LONDON: Vodafone, the mobile telecoms giant, is the most valuable British brand while erstwhile rival BT is one of the biggest gainers of the past year, according to a new report from Brand Finance.

Brands of British Origin 2014 valued brands originating from the UK, based on calculating the royalties a company would have to pay to license a brand if it did not own it. It found the top three spots occupied by the same brands as the year before with Vodafone replacing oil company Shell in the top spot and HSBC bank remaining in third.

Orange, another mobile telecoms business, took fourth spot, and retailer Tesco rounded out the top five.

A 67% leap in value saw BT move from 12th to seventh, a move largely attributable to the launch of BT Sport in a move aimed at growing its share of the broadband market.

Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh noted that BT Sport had been set up "almost overnight", acquiring sporting TV rights and talent in a 12 month period.

"This bold move was a risk to the BT brand and to the business itself given the scale of the investment," he told Marketing Week. "So far this new content-focused strategy, investing huge sums in rugby and Premier League football, appears to be paying off."

The role of football in acquiring and retaining broadband customers was emphasised when Sky, BT's rival in this market and ranked 14th in the Brand Finance report, announced it was launching a new channel dedicated to European football with an incentive of two years' free unlimited broadband access.

Interestingly, The Co-operative Group registered a 45% increase in brand valuation despite a year in which mistakes on the financial services side of the business threatened to bring the whole enterprise to its knees.

Data sourced from Brand Finance, Marketing Week, Sky, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff