The Golden State Warriors are in a league of their own with a brand value of USD1.5 billion
With a brand value of USD1.5 billion, the Golden State Warriors maintain their position as the world's most valuable NBA brand, significantly outpacing the second-ranked Los Angeles Lakers, whose brand value stands at USD842 million.
Entering the 2022-23 season as reigning champions, the Warriors were defeated by the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Consequently, the Warriors suffered a negative impact on their Brand Strength Index (BSI) score which dropped 2.4 points to 83.7 out of 100.
Despite the San Francisco-based team's on-court performance falling short of the expectations fans have grown accustomed to, their brand value remains remarkably high, driven by record-breaking revenue from the previous season. The team's business strategy has rapidly evolved beyond traditional basketball, driven by strategic partnerships in Silicon Valley, an enriched fan experience for its social media followers, and the innovative use of the Chase Center.
“With a winning culture as their foundation, and under the helm and clear strategy of Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, the Golden State Warriors have propelled themselves to six NBA Finals appearances in the last eight seasons – a truly remarkable feat for the once struggling team. This has developed the brand’s strength which, when paired with a constantly evolving and growing business strategy, makes them a force to be reckoned with.”Hugo Hensley, Head of Sports Services, Brand Finance commented:
The LA Lakers are the NBA’s strongest brand
The LA Lakers boast the league's highest BSI score with an 86.8 out of 100, earning a notable 1.4-point increase from last year. This uptick can be attributed to their improved league performance and securing a place in the playoffs for the first time since 2021, even though they were ultimately defeated by the 2023 champions, the Denver Nuggets (brand value USD155 million).
“Having superstar LeBron James in their ranks, who broke the NBA's all-time leading scorer record earlier this year, and certainly one of the greatest players ever, has significantly impacted the LA Lakers’ valuation. It has not only provided them with a competitive advantage and drawn other top-tier players to the team, but also heightened fan engagement and created new business opportunities off the court.”Alfred DuPuy, Valuation & Strategy Director, Brand Finance North America, commented:
The Boston Celtics climb up the ranking to 3rd
Climbing two spots in the ranking, the Boston Celtics are now the third most valuable NBA team, with a brand value of USD589 million. Tied with the Lakers for the most NBA titles at 17, the Celtics once again performed well in the Eastern Conference league last season but were ultimately defeated by the Miami Heat (brand value USD333 million) in the conference finals.
The LA Clippers enter the top 5
The Los Angeles Clippers have jumped five spots to 4th with a brand value of USD455 million. In October last year, the team introduced ClipperVision marking the NBA's first direct-to-consumer streaming platform and a significant shift in the fan viewing experience. ClipperVision could hold substantial growth potential, particularly in an evolving media landscape. However, with the increasing competitiveness of the TV industry and market oversaturation, as well as viewers experiencing subscription fatigue, we have yet to see whether this will translate into a shift in viewership or an uptick in revenue. As of now, there haven't been any indications of other teams venturing down a similar path but will nonetheless be interesting to monitor.
The Denver Nuggets' historic championship win leads to a brand value and brand strength increase
Winning their first championship in franchise history in the 2022-23 season, the Denver Nuggets have climbed three spots in the ranking to secure 20th position. The team’s BSI has also jumped an impressive 6 points, to rank 14th for brand strength.
The team's success can be largely credited to Nikola Jokic, the unanimous Finals MVP, who, alongside Jamal Murray, guided the youthful squad to victory over the Miami Heat. With a roster boasting young talent and the Nuggets securing Jokic with a historic contract extension in June, the team is poised for ongoing success, both on and off the court. The Nuggets are a team to watch in terms of brand value growth over the next few years.
Note to Editors
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The NBA’s most valuable and strongest brands are included in the Brand Finance NBA 2023 report.
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.
About Brand Finance
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.
Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.
Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671, and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.
Definition of Brand
Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.
Brand value refers to the present value of earnings specifically related to brand reputation. Organisations own and control these earnings by owning trademark rights.
All brand valuation methodologies are essentially trying to identify this, although the approach and assumptions differ. As a result, published brand values can be different.
These differences are similar to the way equity analysts provide business valuations that are different to one another. The only way you find out the “real” value is by looking at what people really pay.
As a result, Brand Finance always incorporates a review of what users of brands actually pay for the use of brands in the form of brand royalty agreements, which are found in more or less every sector in the world.
This is known as the “Royalty Relief” methodology and is by far the most widely used approach for brand valuations since it is grounded in reality.
It is the basis for our public rankings but we always augment it with a real understanding of people’s perceptions and their effects on demand – from our database of market research on over 3000 brands in over 30 markets.
Brand Valuation Methodology
For our rankings, Brand Finance uses the simplest method possible to help readers understand, gain trust in, and actively use brand valuations.
Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668.
Our Brand Strength Index assessment, a balanced scorecard of brand-related measures, is also compliant with international standards (ISO 20671) and operates as a predictive tool of future brand value changes and a control panel to help business improving marketing.
We do this in the following four steps:
1. Brand Impact
We review what brands already pay in royalty agreements. This is augmented by an analysis of how brands impact profitability in the sector versus generic brands.
This results in a range of possible royalties that could be charged in the sector for brands (for example a range of 0% to 2% of revenue).
2. Brand Strength
We adjust the rate higher or lower for brands by analysing Brand Strength. We analyse brand strength by looking at three core pillars: “Investment” which are activities supporting the future strength of the brand; “Equity” which are real perceptions sourced from our original market research and other data partners; “Performance” which are brand-related measures of business results, such as market share.
Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+, in a format similar to a credit rating.
3. Brand Impact x Brand Strength
The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.
4. Brand Value Calculation
We determine brand-specific revenues as a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to the brand in question and forecast those revenues by analysing historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
We then apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues and apply the relevant valuation assumptions to arrive at a discounted, post-tax present value which equals the brand value.
Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.
The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.