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Forbes ranks Browns 34th most valuable sports franchise in the world

The Cleveland Browns were valued at $987 million dollars according to Forbes Magazine, making them the 34th most valuable franchise in sports. The team sold for $1.05 billion dollars last year, but as you know when you drive the team off the lot they immediately lose value.

Actually, Jimmy Haslam purchased 70% of the team from Randy Lerner last season, with an agreement in place to purchase the remaining 30% in 2015. Unless of course Haslam’s current legal troubles escalate.

The top three franchises on Forbes‘ list were all soccer clubs, led by Real Madrid. The New York Yankees were the top American sports franchise at No. 4, and the Dallas Cowboys were the top NFL franchise at No. 5. There were 20 NFL franchises valued higher than the Browns. 30 of the 32 NFL teams made the list. (Jacksonville and St. Louis did not.)

The Indians and Cavaliers were not included in the top 50. In March, Forbes valued the Indians at $559 million.

[Related: Supporting Browns ownership is tricky proposition for fans]

  • JHop

    I wonder if Forbes added in the value of the weiner dog races the Browns plan on having every Sunday? The allure of those must add at least another few million to the franchise’s value.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    It did, but Forbes also had to depreciate the value due to the increased expense of consumable pyrotechnics and music licensing during player introductions.

  • mgbode

    Forbes is a joke (see most loyal fans)

    but, even this is just ridiculous. does anyone think that if Haslam really wanted to sell the Browns that he would have any issue selling for more than he paid? getting “into the club” comes at a premium.

    also, the Dodgers just sold for $2.1bil (guess what, that’s their market value). but, Forbes says they are worth $1.6bil?

    finally, the other real big obvious miss is that they Rams are one of 2 NFL teams not in the top50 (w/ JAX). maybe so but their lease situation is so desirable that if they were on the open-market, they would likely go for one of the highest rates in the NFL due to the ability to move to LA (and isn’t open-market value what Forbes is trying to gauge here?)

  • JHop

    In the article Forbes doesn’t explain its methodology behind its valuations, but I’m going to assume that the value it applies is not the market value. This is because you never truly know the market value of a product until its brought to market, and this is especially true for intangible assets (i.e. joining the ownership “club”, goodwill and going concern value of historic franchises, etc.). Based on rudimentary analysis, you could guesstimate that, say, the premium of owning a historic MLB franchise is worth $500 million, although I’m sure there are other intangibles of varying market value that would factor in that don’t immediately come to mind.

  • mgbode

    yes, the market size is a big portion as the local TV deals are a big reason the Dodgers went for $2.1bil.

    I just don’t understand what the value means (if anything at all) if they don’t use the many current franchises that were recently sold as a barometer. Set the Dodgers at $2.1bil and build from there (Yankees obviously worth more).

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Oh no…you’ll be paying for that…it’s quite alright. 😉