English Premiership side, Manchester United, have become the first sports team in the world to be valued at more than $3bn.
A sudden rise in the club’s shares after a poor start when they were offered on the New York Stock Exchange in August has seen the overall value of United rise to $3.3bn (£2.1bn). According to Forbes, United are comfortably ahead of the world’s second-most valuable sports team, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.1bn (£1.4bn).
Manchester United shares, initially offered to the public at $14, are now worth just under $17. It means a huge increase in the overall wealth of the Glazer family, who have a controlling interest in United, and the billionaire investor George Soros – the 22nd richest person in the world – who bought a 7.5% stake in the club.
The club’s commercial growth appears to be driving the share price up, with the club announcing several new sponsorship deals since August. Other contributing factors are qualification for the Champions League knockout stages and the prospect of the new bumper Premier League television deals that are coming on stream from August.