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4 Newcomers To Forbes' Most Valuable Sports Brands

4 Newcomers To Forbes' Most Valuable Sports Brands

Once a year, Forbes comes out with its "Fab 40," a list of the world’s most valuable sports brands.

The list is split into four categories with their own qualifications for what numbers and figures contribute to overall value: athletes, businesses, events and teams. This year, each category is led, respectively, by LeBron James (who dethroned Tiger Woods), Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE), the Super Bowl and the New York Yankees.

Each of the four categories also featured a prominent newcomer.

Athlete: Rafael Nadal

For the individual athlete category, Forbes measures the brand value endorsement income minus the average endorsement income of the top 10 athletes in the sport (they did not specify how they determined the top 10 athletes). Nadal squeezed in at No. 10 with a brand value of $10 million.

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This is a testament to Nadal's stature as one of the best players in 2014 and the last decade. The Spaniard's brand is apparently strong as ever, and he is still the ATP No. 2 player in the world, behind Novak Djokovic and one spot ahead of Roger Federer.

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

For brand value of teams, Forbes found the portion of a team’s "enterprise value that is not attributable to the size of demographics of its market or league-shared revenue." As such, the Lakers fit the bill for 2014, who came in at No. 10 with a brand value of $254 million (up from $145 million last year).

The team's addition to the list reflects the 20-year, $3.6 billion-TV deal the team signed with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), which launched during the 2012-2013 season. Last season marked the first time that the team missed the NBA playoffs since 2005, and the second time in the last 20 years.

Business: UFC

For business brands, Forbes subtracted the enterprise value that a typical industry peer of equal size would sell for from the estimated enterprise value that the company itself would sell for in a transaction in which the buyer and seller act independently and have no relationship with each other. With this metric, Ultimate Fighting Championship joined the list at No. 10 with a 2014 value of $440 million.

The company is the world's largest promoter of mixed-martial arts fights and events. In 2012, Dana White UFC President Dana White made a big, bold statement in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, saying, "Globally, we're already bigger than the NFL. We’re neck-and-neck with soccer. Soccer isn’t huge here in the United States, but all over the world it is. The only other thing that could work is fighting."

Sure enough, the NFL is not on Forbes' 2014 list.

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Event: WrestleMania

For event brands, Forbes took the average revenue from licensed merchandise, media, sponsorships and ticket sales per-event-day. With this metric, WrestleMania was able to wrestle its way to No. 8, surpassing the Daytona 500 and the Kentucky Derby, with a brand value of $105 million.

On April 6, 2014, WrestleMania XXX, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.'s (NYSE: WWE) flagship event, was held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. it attracted viewership from a record one million households on traditional pay-per-view and the new streaming media service, WWE Network; This was the first time a WWE event was shown on pay-per-view and live streamed simultaneously.

Pay-per-view cost viewers between $55 and $70, while WWE Network costs $9.99 per month with a six-month contract. Additionally, with 75,167 people in attendance, and $10.9 million in ticket revenue alone, WrestleMania XXX marked the fifth-consecutive time that the event has broken the host venue's record for highest-grossing entertainment event.


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