On a list of the world’s largest licensors, published annually by USPA Global Licensing Inc.’s Licence Global magazine, and including organizations from all industries, U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) was once again the top-ranked sports rights holder on a list of the world’s largest licensors in 2018. Its retail sales in that year were said to be $5.5 billion. Regardless of industry, the MLB ranks 10th in the overall list. The entertainment giant Walt Disney Company came in first with retail sales of $54.7 billion.
The second strongest sports rights holder among the associations is the National Football League (NFL) in 16th place, with retail sales of $3.3 billion. It is followed by the National Basketball Association - $3.2bn (17th place), US Polo Assn/USPA Global Licensing - $1.7bn (36), NFL Players’ Association - $1.65bn (37), National Hockey League - $1.3bn (42), Nascar - $1bn (49), WWE - $1bn (52), PGA Tour - $855m (54), Major League Soccer - $420m (77) and Ironman - $337m (88).
Authentic Brands Group, which includes Nautica, Volcom, Prince, Airwalk, Spyder and Sports Illustrated Media, is leading the sports brand category and ranks 5th overall with $9 billion. The Iconix Brand Group (including Umbro, Starter, Pony, Ocean Pacific and Ecko) was ranked 8th overall with $7bn, the Sequential Brands Group (Avia, Heelys, DVS, And1, etc.) 13th with $4bn and Pentland Brands from the U.K. (Speedo, Berghaus, Ellesse, KangaRoos, etc.) 20th with $3bn. At number 79 with $400m, Goodyear (including footwear soles, but also e-bikes and e-scooters and more) joins the 150 strongest licensors. Michelin Lifestyle (footwear soles, among many other products) comes in at 83 with $378m. Skechers USA ($300m) comes in at 93.