MLS: Driving Economic Growth
The US is geared for an exciting phase in football…or soccer, as they say.FIFA will soon set up a permanent office in Miami, World Cup 2026 is coming up, and Messi’s arrival has rapidly accelerated the interest of the sport. And the business growth of MLS continues to expand. From media rights to attendances, as well as club valuations. Below we analyse several factors that evidence the continued surge of MLS. 1. New Broadcasting Deal with AppleApple and MLS announced a 10-year, US. $2.5 billion global broadcast partnership. Its importance lies in two factors:
- It’s a direct-to-consumer deal across all geographical boundaries
- Increases stability and annual rights value (as shown below)
2. Upswing in Matchday AttendancesThere is a +5% increase in attendance over 2022 figures. Below we can see a gradual upswing in stadium attendances.
Interesting to compare MLS average attendance in 2023 with the ¨Big 5¨ Leagues in 2023/24.Although placed in 6th position, MLS is not far behind LaLiga or Ligue 1.
3. Increase in MLS Club ValuationsAs per Forbes, the average MLS club valuation has increased by nearly 85% since 2019 to $579 in 2023. Factors contributing to this surge include:
- No promotion/relegation, therefore a secured revenue
- Salary caps
- Increasing media rights and other revenues
Forbes valuations place 7 MLS teams in the top 30 most valuable football clubs in 2023, alongside 12 clubs from the Premier League.
Sportico on the other hand, places 3 MLS clubs in the top 20.Interestingly, in both cases, the ¨Valuation to Revenue Multiplier¨ is highest amongst all the leagues. A metric calculated by dividing the market value of the club by its annual revenue.
To conclude, the future looks very promising for MLS.Hope you found value in the analysis. Stay tuned for our next content piece!