- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 15, 2016

With the relatively new appeal of the Washington Redskins coaching staff and front office, an apparent franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins and a major free agency signing in cornerback Josh Norman, everything is really starting to look up for the football franchise.

Everything, except, well, its ranks among NFL franchise value.

According to Forbes’ new evaluation of each NFL franchise, the Redskins ranked fifth among their peers in total franchise value, down from third in the 2015 ranking.

However, in 2015, Washington’s franchise value was $2.85 billion. In 2016, that number has jumped to $2.95 billion, a 4 percent increase.

That number has risen dramatically over the last several years. Ten years ago, the Redskins’ franchise had a value of $1.467 billion, nearly half of the current value.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder purchased the team for $800 million in 1999, the most expensive purchase in sport franchise history at that time.

The Dallas Cowboys ranked as Forbes’ most valuable franchise, valued at $4.20 billion. The New England Patriots, New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers are the only other franchises with more value than the Redskins.

The Redskins’ 4 percent change in year-to-year value is 1 percent less than the Cowboys, 2 percent less than the Patriots, 7 percent less than the Giants and 49ers. In fact, Washington’s 4 percent increase in year-to-year value is tied with the Houston Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles as the lowest increase amongst the top-ten most valuable franchises.

Despite the Redskins’ 2015 success, attendance dropped by nearly 1,800 fans per game last season. Thousands of seats were removed in FedEx Field prior to the start of the season. It was the third time in five seasons Washington removed seats from their stadium.

The Redskins also bring in a low amount of revenue through their branding. According to Forbes, the value of the Redskins brand is $221 million, just 7.5 percent of the Redskins’ total value. To put that in perspective, the Cowboys brand value is $577 million, 13.7 percent of the total franchise value. In fact, only the Los Angeles Rams, in their first season back in Los Angeles, have a lower branding percentage relating to franchise value.

The Redskins controversial name certainly does not help the cause. 

And, in looking at this very issue in 2013, two sports branding consultants, Anthony Fernandez and Matt Levine, both believed that a rebranding of the Redskins would result in an increase in revenue generated through branding.

“The benefits are only going to outweigh the negatives,” Fernandez said. “I think their existing business partners will want to be part of this. But it will also pave the way for new business. If old business goes away, there’s new business to pick up the slack.”

However, it would be a bit of an initial sting for Snyder. The rebranding of the Redskins name would like cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

While the value of the Redskins isn’t rising as quickly as other franchises, it still saw a year-to-year increase in total value. And with $447 million in revenue this past year, the Redskins are still widely successful in the grand scheme of things.

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