A survey conducted by Brand Licensing Europe has found that Manchester United continue to lead the way when it comes to commercial licensing potential among sports teams in Europe.
The football giants took 90 per cent of votes cast by over 400 respondents to the survey. Criteria included licensing the brand to third parties for use in merchandise such as clothing, toys, games, books and films.
Real Madrid was ranked second, while US properties NY Yankees, LA Lakers and the Dallas Cowboys took the majority of the remaining votes.
The survey also analysed the licensing potential of major sporting events, with the World Cup coming top, followed by Euro 2012, London 2012, Formula 1 and the Tour de France.
Over 29 per cent felt that major retailers provided the strongest platform for a property to enter into a market. A well established stadium shop - such as the superstore at Old Trafford - is also viewed as an important part of monetising a brand.
"The sport licensing landscape is continuing to evolve very quickly as we see sports properties using licensing as an increasingly important revenue stream," said Jessica Blue, event director of BLE.