Leicester City brand has grown more than any other club this season but Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea still top the list

Joe Hall
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Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League
Winning brand: Leicester have shot up the rankings over this historic season (Source: Getty)

Leicester City have been placed above Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in a ranking of the strongest Premier League brands after catching the world’s attention with their historic title triumph.

The newly-crowned champions are this season’s biggest risers on the Brandtix rankings of Premier League brand value, which measures both a team’s on-pitch and off-pitch success.

Traditional performance stats are combined with the number of social media follows and the sentiment of all social media posts regarding a particular club to come with an overall brand score.

Manchester United top the Brandtix index, thanks to the sheer size of their long-established fan base and recent excitement surrounding teen sensation Marcus Rashford. but it is Leicester who are the real success story having shot up the rankings thanks to their against-the-odds achievement.

Two months ago, Leicester had 2m “fans” across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now they’re broadcasting to 5.6m people after receiving 1.2m in the last month alone.

“Leicester started the season as a small club with a pretty modest fan base, so there was always going to be a bit of a battle to get them up to the top four or top five on our index,” Brandtix chief executive Jon Rosenblatt explains.

Read more: Leicester City can bank £250m from unprecedented Premier League title triumph

“You’ve got to take into account the global fanbase of Chelsea and Arsenal are long-established. The fact that Leicester are there and are above City, above Liverpool, above Tottenham is staggering when you really come to think of it.

“They are the seventh most valuable team in Europe this week; above Juventus, above Paris Saint-Germain and above Manchester City. The spike of new followers in the past couple of days, on the back of their on-pitch performance, has really driven the club forward.”

Dizzy-headed Leicester fans still toasting their team’s sporting fairytale are unlikely to be too fussed by such metrics when captain Wes Morgan lifts the Premier League trophy on Saturday, yet the growth in Leicester’s global fan base could help the team keep themselves at the top next season.

Over 13 per cent of Leicester’s new fans in the past week came from the United States and Mexico, opening the door for their commercial team to chase a potentially lucrative sponsorship deal in the market.

Read more: Forget Leicester, Southampton are a better bet for future Premier League success according to new management index

Yet Rosenblatt warns that for Leicester to really challenge the likes of Manchester United in terms of brand value, they will need to attract players with bigger personal brands — such as Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil — in order to tie-up big money deals.

“The downside for Leicester is that the squad of players other than Mahrez have relatively few social media followers,” he says.

“So when they want to go out and do massive deals in America or Mexico and do a big promotion, it’s really only Mahrez who’s sitting on more than 1m followers whereas Man United have Wayne Rooney with 40m fans and David De Gea with 10m fans. You can put them on front of a tyre manufacturer in Asia and people know who they are.

“Leicester will really want to ramp up their squad’s social and traffic frequency to the point they don’t have to write the names under every player in each commercial because fans will know who they are.”

BrandTix ranking (PL position) Team
1. (5th) Manchester United
2. (9th) Chelsea
3. (3rd) Arsenal
4. (1st) Leicester City
5. (4th) Manchester City
6. (8th) Liverpool
7. (2nd) Tottenham Hotspur
8. (6th) West Ham United
9. (13th) Swansea City
10. (11th) Everton
11. (20th) Aston Villa
12. (16th) Crystal Palace
13. (17th) Newcastle United
14. (7th) Southampton
15. (10th) Stoke City
16. (15th) Bournemouth
17. (14th) West Bromwich Albion
18. (18th) Sunderland
19. (12th) Watford
20. (19th) Norwich City

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