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AFL teams move ahead as the most valuable brands in Australian sport

AFL teams move ahead as the most valuable brands in Australian sport
December 6, 2013

AFL teams are the most valuable brands in Australian sport, with 14 AFL clubs, with a total brand value of $334 million, filling 14 of the top 20 places in the just released 'Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands' 2013 report.

The brand value of these 14 AFL teams is more than double the value of NRL teams in the Top 20 whose combined brand value totals $151 million.

The key finding from the brand equity research, conducted by Landor for Brand Finance Australia, is that the AFL teams have the greatest brand equity - with the exception of NRL's Brisbane Broncos, who have the greatest brand equity of any team.

The study also showed that 27% of respondents interact with AFL more than once a week compared to only 21% for NRL.

The Kangaroos triumph in last Saturdays Rugby League World Cup Final, with Jonathan Thurston winning man of the match and team mate Billy Slater the Golden Boot, is likely to boost the six NRL teams in the top 20 and their respective clubs, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and Melbourne Storm will be keen to leverage their success to attract further members and support from fans.

Although other teams from rugby union, the A-League and Big Bash cricket were included in the research, only AFL and NRL teams were valuable enough to be featured in the Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands.

Commenting on the results, Brand Finance Australia Director Richard Haigh explained "branding is important to sports teams because it validates their ability to generate value both on and off the field.

"This is particularly true among Aussie Rules brands which excite incredible brand loyalty."

Landor Australia Managing Director Dominic Walsh added "there's no doubt that the AFL goes deeper in the Australian Psyche than NRL this goes back to its unique Australian heritage."

Key Findings in the Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands 2013 report.

The Kangaroos dominance in Saturday's World Cup Final showcased the talent that the NRL has been capable of producing thanks to the strong brands in the League.

The combined brand value of NRL Clubs in the Top 20 exceeds $150 million in 2013.

The Penrith Panthers top the Brand Finance League Table with a brand valuation of $46.2 million, as the Panther's Group successfully leverage the Panther's association across a wide variety of operations.

Collingwood FC possess the most valuable AFL brand (2nd overall) with a brand value of $39.1 million after a financially successful year.

The Magpies also received a AAA brand rating, the highest rating in the table thanks to a loyal fan base and strong performances on the field.

The Essendon Bombers brand rating has suffered this year dropping from potentially a AAA- to a AA+ since the investigation by ASADA.

The fall caused overall brand value to drop around 5% to $24 million but the impact could have been more severe but sponsors and fans have remained loyal.

Moving into a new state of the art training facility could see Essendon bounce back for the 2014 season.

The Sydney office of Landor Associates commissioned an online study to determine the brand strength of sports teams as part of the Top 20 study, with the Brisbane Broncos topping the ranking across all codes. The Australian public ranked each team across four pillars of Knowledge, Relevance, Differentiation and Esteem.

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