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The Dallas Cowboys Are the Most Valuable Franchise in Sports - But Why?

Good marketing is more important than good players.

The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in football – and in all of sports, which brings up many questions, first among them: why?

The Rams, Patriots, Giants and 49ers round out the Top 5 NFL franchises – and though there are other sports franchises in the Top 10, it’s worth taking a closer look at the NFL, where the average franchise is worth $4.14 billion and the collective value of all franchises is somewhere around $132 billion. Just to prove how far ahead the NFL is one only has to look at the Denver Broncos, who are set to sell for $4.65 billion in a deal that’s all but done. In comparison, the Premier League club Chelsea, which sold this year, “only” netted $3.16 billion.

Yes, we realize how ironic the use of only is in that sentence. But since the difference is in billions, it kind of applies. That’s just a lot of money in general, and a big difference, despite the fact that soccer is a more globalized sport. And that’s the Broncos we’re talking about, not even a team in the Top 5 of the NFL valuation list.

The New York Yankees were second on the list, a full $630 million below the Cowboys, but way ahead of all other MLB teams. The New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors are listed higher than the second NFL team, which is the Los Angeles Rams. It is worth noting that all of these teams are worth considerably more than the top soccer teams in the world like Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Why is the NFL so far ahead of the rest of the leagues, and why are the Dallas Cowboys, who have won five Superbowls, but none since 1995, still at the top? The answer seems to be years of winning, good marketing and the strength of the league. The branding of “America’s Team” has done wonders for the Cowboys, and though teams like the Patriots and the Rams, who come from big markets and have recently won titles, have narrowed the gap, it’s not enough to catch up.

Basically, being good is important. It’ll get you fans. But being good and selling yourself as the team that should win – that’ll get you lifetime fans who will stay. And despite the narrative that the NFL is something only people in the US care about, the number don’t lie, and they tell a story of a league that has a lot of reach, a lot of power, and still a lot of growth potential.