Sports Money Machines: The Richest Teams in Sports

Posted December 10, 2012 | By csponline

The sports world is a booming multi-billion dollar industry. A.T. Kearney, a leading international consulting firm, estimates its annual value between $480 and $620 billion. sports degreeFrom ticket and merchandise sales to media rights and sponsorships and even concessions, the global sports industry is primed to continue its international domination. Here’s a look at some of the world’s wealthiest teams.

Team: Manchester United Red Devils
Nation: United Kingdom
Sport: Soccer
Team value: $1.86 billion

The world loves football (or, as known in America, soccer). Soccer took the top four spots in ESPN’s list of highest paying teams in the world with a total payroll of nearly $800 million. Manchester United came in at number 11 on the list, proving the sport has deep pockets. United is considered the most popular team in the league with an estimated fan base over 300 million fans. The team is also the most successful, having won the title 12 times during the 20-year history of the English Premier League. With its large fan base and winning record, it is no wonder United is worth nearly $2 billion.

Team: Dallas Cowboys
Nation: United States
Sport: Football
Team value: $1.81 billion

The Dallas Cowboys are among the world’s wealthiest sports teams, with an estimated team value of nearly $2 billion. The team also ranks 98 on ESPN’s list of highest paying teams, as they shell out an average of over $2.5 million per player. The famed team shows why it is worth so much through a winning record. The Cowboys have the most Super Bowl appearances (eight) and the second most Super bowl wins (five) in the NFL. Their new $1.15 billion stadium completed in 2009 proves everything is bigger in Texas.

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
Nation: Canada
Sport: Hockey
Team value: $505 million

Canadians know ice hockey as their national pastime. Canadian squads account for over 30 percent of league gate receipts. Canada is home of six National Hockey League (NHL) teams: The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers. The Maple Leafs are the richest team in the league, carrying a team value of over half a billion dollars. The team also ranks 102 on ESPN’s list of highest paying teams in the world, paying an average annual player salary of just under $2.5 million.

Team: Mumbai Indians
Nation: India
Sport: Cricket
Team value: $375 million

Cricket is a popular sport in the lower western hemisphere, including India, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. India’s Mumbai Indians are the current cash king in the sport with an estimated value of $375 million. They are also home to the sport’s all-time most popular player: Sachin Tendulkar. While Tendulkar isn’t batting around the cricket field, he is serving as a member of the Parliament of India. With such high profile players as Tendulkar, it is no wonder the team ranks 39 on ESPN’s list of highest paying teams in the world, dishing out an average player salary of over $4.1 million.

Team: Yomiuri Giants
Nation: Japan
Sport: Baseball
Team value: $288 million

Baseball has been a long-time fan favorite of the Japanese since the late nineteenth century. The Yomiuri Giants are the league’s oldest and most successful team. Many sports writers consider the Giants to be Japan’s equivalent of the New York Yankees, which accounts for the team’s hefty payroll. ESPN ranks the Yomiuri Giants as the 194th highest paying team in world sports, with an average player salary of over $1.1 million.

Calculations for the ESPN list included 14 major pro league teams in seven sports covering 10 countries. Nearly 8,000 athletes making a combined total salary of $15.69 billion were examined. In every nation, people root for and rally behind sports teams and athletes, creating a thriving industry that is set to grow in the coming years.

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