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England Set to Overtake All Blacks as Most Valuable Rugby Brand if Victorious This Weekend

01 November 2019
This article is more than 1 year old.
  • If victorious against the Springboks on Saturday, England will overtake New Zealand to become the world’s most valuable rugby brand
  • England is currently second most valuable, brand value £120 million, behind the All Blacks at £144 million
  • A predicted £250 million uplift to the UK economy and England rugby over the next four years, if England win
  • Fellow finalist, South Africa, sits in 5th, brand value £63 million
  • The All Blacks are also world’s strongest rugby brand, BSI score 95 out of 100

View the Brand Finance Rugby 10 2019 ranking here

The All Blacks hold the title of the world’s most valuable international rugby brand with a brand value of £144 million, according to Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. New Zealand ranks ahead of the team that crushed their World Cup victory dreams, England, with a brand value of £120 million.

However, should they beat the Springboks in the final this Saturday, England will see a 25% increase in their brand value to £150 million, simultaneously knocking New Zealand off the top spot in the ranking.

Bryn Anderson, Director of Sports Services, Brand Finance commented:

“A World Cup win will enable England to reinvigorate their commercial sponsorship opportunities which have, along with their performance, remained stagnant over the last few years. If the team can move into the next rugby cycle as the #1 ranked team, as well as World Champions, they make themselves highly appealing to corporate sponsors. With the team’s O2 deal up for renewal in 2021, a win would be well timed for England Rugby’s sponsorship renegotiations.”

Although England is the wealthiest union globally, its revenue growth over the past three years has been relatively modest, recording only a 0.2% average annual growth between 2015 and 2018 (excluding income from Rugby World Cup 2015) and an 7% decline from 2017 to 2018, as a result of subpar performances in the lead up to this year’s World Cup. A win could see a return to pre-2015 revenue for the RFU, equating to £30 million per year, consequently bolstering their brand value.

This boost to the RFU’s revenue, paired with increases in Premiership club revenue, which Brand Finance expects to equate to £25 million per year across all clubs, as well as the feel-good spend on match day this weekend, at £30 million, could result in a staggering £250 million uplift to the UK economy and rugby over the next four years.

Bryn Anderson, Director of Sports Services, Brand Finance commented:

“It is fair to say that England has far surpassed expectations during the RWC2019 tournament. The England RFU performance over the last 4-5 years has been flat and the outlook pessimistic. The 19-7 victory over the ‘God of Rugby’, the All Blacks, made history and propelled England from underdogs to strong contenders to lift the trophy for the second time. All eyes will be on Eddie Jones’s team this weekend.”

The All Blacks at crossroads

Despite England defeating New Zealand, the All Blacks currently stand at the top of Brand Finance’s ranking, a reflection of their absolute dominance in international rugby. In the previous five World Cups, they have scored more points and more tries than any other team, and are the only nation to have lifted the trophy three times.

The unwavering performance of the All Blacks, until last Saturday, is reflected in the team’s revenues, which have grown at an average growth of 12% over the last three years, driven by the brand’s ability to drive matchday and commercial income.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, the All Blacks are also the world’s strongest international rugby brand with a brand strength index (BSI) score of 95 out of 100 and an elite AAA+ brand strength rating. The team’s long-standing heritage, unparalleled success over the past decades, and sentiment globally amongst rugby and non-rugby fans alike, has earned them the title of the world’s strongest.

Bryn Anderson, Director of Sports Services, Brand Finance commented:

“The continued dominance of the All Blacks is undeniable and their stats speak for themselves. Whether this defeat in the semis is a sign of the end of an era of dominance for the team is yet to be seen, but with Hansen bowing out of the international rugby arena after nearly 16 years, the All Blacks are at a pivotal crossroads.”

Challengers: South Africa

England’s fellow finalists, South Africa’s Springboks, are ranked the fifth most valuable rugby brand in the world, with a brand value of £63 million. Since their World Cup victory in 2007, with Eddie Jones as Assistant Coach, the Springboks have had mixed performances on the field, a consequence of going from fielding one of their most experienced teams in 2007 to a 2019 squad, which averages just 34 caps.

The Springboks have the sixth largest overall revenues in international rugby and the second largest broadcasting revenue which stood at an impressive £38 million in 2018. Although South Africa has performed strongly in measures of brand investment - with the second-highest number of registered players of any international rugby brand, and a strong social media presence - the Springbok brand has not been able to translate this investment into brand equity and brand value.

Bryn Anderson, Director of Sports Services, Brand Finance commented:

“It will be interesting to see whether this spot in the final marks a resurgence for two-time winners, the Springboks. A win would be momentous and would see the team tie with the All Blacks for number of World Cup victories. England and South Africa have played each other four times in the last 18 months - the score currently sits at 2-2 - by Saturday we will know which way the scales have tipped, and history will be made for one team.”

ENDS

Note to Editors
Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 10 most valuable international rugby brands are included in the Brand Finance Rugby 10 2019 ranking.

Argentina was considered for the analysis as a Top 10 rugby nation, but the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) was unable to provide internal financial information for Brand Finance’s analysis.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance rankings and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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