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The New York Yankees Pass Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi On Forbes SportsMoney Index

Baseball season is in full swing, and that means the latest Forbes list of baseball’s most valuable teams. The average team is now worth $1.54 billion, up 19% over last year. And no team is more valuable than the New York Yankees, worth $3.7 billion and now the second-most valuable sports team in the world behind only the Dallas Cowboys.

And in the latest update to the Forbes SportsMoney Index the Bronx Bombers have moved up three spots to No. 6, passing Cristiano Ronaldo, Creative Artists Agency and Lionel Messi. The top five still ahead of the Yankees are Nike, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Pepsi and LeBron James.

The SMI is the definitive ranking of the sports business world’s most powerful entities, including teams, athletes, brands and agencies. It accounts not only for financial wealth but also relationships with others throughout the sports business world, an area in which the Yankees excel. The team’s brand partners include Bank of America, Pepsi and Budweiser, while the Yanks are also one of just ten global sports teams to employ three athletes who appear on one of our highest-paid athletes lists (CC Sabathia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka).

The rival Boston Red Sox are up as well, moving 20 spots to No. 22 on the SMI and passing the likes of Neymar, ESPN and the Chicago Bulls. The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs, now worth $2.7 billion, are also up big, moving nearly 50 places to No. 44 on the list. That puts the Cubs ahead of McDonald’s and Steph Curry.

 But it’s not just baseball’s most valuable franchises that are surging up our ranking of the sports business world’s most powerful. The Chicago White Sox (baseball’s 15th most valuable team at $1.35 billion), Pittsburgh Pirates (17th, $1.25 billion) and Oakland Athletics (29th, $880 million) are also among the biggest movers in our latest SMI update.
Among the athletes the biggest jump belongs to David Price, who leaped a whopping 79 spots thanks to becoming baseball’s second-highest paid player. He now ranks No. 102, ahead of the Buffalo Bills, Fox and even Clayton Kershaw, who sits atop baseball’s earnings list. Though Kershaw makes more money and has the stronger team connection, Price’s relationship with Nike, which has held the No. 1 spot on the SMI since its debut, pushes Boston’s lefty ace ahead.
Source:  Chris Smith ,  FORBES

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