Today, Tuesday, October 7th Forbes unveiled its “Fab 40: World’s Most Valuable Sports Brands” list for 2014 and it’s Nike that takes the top spot.
The company is worth an estimated $19 billion this year, up $1.7 billion more than in 2013. It controls 62% of the U.S. athletic footwear market, including the Jordan brand.
Behind Nike is ESPN with an estimated brand value of $16.5 billion. According to Forbes, the Walt Disney-owned network will generate some $4.5 billion in operating cash flow this year and commands the highest average monthly affiliate subscriber fee, $6.04.
Nike’s biggest competitor, Adidas, lands at #3 on the list with a brand value of $5.8 billion, despite repeated injuries by their biggest signee, Chicago Bills star Derrick Rose, who signed with the company in 2012 to a 13-year $185 million deal, the biggest ever.
Also, for the first time since 2007 the top athlete brand is not Tiger Woods. This year the top spot belongs to LeBron James, who will be rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers after fours season and two NBA titles with the Miami Heat. James pulled in $53 million off the court during the past year and his brand is worth $37 million, which is the amount his endorsement and non-basketball earnings exceeded the average of the top 10 off the court earners in the NBA.
UK sports channel, Sky Sports, lands at #4 with a brand value of $4.5 billion; and Under Armour rounds out the top 5 with a $4.1 billion brand value, after overtaking Adidas in 2013 to become the second-largest sports apparel brand in the U.S., representing 14% of the U.S. market.
Other recognizable brands on the list includes Reebok at #6 with $880 million, and the UFC at #10 with $440 million.
The Forbes Fab 40 also breaks down the most valued sports events, teams, and players. See the full breakdown at Forbes.com.