The 2011 Forbes Fab 40 list of most valuable sports brands was released yesterday and the New York Yankees have passed Manchester United as No. 1 brand in the world.
The ranking, using a data base devised by Forbes ranks the most valuable brand names in four categories-- athletes, businesses, events and teams-- showed the Yankees surpassed the British soccer club for the first time in the list of the most popular sports brands.
Even if the team's play over the past two days doesn't seem to merit the honor, Forbes estimates the New York Yankees name is worth $340 million-- or about the equivalent of Alex Rodriguez's and A.J. Burnett's contracts combined.
Manchester United's brand-- devalued by a currency drop-- is valued at a measly $269 million according to Forbes.
Surprisingly, the New England Patriots were the third-ranked brand over cross-town teams like the Red Sox or Celtics.
The popularity of the Yankees brand could be attributed to the team's winning history and easy on the eyes colors (navy and blue).
Manchester fans wear a gaudy red and bright yellow mix.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets brand has plummeted to $144 million from $158 million last year, according to Forbes. This is attributed to the team's falling attendance and growing financial concerns. Oh yeah, they lose a lot too.
Brand worth aside, Manchester United is still a cash cow and is ranked by Forbes as the most valuable team in the world with an overall value estimated at $1.9 billion. The Dallas Cowboys followed at $1.8 billion and the Yankees were third with a sale price estimated at $1.7 billion.
Winning it all seems to have little effect on the rankings. Tiger Woods is still the most valuable athlete brand despite his sex-scandal and nearly two-year losing streak. The Miami Heat's LeBron James was No.2.
The most valuable sporting event continues to be the Super Bowl, although the Olympics (winter and summer combined) is gaining on the annual Sunday bash.
The top businesses ranked in the Forbes Fab 40 were Nike followed by ESPN.
The Yankees brand has continued to rise 57% in value since 2007, defying a recession claims Forbes.
That trend could come to an end tonight-- with A-Rod batting clean-up and Burnett on the mound against the Detroit Tigers.