NBA teams have been the hottest commodity on the billionaire market for years. They are a scarce resource, and owning a team gets you into an elite club. THat's why after failing the first time, Steve Ballmer didn't want to take any chances and cut a $2 billion check for the Clippers a few years ago. Just a reminder, the previous record-setting sale was the Bucks going for $550 million.
NFL has been having a lot of problems the past few years, from CTE, violence issues to Colin Kaepernick being blackballed from the league for his protest. In a world of individual stars and social media, wearing helmets and having a 53 player roster doesn't help.
Baseball takes forever. It's seen as an old guy sport, with more waiting than playing actually going on. If you were coming up with a new sport, you'd look at baseball as a "how not to" guideline. If a player shows any individualism on the field, a fight breaks out. It is analog in a digital world.
Then we have soccer. Most ridiculed in the US with its flopping and a 90-minute game ending 0:0, it has slowly been creeping up in popularity. Still, it the worlds most popular sport, but fighting with hockey for the 4th place in the "most popular sports in the US" ranking. Hockey exists as well.
So, the NBA has the brightest future, but has it reflected on team valuations in the latest Forbes ranking? Kind of. As the Forbes article says, "NBA teams have made the most dramatic moves this decade." Team valuation has gone up most dramatically in the NBA, but the list still gives perspective with the fact nine teams made the top 50. Here are the top 10:
- Dallas Cowboys (NFL) - $5 billion
- New York Yankees (MLB) - $4.6 billion
- Real Madrid (Soccer) - $4.24 billion
- Barcelona (Soccer) - $4.02 billion
- New York Knicks (NBA) - $4 billion
- Manchester United (Soccer) - $3.81 billion
- New England Patriots (NFL) - $3.8 billion
- Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) - $3.7 billion
- Golden State Warriors (NBA) - $3.5 billion
- New York Giants (NFL) - $3.3 billion
Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) - $3.3 billion
The overall conclusion is - location, location, location. All of these teams are located in large markets. Some of them are successful, some of them not, but being ina large market, whether it is the real estate you own or just the size and buying power of your fanbase, you will have a high valuation. Sucsess can make you money - while the Lakers and Knicks were always near the top, the Warriors were not. In 2012 the were not in the top 50! Here's the list of other NBA teams:
19. Chicago Bulls - $2.9 billion
22. Boston Celtics - $2.8 billion
37. Brooklyn Nets - $2.35 billion
38. Houston Rockets - $2.3 billion
43. Dallas Mavericks - $2.25 billion
44. Los Angeles Clippers - $2.2 billion
Business is a boomin', sports are the last must watch live TV giving the tv stations a fighting chance against Netflix, Amazon and other disruptors. One final number that proves it. There is no NBA team that is valued under $1 billion. Yep, not even the Suns or the Pelicans.