Super Bowl tops Forbes' most valuable brands

The world's most popular sport may be soccer, but in cold, hard dollars, nobody throws a party like the National Football League.

The NFL's Super Bowl tops Forbes' first list of the world's most valuable sporting events brands, worth $379 million. Following the Super Bowl were the Summer Olympics ($176 million) and soccer's World Cup ($103 million).

Our proprietary list of sporting event brand valuations was compiled by adding up television rights fees (or advertising revenues for events like Major League Baseball's World Series, where the fee for the championship games is not broken out from the regular season or other postseason games), sponsorship revenue from signage inside the stadium, ticket receipts and licensing revenue.

We then divided this amount by the number of days of competition. (Note: For the NCAA's March Madness, we only considered revenues for the Final Four bracket, for comparability to championship series in other sports.)

Why is the Super Bowl so valuable? Commercial inventory for last year's game on ABC -- owned by the Walt Disney Co. -- amounted to $154 million, based on a record $2.5 million commercial rate for 30 seconds of airtime. Sprint Nextel paid $12 million to sponsor halftime, a figure that is expected to be topped by PepsiCo when the Colts play the Bears in Super Bowl XLI on Sunday.

The Super Bowl's licensing program generated a record $140 million, with the largest share coming from Reebok, owned by German apparel maker adidas. And thanks to an average ticket price of $613, gate receipts provided $31 million in revenue (net of the 25 percent of the tickets the NFL gives to the media, sponsors and league affiliates).

In terms of total revenue, next summer's Olympics will rake in more than any other sporting event, $3 billion. The Beijing Games will leverage their global audience with $1.7 billion from broadcasters, a record for the Olympics.

But because the Olympics cover 17 days, its brand value is $203 million less than the Super Bowl.

The International Olympic Committee is using the Summer Games' popularity to enhance the value of the Winter Games, which are ranked seventh on our list with a value of $82 million. As part of the Olympic Committee's international sponsorship program, all companies based outside of the host country must sponsor the Winter Games as a prerequisite to sponsoring the summer event two years later.

Once considered almost exclusively a sport of the U.S. South, stock car racing has become the second most popular sport in the country. Worth $91 million, NASCAR's Daytona 500 is our fourth most valuable brand.

Last year's race took home $47 million from broadcaster Fox, which is owned by News Corp. Despite the lack of a truly international audience, NASCAR's top race garners four times the revenue of rival Formula One's fabled Monaco Grand Prix.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on our list is an annual college football game. The Rose Bowl Game ranked No. 5, ahead of the NCAA Men's Final Four, the World Series and the NBA finals, with a value of $88 million.

The Rose Bowl is traditionally a contest where the Big Ten and Pac 10 champions battle it out, and its value is due in large part to its eight-year, $300 million contract with ABC. Even though sportscaster Keith Jackson, who became a legend with his famous play-by-play of the Rose Bowl, has retired, the game still remains the granddaddy of all college bowl games.