Arsenal brand value fails to keep up with rivals' growth due to Premier League and Champions League failures

Joe Hall
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The signing of Alexis Sanchez gave a boost to Arsenal's brand last season (Source: Getty)

The value of Arsenal's brand is being held back by missteps in the Premier League and Champions League, as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham all enjoyed greater brand growth last season than the FA Cup holders.

Read more: Arsenal Champions League place under threat from Juventus resurgence

Arsenal's brand has been valued at $703m (£423m) and ranked the seventh most valuable in the world by international brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, falling one place from its 2014 ranking.

Although the club posted a 39 per cent rise on last year's valuation of $505m - a higher rate of growth than the average across the world's top 50 clubs - the rise was modest compared to growth enjoyed by many of their Premier League rivals.

Manchester United's brand, named the most valuable in world football, rose by 63 per cent to $1.2bn while Manchester City and Chelsea grew by 57 per cent and 58 per cent respectively, to become almost $100m more valuable than Arsenal.

"Relative to the other clubs, they haven't done particularly well," Brand Finance's Robert Haigh told City A.M. "That's down to a couple of things, but one of them is related to Arsenal's football success - or lack thereof.

"There needs to be more of a realistic title challenge both in Europe and in the Premier League. Although Arsenal is seen as a top club it's not seen in the same way as Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City. It no longer has that 'Invincibles', top tier reputation and that's basically because they just cannot seem to manage a realistic title challenge - even though they now have quite a strong squad.

"The other difficulty for them is that they have a very large modern stadium - which is good - and they have the most expensive tickets in the league which is also good from a commercial standpoint - but it does mean that they can’t really go very far from there. There’s only so much beyond the top end of season tickets you can go before people won’t tolerate it anymore so there’s limited capacity for matchday growth."

Although Arsenal fans have celebrated two successive season of silverware, the commercial and reputational benefits of the Gunners' FA Cup win pales in comparison to the Premier League or Champions League - the added value of the final win is "only $1m" according to Haigh.

In order to get back on a par with their rivals, Haigh suggests more of the marquee signings the Emirates faithful have been treated to in recent seasons when Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez arrived.

They [Arsenal] have a good level growth, they’re financially healthy, they have reasonable performances, they always get in the Champions League - but they just do nothing absolutely spectacular. So maybe being a bit more flashy, and that might mean buying flashy players with big personalities and unrivalled ability, is what they need to sort of step up to the top five or top three.

It’s good for Premier League teams to focus on developing domestic talent because certainly in a domestic context that boosts their reputation - they’re seen as contributing to the game and it’s a positive step to take for the game as a whole. But on the other hand, star names really do contribute a lot to the value of the club brand. So Real Madrid’s “galactico” strategy - it means that not only do they get the benefit of the playing ability of those stars, the team is seen kind of like an “all stars” super group.

With Arsenal it’s seen as a strong squad but there aren’t necessarily any major, major top level footballing celebrities - with the exception of Sanchez probably.

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