The Los Angeles Lakers may not win on the court, but they will certainly win off the court.
According to a recent report from Brand Finance, a leading global brand valuation and strategy consulting firm, the Lakers are the second most valuable brand in the NBA.
Brand Finance annually evaluates 5,000 of the world’s largest brands and publishes more than 100 reports ranking brands across all industries and countries.
One of the reports, on the strongest NBA brands, ranks all 30 teams, including the value of that team’s brand globally. This value depends on the net economic benefit the brand owner derives from licensing the brand on the open market.
In addition to brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands by scoring them. The scorecard is determined by a series of metrics that evaluate marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance.
The Lakers brand scored 85.4 out of 100, with a global brand value of $693 million. That’s second only to the Golden State Warriors, who scored 86.1 out of 100 and a global brand value of $712 million.
The Warriors were named the world’s most valuable basketball brand after winning their seventh NBA championship in June. The Lakers are tied for the all-time championship title with 17, but recent success has undoubtedly played a role in the brand’s evaluation, as the Warriors have won four championships in the past eight years. The Lakers have only won one championship in the same period (2020).
Similar to the Warriors, the Lakers have a huge global fan base, and the team has invested heavily in marketing and merchandising. What helped the Lakers and Warriors enhance their brand value over the years was the sheer number of global superstars on their roster, such as LeBron James, Magic Johnson and the late Kobe Bryant. The Warriors also did a great job marketing Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant to win two championships in 2017 and 2018.
By comparison, the Lakers’ brand score of 85.4 is similar to global brands like McDonald’s and PayPal.
“The Brand Finance NBA rankings show that success on the court is important, but investing in marketing and merchandising while actively engaging with fans is critical to brand success,” said Hugo Hensley, Director of Sports Services at Brand Finance. “Regardless of performance on the pitch, a strong brand can help teams maintain revenue, ensure long-term sustainability and ultimately increase their chances of success.”
Rounding out the top five are the New York Knicks ($332 million brand value) at No. 3, the Chicago Bulls ($332 million brand value) No. 4, and the Boston Celtics ($331 million brand value) fifth.
Brand value rankings are also closely related to Forbes’ annual NBA team valuations. The Warriors also top the list 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 Celtics ($4 billion) round out the top five.
For a full ranking of the brand value of all 30 NBA teams, as well as more insights, graphs and more information on Brand Finance’s methodology, view the full NBA 2022 report here.