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The World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams: Barcelona Edges Real Madrid To Land At No. 1 For First Time

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Move over, Madrid. Spain has a new No. 1.

Barcelona tops the Forbes list of the world’s 20 most valuable soccer teams for the first time, knocking Real Madrid to No. 2. Barcelona is valued at $4.76 billion, just nudging out Real Madrid at $4.75 billion. The top spot had been monopolized by two teams for the previous 16 years, with Real Madrid taking it five times and England’s Manchester United 11 times.

Click here to read the story at Forbes.com.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think Forbes’ determines the value of a professional soccer team?
  2. Based on information from this story, how much has the average soccer club increased in value over the last three years?
  3. What is a brand?
  4. Is Barcelona FC a brand?
  5. What is revenue?
  6. How do teams like Barcelona generate revenue?
  7. Why is revenue important to a pro sports franchise?
  8. What are expenses?
  9. What do you think might represent a pro sports team’s largest expense?
  10. What is sponsorship?
  11. What is sponsorship inventory?
  12. Why are shirt deals (jersey advertising) an important piece of sponsorship inventory for pro soccer clubs?
  13. Barcelona is now the most valuable soccer franchise in the world, according to Forbes. However, in the last year, the club has struggled financially, losing over $115 million in total, with the team’s debt doubling to about $600 million, even asking players to accept 70% wage cuts. In addition, the team’s star player, Lionel Messi, threatened to leave the team. Given those challenges, how can Barcelona FC possibly be the most valuable soccer club in the world? Be prepared to discuss your answers.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.

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