The view from the perch isn’t too shabby.
After more than two decades of disappointments and false dawns, Liverpool are once again a force to be reckoned with amongst the footballing elite. Charismatic manager, Jürgen Klopp’s leadership on the pitch has been matched by owners, Fenway Sports Group’s business savvy off it, as a clutch of trophies over the past few years has been parlayed into lucrative sponsorships and infrastructure investments.
It would appear that everyone wants to associate with a winner, and as current holders of the available domestic, European and world titles, Liverpool is the train onto hitch at the moment. In fact, business valuation consultancy, Brand Finance has labelled the fabled Anfield club as the fourth-most valuable football brand in the world at a figure of €1.26 billion. In their annual report on the topic, Liverpool came behind Real Madrid (€1.42 billion) Barcelona (€1.41 billion) and Manchester United (€1.32 billion) in the rankings.
The Reds leapfrogged Manchester City and Bayern Munich on the back of a stunning stretch for the club that has seen them win every major trophy on offer over the past 18 months as well strike big deals in the boardroom such as a landmark kit deal with Nike.
Brand Finance defines brand value as an estimate of “likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand…understood as a net economic benefit that a licensor would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market,” making it easy to understand the reason for Liverpool’s rise in the rankings.
In addition to the on-pitch success and the corporate sponsorships, Liverpool is growing its soft power in the modern football ecosystem. The two most recent African Player of the Year winners in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané both star for Liverpool while the signing of the promising Japanese forward Takumi Minamino is having the added benefit of bolstering Red’s growing popularity in the lucrative Asian markets. Furthermore, research agency Newton Insights pegs Liverpool at #2 in the “social media table”, ahead of City and behind only United, who were earliest of the other major English clubs to take advantage of the space.
Even with the club hierarchy attempting to lower fan expectations going into the transfer window amidst the pandemic fiscal uncertainties, supporters should still be encouraged by the club’s successful efforts to reassert themselves amongst the European greats. Long may it continue.
See below for a visualization of club brand value changes over time: