How the Ravens Are the 18th Most Valuable Franchise in the World

| July 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

According to a new Forbes report, as reported by Baltmore Business Journal, the Baltimore Ravens are the 18th most valuable sports franchise in the world with a value of 1.09 billion.  They are the 10th most valuable NFL franchise and the 12th most valuable sports franchise in the United States.  Manchester United, Real Madrid, New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins make up the top five in that order.

So of course this begs the question, how is Baltimore, the 24th largest city and television market in the United States, home to the 18th most valuable sports franchise in the world?  It is a combination of many factors.  The NFL is a money making machine largely because of television contracts and all 32 NFL teams are part of the top 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world… but that doesn’t answer why the Ravens are more valuable than 22 other NFL teams and every baseball team but the Yankees and Dodgers.

The remaining factors are made up of the Ravens relationship with state of Maryland, the wealth of their owner, their media market and their rabid fan base.  M&T Bank Stadium is one of the best NFL stadiums in the country and allows the Ravens to sell almost 72,000 tickets and more than 100 luxury boxes to each game.  Not only are these tickets sold to every game, but the secondary market demand is enormous.  This stadium is a product of the Maryland Stadium Authority which has a very desirable partnership with the Ravens.  The Ravens are also able to host college football events, lacrosse games, soccer matches concerts and other events as additional revenue streams.

Ravens Owners Steve Bisciotti is one of the wealthiest owners in the NFL and wealthiest residents of Maryland.  His own investment has certainly helped the Ravens value which includes their training facility that is considered by many to be the nicest in the NFL.  That same facility was recently named the Under Amour Performance Center, thus another source of revenue.  He is also able to use his own money and revenue to lure the best coaches, management and scouts, all of which can increase the value of their brand.  Their ability to keep Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta is a great example of this as he has been pursued by many other franchises looking for a GM.

While Baltimore plays in the 24th largest media market and 21st largest radio market, they are essentially in a top five market nationally when you combine Baltimore and Washington.  Why is Washington involved when they have their own team?  Baltimore has a radio contract in Washington with WFED/WTOP-AM and most of the Ravens games are televised on Washington affiliates, unless NFL rules protecting the broadcasting station of the Washington Redskins prevents them from doing so.  They also feature shows and coverage on Comcast SportsNet and MASN, two stations that are present in both markets as well as many regions south of Washington and into Delaware and southern Pennsylvania.  The Ravens also get print coverage in the Washington Post.

Then, of course, there is the fans.  Every game is a sellout and merchandise flies off the racks.  Though the team has been here for just 16 seasons, they have become an integral presence in the Baltimore area and we have even seen their product grow outside the region. Large Ravens fans clubs have popped up in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and many locations throughout the country.

The Ravens are an enormous success economically and are something most Baltimoreans should be very proud of.  The Ravens have also recently increased marketing efforts to the eastern shore of Maryland and southern Delaware, as well as hosting a training camp practice this year in Annapolis, an area known for split allegiances between Baltimore and Washington, DC.  With all of this success with only one Super Bowl title, one can only imagine where their value might be if the young core of Flacco, Rice and Webb can bring this franchise a couple more trophies.


The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper:

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
Filed in: News, Sports