The world's first real-time sponsorship evaluation engine, the POWA Index, has declared Liverpool as the fourth most commercially powerful sports club in the world, according to December rankings.

The POWA Index measures what impact match performances have on a brand's commercial value compared to other brands through the use of artificial intelligence.

Hertha BSC v FC Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly

With sponsors such as New Balance and Standard Chartered, the Merseyside team have leapfrogged ​Arsenal into fourth position. Much is due to their magnificent start to the campaign, with their ​recent victory over Burnley consolidating their best ever start to a top-flight season.

Having overtaken Arsenal, the Reds now find themselves behind ​Real Madrid​Barcelona and ​Manchester United as the fourth highest ranking club on the Index and eighth most powerful sponsorship platform, when leagues are taken into consideration.

Numerous factors are taken into account when reaching an overall score. The POWA Index analyses social media reach and engagement, online searches and performances on the pitch, among others.

The overall global table sees two major American leagues, the NBA and the NFL, sit in first and fourth respectively. Sandwiched between them, however, are Real Madrid, with key sponsors Emirates and Microsoft, and Barcelona, with key sponsors Nike and Qatar Airways. 

With big name players and an astronomical television rights deal, the Premier League is unsurprisingly well featured across the POWA Index. The brand itself is now the fourth most powerful sponsorship rights-holder, with a further five clubs also in the top 20.

POWA Index CEO Michael Flynn commented, as quoted by ​PlanetFootball: “Liverpool’s growth in the POWA Index has been notable this season. It shows how the substance and style of performances on the pitch can have an immediate impact on global fan interest and subsequently enhance sponsorship value.

“Significantly, all five of the world’s highest-ranked clubs in the POWA Index – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, ​Liverpool and Arsenal – have illustrious histories that have enabled them to build enormous fan-bases.

“However, in order for them to retain their sponsorship value, in an increasingly competitive environment, they will need to keep setting high standards on the field of play.”