(Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
Manchester United soccer team is worth more than $3 billion, making the club the first sporting franchise in the world to surpass the $3 billion mark.
Forbes magazine has made the announcement, which revealed the club has not only surpassed $3 billion, but has gone way beyond. The magazine estimates the English Premier League football club is now worth $3.3 billion.
Forbes has reported "Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family, which in August sold 16.7 million shares in the team -- equal to a 10 percent stake -- for $14 each in an initial public offering. With the stock price rising to almost $17, Manchester United's enterprise value has pushed past $3 billion."
The news means Manchester United are worth by far the most out of all sports teams in the world. NFL giants, the Dallas Cowboys were second on the list but were well short of Manchester United's estimation - with the Cowboys weighing in at $2.1 billion.
It is believed that large sports teams with a global reach and brand are better utilizing modern technology in recent years to capitalize on their markets. Especially with television and cable rights being sold for billions of dollars to networks desperate to attract millions of fans worldwide with the biggest teams and sporting events, the amounts sports teams can claim has sky-rocketed over recent decades.
Sponsors are also desperate to be associated with these top sporting brands, and know that if they can be chosen as an official sponsor, their exposure could extend to markets across the globe.
With soccer being the world's biggest sport, it is believed that Manchester United have been the most successful at plugging its brand into global markets. The English Premier League is one of the hottest sports league's in the world followed by millions even outside England and Europe. To an extent NFL Football, as well as the NBA and MLB are catching up to extend their brands to the fertile markets of Asia and Europe.
However, with Manchester United cruising past the $3 billion value this year, it is likely they will also be the first to surpass $4 billion in the near future.
Here is a Forbes video report on the news that Manchester Utd's worth has surpassed $3 billion: