Bishop & Sewell

If, like me, you’re one of the 323,685 followers of the Visual Capitalist on LinkedIn you’ll be aware of their regularly intriguing graphics. The example below of ‘The World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams in 2024’ is typical, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial Law team.

Just as intriguing, is that – assuming all their data is accurate – on this list, Manchester United appears only thirteenth.

I’m inclined to agree with Dr. Charles Doyle, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Arup, who explains it this way: “Strangely, although football (soccer) is the world’s largest global game, both in terms of participation and audiences, and far more lucrative than American football or baseball or basketball, the most valuable teams are mainly in the NFL. Only the legendary Real Madrid and Manchester United, both with excellent marketing programmes, make the top list. My conclusion is that American sports, especially the NFL, is better at marketing than the various European leagues.”

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and most recently Everton, are now all under American ownership. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Burnley, and Bournemouth also have US owners, with varied degrees of success. I wonder how far we are from seeing the Premier League give the NFL a run for its money in producing more Most Valuable Teams?


David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB459 on either on either 07968 027343 / 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 18 March 2024. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 27th Mar 2024

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