M S Dhoni most valued athlete among Indians; Federer globally Forbes Fab 40

Captain of the Indian cricket team MS Dhoni plays a shot at a practice session ahead of the ICC World T20 semifinal match against the West Indies in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: PTI
Team India’s limited-overs cricket skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains the most valued Indian athlete in 2016, despite a drop in his brand value when compared with last year, shows the Forbes Fab 40 list released recently.


The annual Forbes Fab 40 list, which estimates the brand value of top sports labels, athletes, teams and events, reveals that Dhoni’s brand value reduced from $21 million in 2015 to $11 million this year, and his rank slipped from fifth to 10th during the same period. However, he remains the only Indian among the top 10 athletes globally.


Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer toppled golf greatTiger Woods as the most valued athlete globally. With brand value of $36 million, Federer gained two notches from third last year, while Woods dropped four spots to fifth on the latest edition of the list. Among other top athletes on the list is Argentine football star Lionel Messi, ranked eighth. He was not among the top 10 last year.


In the sports business category, Nike, ESPN and Adidas continued to hold the top three spots, even as the individual brand values of Nike and Adidas — $27 billion and $7 billion, respectively — improved from last year, and ESPN’s declined marginally, from $17 billion to $16.5 billion.


There was little change seen in the sports event category. While the American Super Bowl football tournament topped with a value of $630 million, Summer Olympic, Winter Olympic and FIFA World Cup were the next three on the list, with brand values of $366 million, $285 million and $229 million, respectively. Among sports teams, American baseball team New York Yankees was the most valued, at $660 million.


The Fab 40 list does not measure how much a team, business or individual actually earns. It reflects the notional worth of each brand’s name. The list is compiled using different methodologies for defining the brand value of different categories. 


First, for the sports business category, the brand value is calculated by taking the difference between the estimated enterprise value of the business brand and the enterprise value of other similar businesses. 


Second, for sports team, the brand value is calculated by taking the amount of the team’s value that can be attributable to local revenue streams like sponsorship, tickets and television, above and beyond what the typical team in the same sport in a similar market generates.


Third, for athletes, brand values are calculated by taking the amount by which the endorsement income exceeds the average endorsement income earned by the top 10 earning athletes in the same sport during the past year.


And, for sports events, brand value is calculated by taking the equal average revenue per event-day from broadcasting, sponsorships, licensing and tickets.

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