May 29 - Bayern Munich, which won the Champions League title at the weekend, knocks Manchester United from the top spot in brand value for the first time in seven years, with a brand valuation of 668 million euros. Ciara Sutton finds out what gives the team its edge.
Champions League winners and now brand-value victors - Bayern Munich is on a roll. The German team has bumped Manchester United from the top spot of the world's most valuable football teams. David Haigh is CEO of Brand Finance, who conducted the survey. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER AND CEO, BRAND FINANCE, DAVID HAIGH "Since Alex Ferguson left, and it's not only Alex Ferguson that's left - David Gill their CEO has left, there are question marks over Rooney, Scholes has retired. There's a lot of uncertainty with a new manager that Man U will not quite recover where it was before. So there was a lot of debate, but in the end we decided that Bayern Munich has by far the stronger medium to long term prospects." The report values Bayern at 668 million euros, with Man U following a close second at around 650 million. Other teams in the top 10 include Read Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea. While the UK has several premiership teams in the top 10, the German Bundesliga business model and way of running its teams is becoming increasingly favourable. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER AND CEO, BRAND FINANCE, DAVID HAIGH "The things that they are doing right, they're looking after their fans by not charging them too much, so they have very very high season ticket holder numbers and full stadiums. They have very long term deals with their sponsors. Their big thing to go for is the international media rights. And once they get into that by becoming global brands, they will truly outperform the UK teams." Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund in the first all-German Champions League final at the weekend. Dortmund climbed one spot to 10th in the survey having grown by 13 percent in the last year. It's a different story though for Italian and Spanish teams - tough economic times back home have hampered the growth of many teams. But the countries' big guns Real Madrid and Juventus bucked that trend, with both reporting growth. Brand Finance says the sport generally remains "recession-proof", thanks to its global popularity in emerging markets like China. It says the industry has grown around 7 percent in the past year with stadiums around the world continuing attract the crowds...and the sponsors.