Penrith Panthers tops Brand Finance Most Valuable Aussie Sports Brand for 2013
PENRITH Panthers has taken the number one spot, with a brand value of $46.2 million in the 2013 Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands research conducted by Brand Finance. Surprisingly, even though it had the top value, Penrith Panthers only had a brand rating of AA- which actually made it one of the weaker rating brands in the Top 20.
According to Brand Finance Australia director Richard Haigh, Branding is important to sports teams because it validates their ability to generate value both on and off the field.
“This is particularly true amongst Aussie Rules brands which excite incredible brand loyalty but even they were pipped by the Penrith Panthers," he said.
The Panthers Group businesses have closely associated the brand successfully with the elite rugby league team to create a strong business, Mr Haigh said, which has resulted in the high valuation by the co-ordinators of the research, Landor Associates.
There are six NRL teams in the Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands. The Sydney Roosters currently have the highest brand rating overall of AAA-.
An indication of the role performance plays in the brand values has been illustrated by coach Tim Sheens’ Kangaroos, who convincingly won Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup final against New Zealand in the UK.
Mr Haigh said with Jonathan Thurston winning man of the match and team mate Billy Slater the Golden Boot award, their respective clubs North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and Melbourne Storm would be already leveraging the Thurston and Slater successes to attract further members and support from fans.
The AFL is moving ahead in terms of total Brand Value, said Mr Haigh, accounting for 14 teams with a total brand value of $334 million. This 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 is that the AFL teams have greater brand equity except for the NRL’s Brisbane Broncos, which has the greatest brand equity of any team.
The study also showed that 27 percent of respondents interact with AFL more than once a week compared with only 21 percent for NRL.
The research also showed the Collingwood Magpies possess the most valuable AFL brand, rating second in the overall Top 20, 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.
In terms of overall Brand Strength, the online research by the Sydney office of Landor Associates determined Brisbane Broncos topped the ranking across all codes.
The Essendon Bombers to a AA+ since the investigation by ASADA. The fall caused overall brand value to drop around five percent to $24 million.
The impact could have been more severe but sponsors and fans have remained loyal. The Landor report suggested moving into a new state of the art training facility could see Essendon bounce back for the 2014 season.
Although other teams from Australian Rugby Union, A-League and Big Bash were included in the research, only AFL and NRL teams turned out to be valuable enough to be featured in the Top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands.
Landor Australia managing director, Dominic Walsh said, “There’s no doubt that the AFL goes deeper in the Australian psyche than NRL – this goes back to its unique Australian heritage.”
The Australian public ranked each team across four pillars of: Knowledge, Relevance, Differentiation and Esteem.