Chris Smith , FORBES STAFF
For years FORBES has been the ultimate scorekeeper of sports business, tracking everything from the most valuable teams to the highest-earning players, from top agencies to biggest sponsors. But quantifying monetary success doesn't tell the full story.
The Dallas Cowboys, for example, are the world’s most valuable pro sports team, now worth $4.2 billion with a staggering $700 million in revenue last season. Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete, taking home $88 million. Nike is the globe’s top sportswear brand, worth $28 billion and clocking $30 billion in annual revenues. And Creative Artists Agency beats all sports agencies, with a whopping $290 million in maximum commissions.
But what, exactly, makes the Cowboys, Ronaldo, Nike or CAA so successful? What is it that’s driving the impressive numbers on their balance sheets? It’s the business relationships they have throughout the sports ecosystem.
Introducing the FORBES SportsMoney Index, the definitive money ranking in sports. We’ve ranked 430 athletes, agencies, brands and teams, accounting for both their financial power as well as their influential relationships with others in the sports world. To create the SMI, we’ve combined all of FORBES’ SportsMoney annual valuations lists (sports teams, brands, athletes, agencies) and proprietary financial data into a single ranking that reflects their monetary success and how their values affect one another. This is the first time that a cross-category ranking of sports business influence has ever been compiled. For the complete SMI visit www.forbes.com/sports-money-index.