Dallas Cowboys Are World’s No. 1 Most Profitable Sports Team, Forbes Says

In the past three years alone, the 'Pokes pulled down $1.17 billion in operating income, according to Forbes' list of The Most Profitable Teams in Sports. 

The Dallas Cowboys pile up more than some of the NFL’s leading offensive and defensive statistics. They also stack up profits—more than any other team on earth by far, according to a new Forbes report.

In the past three years alone, the ‘Pokes pulled down $1.17 billion in operating income, according to Forbes’ list of The Most Profitable Teams in Sports

That astonishing figure was nearly double the 3-year operating income of the next team on the list: the New England Patriots, who made $623 million in profits, followed at No. 3 by the soccer team Tottenham Hotspur of England’s Premier League ($414 million); at No. 4 by the NBA team New York Knicks ($404 million); and at No. 5 by England’s Manchester United ($403 million).

Surprisingly, the NFL’s Houston Texans—despite posting three straight woeful losing seasons of 4-12, 4-13, and 3-13-1—rank No. 6 on the list with $356 million.

All the above figures are based on 3-year total operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), Forbes said.

In 2022, the Cowboys became the first sports franchise in history to be worth $8 billion, topping Forbes’ 2022 NFL Valuations list. 

Cowboys are innovative in off-field business, too

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones presents Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith with jersey after announcing partnership in April 2022. [Photo: Blockchain.com/PR Newswire]

The Cowboys don’t just make their money on the gridiron. That’s because “The Dallas Cowboys” is a business, an organization, not just a bunch of players in pads and helmets wearing the Star. 

In 2022, the team announced a partnership with Blockchain.com, whose Co-Founder and CEO Peter Smith said the Cowboys “have more fans than crypto companies have users.” 

In another area, the Cowboys have been huddling closer to gaming and esports for years. In April, the organization kicked off its own “Dallas Cowboys Game Time” gaming platform and community, in a collaboration with Toronto-based GameSquare.

The Cowboys are also king at attracting lucrative sponsorships, including a 10-year, $200 million deal with Molson Coors. “In 2021, the Cowboys pulled in over $220 million in stadium advertising and sponsorship revenue, more than double that of any other team,” Forbes noted in 2022.

The Cowboys operate AT&T Stadium, known as “Jerry’s World,” as another profit center, hosting year-round events from the likes of Beyoncé (coming September 21 with her Renaissance World Tour) and a long lineup of other sports clashes, wrestling entertainment specials, and more. Last December, the organization announced a $295 million upgrade to refresh premium spaces that are set for lease renewals, as well as upgrading back-end systems and technology in the run-up to the 2026 World Cup.

No MLB or NHL teams made the Forbes Most Profitable list

Forbes’ list features 25 teams, and more than half (13) are NFL franchises, thanks to highly profitable broadcasting deals. “In 2021, each of the NFL’s 32 teams raked in a total of $198 million from Fox, ESPN, CBS, and NBC,” Forbes writes.

Five soccer teams made the list—four of them in England (Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool) and one in Germany (Bayern Munich).

“No NHL or MLB teams made the list in part because their live gate suffered during the pandemic, which crushed profits, and because their broadcasting deals are not as rich as those of the NFL or the NBA,” Forbes noted.

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