The Los Angeles Lakers might not be winning on the court, but they're certainly winning off the court.
According to a recent report by Brand Finance, the world's leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy, the Lakers are the second most valuable brand in the NBA.
Brand Finance annually evaluates 5,000 of the world's biggest brands and publishes over 100 reports, ranking those brands across all sectors and countries.
One of those reports is on the strongest NBA brands, and it ranks all 30 teams, including what the value of that team's brand is globally. That value is determined by the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.
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In addition to a brand's value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of the brands by giving them a strength score. That scorecard is determined by a series of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.
The Lakers brand received a score of 85.4 out of 100, and a brand value of $693 million dollars globally. That ranked second only to the Golden State Warriors who received a score of 86.1 out of 100 and a brand value of $712 million globally.
Contributing to the Warriors being named the world's most valuable basketball brand was winning their seventh NBA championship back in June of this year. The Lakers are tied for the most titles in history with 17, but recent success definitely played a role in the brand evaluation, as the Warriors have won four championships in the last eight years. The Lakers have only won one title (2020) in that same span.
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Similar to the Warriors, the Lakers have a very large global fanbase that the franchise has invested heavily in when it comes to marketing and merchandising. Assisting both the Lakers and Warriors in their brand value is having a plethora of global superstars on their roster over the years like LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and the late Kobe Bryant. The Warriors have also done an excellent job of marketing Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as Kevin Durant when he won two titles with the team in 2017 and 2018.
By comparison, the Lakers brand score of 85.4 is similar to global brands like McDonalds and PayPal.
"The Brand Finance NBA Rankings demonstrate that success on the court is important but investing in marketing and merchandising whilst proactively engaging with fans is vital for brand success," said Hugo Hensley, Brand Finance Head of Sports Services. "Strong brands can help maintain revenue for teams whether performing well on the court or not, ensuring long term sustainability and ultimately increasing their chances of success."
Rounding out the top five was the New York Knicks (brand value of $332M) in third place, the Chicago Bulls (brand value of $332M) in fourth place, and the Boston Celtics (brand value of $331M) in fifth place.
The brand value rankings also line up closely to Forbes annual NBA franchise valuations. The Warriors are first on that list as well with a valuation of $7 billion. The Knicks and Lakers are second and third with valuations of $6.1 billion and $5.9 billion, respectively. The Bulls ($4.1 billion) and the Celtics ($4 billion) round out the top five.
For the full rankings of all 30 NBA teams brand value, as well as additional insights, charts, and more information on Brand Finance's methodology, check out the full NBA 2022 report here.