Athletic Rise To 40th Most-Valuable Club Brand In European Football

Inaki Williams Celebrate

The Athletic Club brand grew by 9% over the past year (AC)

With most of the 2019/2020 league seasons having finished, Brand Finance have published their annual study of football club brands and value. The independent company, which has been around since 1996, analyzes several metrics such as brand exposure, financial strength, debt, stadiums, enterprise, and so on to determine the most valuable clubs in football.

Last year Athletic Club were found to be the 45th most-valuable club in European football, but have since risen higher on the list. Brand Finance’s report shows that Athletic’s brand grew by 9% over the past year which moved the Basque giants up to 40th in the rankings. In La Liga specifically, Athletic trail Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia.

Athletic fared even better in the Strongest Club Brands list where the Zurigorri finished 26th after being ranked 31st in last year’s report. Interestingly, Athletic actually dropped from 41st to 46th in the Most Valuable Club Enterprises metric. In the Venue Performance Ratings, San Mamés came in at 24th and ahead of other stadiums such as Parc de Princes and Stamford Bridge.

In their summary, Brand Finance praised Athletic’s dedication to youth development, healthy financial control, and highlighted the club as one of the best prepared to handle the recent pandemic which has financially impacted the world of football.

Athletic Club Bilbao are one of the most unique clubs in Europe in that they only recruit local players from the Basque region. At the same time, they are very adept at developing talent at their Lezama academy and selling on to other clubs for healthy profits, a feature of their business model for more than a decade. They are Spain’s fifth best supported club, with more than 40,000 packing into their distinctive San Mamés stadium. Athletic remains a prudent club and was one of the better prepared for the pandemic crisis, with no debt and a healthy level of cash in the bank. Their brand value grew by 9% to €129 million in 2020.

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