YouGov’s FootballIndex allows us to take a more nuanced look at how the world’s top football clubs are performing in terms of consumer perceptions. In this piece, we examine the brand health of Premier League clubs in the world’s four most populous markets – China, India, the United States, and Indonesia.
To obtain a quick overview of club’s overall health in each market, we rank them by their Index score. The Index score is an average of scores based on a variety of key consumer perception metrics – relatability with players and coaches of a team, club management, fan culture, club tradition, attractiveness of the team’s playing style and the perception of a club’s success.
Manchester United’s on-field performances have declined in recent years, but they remain the champions when it comes to brand perception. The club has the highest Index score of all football clubs tracked in each of India (20.1), the US (16.3) and Indonesia (30.1), respectively. Even in China, where it ranks fifth overall, it outperforms all other Premier League clubs.
United’s cross-city rival, Manchester City, is beginning to reap the dividends of consistent successes on the field. In India (16.1) and the US (10.9), it ranks second among Premier League clubs on the Index score. Liverpool claims the second spot among consumers in China (10.3) and Indonesia (22.3).
Chelsea ranks fourth on Index scores among Premier League clubs in each of the four markets. Arsenal scrapes into the overall top ten list in the US (6.8) and in Indonesia (9.3).
Let us take a closer look at how five Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal – perform in individual metrics in each market.
Manchester United tend to outscore the other clubs in each of the other metrics but racks up a particularly stellar lead over the other clubs for its Tradition in the US (35.9) and Indonesia (39.8).
Among consumers in India, the most favourable metric for Manchester United is Current Success (25.2). In fact, Manchester United ranks high in Current Success scores across markets in spite of the fact that the club has not won a Premier League title since 2012. This shows that fans’ perceptions of a club’s success go beyond merely what they achieve on the field – or at least those titles last long in the memory.
Manchester City takes the second spot in Current Success scores among consumers in the States and in India but fall behind Liverpool on that metric in China and Indonesia.
When it comes to fans’ ability to relate with players and coaches of a team, Manchester United face stiff competition from Liverpool in most markets. In fact, Liverpool (2.3) surpass The Red Devils (1.9) on that count among consumers in the US.
Liverpool generally also scores big points for the perception of its Club Management, and even ranks first in China (10.8) for this metric.
On the whole, the data demonstrates the sticky nature of fan following of Premier League clubs. Manchester United continue to claim the top spot on the Index Score across the world’s most populated markets even though they’ve not won major titles in close to 10 years. But on-field success does make an impact; Manchester City ranks second in the Current Success metric in two markets and is also rated highly for its Club Management.
FootballIndex data can allow the world’s top clubs to measure and track their successes off the field too, which may be as important as on-field triumphs when it comes to determining sponsorship valuations and club revenues.
Receive monthly topical insights about the sports industry, straight to your inbox. Sign up today
Discover more sports content here
Start building a survey now with YouGov Direct