Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Most Valuable Teams In Sports

The recession hit some businesses hard while affecting other businesses hardly at all; the same can be said for sports teams. According to this article on Fobes.com, there are some teams that are profiting in spite of the poor economy, such as the Dallas Cowboys who top their list of most valuable teams. However, other teams were not so lucky, and showed significant reductions in revenue last year.

The recession has been more visible in the U.S., with the hurt distributed along class lines. The rich had few problems, with the bulk of the highest-valued teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL holding their own or growing, while negative growth hit the poor and middle class. In the NFL, where the average franchise value inched down about a half a percentage point, the 10 most valuable franchises gained a collective $164 million in value; the rest of the league lost a combined $303 million. Six NFL clubs appear on our top 10 list, led by the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

Major League Baseball, where rich clubs help the poor through revenue sharing, suffered a classic middle-class squeeze. Valuation gains showed up in the top six spots and in seven of the bottom nine. But those in the middle--clubs like Atlanta, San Francisco, Texas and Cleveland--lost value.

"It's easier to revive a small-market club, where you can get young (and cheap) guys that play well together," says Tilliss. Example: The Florida Marlins, who went young and cheap and contended for much of the season on a low payroll, saw an 8% jump in value. The San Francisco Giants, still trying to carve out a post-Barry Bonds identity, patched a veteran roster together and lost 5% of their value.

In baseball, only the New York Yankees--who print money through cable riches and a sparkling new stadium--reside in the billionaire's club.

Meanwhile, it's been pretty much an equal opportunity recession in the NBA, where the majority of teams backslid. The value of the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers dropped by $6 million from a year earlier to $607 million, but still took over the top spot from the New York Knicks, who slipped even more. No doubt, the sponsorship-heavy league is getting pinched more than others right now, after going premium over the past decade with fast-rising ticket prices and expensive luxury suites.

Continue reading at Forbes.com…

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