CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Forbes Magazine released another one of their annual lists Monday – the top 50 most valuable sports teams around the world.
The Cleveland Browns ranked 34th overall and are valued at $987 million.
Owner Jimmy Haslam, whose family owned Pilot Flying J truck stop chain is under federal investigation, purchased the team last October for $1.05 billion with $700 million paid up front for 70 percent controlling interest. Haslam has agreed to buy the remaining 30 percent of the team from Randy Lerner in 2016.
The Browns are ranked 21st in value among the 30 NFL teams that made the list.
The top 3 most valuable clubs on Forbes list are soccer clubs – Real Madrid ($3.3 billion), Manchester United ($3.165 billion), and Barcelona ($2.6 billion).
Not surprisingly the New York Yankees are the most valuable team in North America valued at $2.3 billion. The Dallas Cowboys, ranked 5th overall, are the most valuable NFL team at $2.1 billion followed by the New England Patriots at $1.635 billion.
30 of the 32 NFL’s franchises made the top 50. Major League baseball had 7 clubs make the cut while the NBA’s New York Knicks (No. 23 at $1.1 billion) lead 3 NBA teams on the list. The Toronto Maple Leafs (No. 31 at $1 billion) are the only NHL club listed.
Forbes also ranked the top 50 franchises that lead social media.
The Browns have 0.8 million combined Twitter and Facebook followers. There are only 6 teams listed in the top 50 with fewer followers.
Overseas soccer clubs – Barcelona (60.6 million followers), Real Madrid (49.8 million followers), Manchester United (34.5 million followers), and Chelsea (20.2 million followers) also rule the social media world.
The Los Angeles Lakers have 19.6 million followers – ranked 5th overall behind the soccer clubs and the most among North American franchises.