester United, pace-setter for the past four years in the poll, a distant second at $269 million.

Increased value in the US dollar compared to the British pound helped lift the Yankees above Man United, with Forbes saying the Red Devils would still be on top of the list if the exchange rate were the same as it was in 2007.

Real Madrid was third at $264 million followed by the NFL Dallas Cowboys at $193 million, Bayern Munich at $179 million, baseball's Boston Red Sox at $173 million, Barcelona ($172 million), Arsenal ($158 million), AC Milan ($147 million) and the NFL New England Patriots ($146 million).

Among sports events, the US magazine rated the Super Bowl top overall ahead of the Summer Olympics followed by the World Cup, baseball's World Series, the UEFA Champions League, Winter Olympics and Daytona 500 auto race.

Forbes judged athlete brands by the amount their endorsement income exceeds the average in their sport. Team rankings were made off the portion of overall revenue not coming from league-shared revenues or demographics.

Despite a divorce last year from Elin Nordegren after revelations of his cheating with multiple mistresses, Woods added his first new sponsor since the scandal last June, joining powerful deals with Nike and EA Sports videogames.

Nike was rated the top sports business brand with ESPN ranked second.

While Woods was down from last year's value of $82 million, he still ranked $29 million ahead of second-place Swiss tennis star Roger Federer with US golf rival Phil Mickelson third at $24 million.

English football star David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy was fourth at $20 million, just ahead of NBA Miami Heat star LeBron James, whose value jumped to match Beckham from $13 million last year.

James was bolstered by a $10 million annual Nike deal and a marketing deal with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry that made the NBA star a part owner of English Premier League football side Liverpool.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, in talks to play in Italy during the ongoing NBA lockout, was sixth on $14 million followed by US auto racer Dale Earnhardt Jnr ($9 million).

Russian tennis beauty Maria Sharapova ($9 million), Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ($8 million) and US snowboard-skateboard icon Shaun White ($7 million) were next on the list.

Among teams, the NFL Patriots benefited from regional radio and TV deals and stadium rentals for non-game events to bump into the bottom of the list, replacing the New York Mets, whose brand fell $15 million to $144 million as a result of financial struggles after losses in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

Event figures were tallied on revenue per day, with the one-day US gridiron extravaganza generating $425 million to stay ahead of the Olympics, which closed the gap after television revenue jumps.

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