New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. Reuters

When the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI, it was another notch in the legacy belt of one of the NFL's longest-running family-owned franchises.

Eighty-seven years after its patriarch took the plunge to invest, the Mara family is the standard of success in running an NFL franchise. John K. Mara, along with partners Steve and Jonathan Tisch, run the fourth most-profitable franchise in the NFL, according to Forbes, right behind the Patriots and in front of its New York counterpart -- the Jets. Its Forbes value stands at $1.3 billion.

Forbes numbers show that value could grow next year. The last Super Bowl champion, the Green Bay Packers, climbed five spots from 2010 to 2011 -- from 14th to ninth overall out of 30 NFL teams. A championship fosters increased fan support, which theoretically leads to increased ticket and merchandise sales as well as increased sponsorship, said Alana Glass, a Forbes contributor, in a phone interview.

It could be likely that the Giants jump one or two spots based on this win, Glass said.

The history of the Mara family's investment in the Giants dates back to 1925, when Tim Mara -- John's grandfather -- bought the team for $500, which, adjusted for inflation, comes out to about $6,165, according to Forbes. This came amid football's reduced standing in the American sports landscape.

It was amazing to see the founder's grandson there holding the trophy, Glass said. They invested during a time when football was not as popular.

Now, John Mara carries on the family legacy with Steve and Jonathan Tisch. Their father, Preston Robert Tisch, bought half a share of the Giants in 1991. John Mara acts as president and chief executive officer of the Giants, while Jonathan and Steve Tisch serve as treasurer and chairman & executive vice president, respectively.

The Giants' one-year value change jumped 10 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to Forbes. Revenue jumped from $241 million to $293 million, largely based on the stadium naming rights deal from MetLife. And operating income leaped from $2.1 million to $40.6 million. Revenue per fan climbed from $9 to $14, based on Forbes estimates. Some of those fans will gather in New York Tuesday to celebrate the Giants' Super Bowl win in a victory parade that ends at City Hall, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg hands the team members keys to the city.

Here's a breakdown of the Giants' value over the past decade.

2002: $514 million

2003: $573 million

2004: $692 million

2005: $806 million

2006: $890 million

2007: $974 million

2008: $1.178 billion

2009: $1.183 billion

2010: $1.182 billion

2011: $1.3 billion