Man Utd have highest digital value in world of sport despite Real Madrid and Barcelona's larger online following

MANCHESTER UNITED may be struggling to reach their previous heights on the pitch, but they have the biggest digital value in the world.

A new report into the digital value of fans shows the Old Trafford side are still a commercial powerhouse.

Researchers at Horizm found that Man Utd can create £177.5million from their audience across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.

That was £27m more than Catalan giants Barcelona in second place (£150m) with Real Madrid a distant third on £97m.

The El Clasico rivals both have a bigger following than Man Utd.

Real Madrid's total audience is 282million with Barcelona on 278m and the Red Devils on 179m.


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But the Old Trafford club have a far greater digital value, according to the report.

Five Premier League teams feature on the list while the top ten are all made up of football clubs.

Liverpool are in fourth place with a digital value of £80.7m from their following of 108m while Chelsea come in fifth with £79.8m from their 113m audience.

Paris Saint-Germain come in sixth with £56m despite having a far greater following than Chelsea or Liverpool with 146m.

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Manchester City and Arsenal both generate £47.5million from their digital audiences.

The Etihad side have a slightly larger audience, though, with 92m followers compared to Arsenal's 82m.

Juventus have 119m followers on their digital platforms, but their value is £35m.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, round out the top 10 with their digital value of £28.9m from 101m followers.

Tottenham come in 11th on the list with 59m followers and a value of £28m.

The Premier League dominates in terms of sports leagues with a digital value of £520m.

That's almost double second-placed La Liga on £286m with the NBA third on £201m.

The NFL comes in fourth on £184m while cricket's Indian Premier League is fifth on £158m.

The first non-football team to feature on the list of sports teams is the Los Angeles Lakers NBA side on £28.8m.

Other non-football teams to feature in the top 25 on the list include basketball's Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Houston Rockets.

IPL teams Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are also in the top 25.

And F1 teams Ferrari and Mercedes also make the cut among sport's elite.

While Man Utd are still struggling to compete with the top teams on the pitch, their commercial power is clear to see.

Horizm CEO Pedro Mestriner said: ”Our report shows that the digital channels of elite sport are a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

"One that, increasingly, we are seeing right holders and brands looking to embrace.

"The growing digital audiences of teams and leagues represent a huge well of revenue potential, one that is still largely untapped."

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