Sponsor Insights

FIFA World Cup Fan Festival Hits 6 Cities Worldwide

During the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the concept of “Fan Fest” was replaced by the “Fan Festival” concept.

FIFA’s plan was to reintroduce the Fan Fest as a more diverse and inclusive entertainment offering encompassing a wide variety of cultures, art, music, food and football outside the stadiums. The concept will also be rolled out during the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

On December 4, the FIFA Fan Festival celebrated the 1 Millionth Visitor milestone across all of the Fan Fests this year.

For this years World Cup, FIFA approved 6 Fan Festival sites hosted by AB InBev

  • BudX Fan Festivals in London, Seoul and Dubai
  • Corona Fan Festival in Mexico
  • Brahma Fan Festivals in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro 
  • Coca-Cola Fan Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Some of the Fan Festival activations

  • Interactive physical and digital football game stations
  • Sponsored activations 
  • Appearances from FIFA Legends
  • Official stores with licensed World Cup merchandise. 
  • Content within the FIFA+ streaming platform. 
  • A hat and cup from Budweiser for fans who attended the event in London, and an opportunity to win an England shirt signed by a football legend.
  • In London, Budweiser gave fans the opportunity to win an England signed shirt by a football legend.
  • An adidas-sponsored fan activation in Mexico where attendees played Teqball, a football-based sport played on a specially curved table within a designated area. 
  • adidas also gave away little footballs before, during, and after games. After all games ended, the event host would throw 5 adidas balls into the crowd.
  • Coca-Cola branding across all of the table football (foosball tables) at the event in Mexico City.

Thanks to a new licensing model FIFA introduced in 2022, existing and future FIFA partners can launch local Fan Festivals in major cities outside the host countries to make the tournament experience more accessible for the global fan community.

  • SponsorUnited was in attendance at the festivals in London, Mexico City, Dubai and will be going to Doha on December 17th.

Inside College Football’s Busiest Season

With the end of the year quickly approaching, that means it’s College Bowl time. 41 college football bowls were announced over the weekend and will kick off mid-December. Some bowl games have histories that span decades while others have stories that are just beginning.

The Capital One Orange Bowl, Tennessee (6) vs. Clemson (10)
The Orange Bowl has been played annually since January 1, 1935, making it the second-oldest bowl game in the country behind the Rose Bowl. Capital One has been the title sponsor since 2014. In total, 131 brands are buying sponsorships / media with the Orange Bowl including 13 different Auto brands. 

The Allstate Sugar Bowl, Alabama (5) vs. Kansas State (11)
The Sugar Bowl, along with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country. Allstate has been the title sponsor since 2007, and is currently the brands largest partnership when ranked by sponsorship assets . Close to 100 brands are in partnership buying sponsorships / media with the Sugar Bowl, 10 of which are media companies and 9 are QSR brands such as Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Subway. 

The Rose Bowl, Utah (8) vs. Penn State (11)
“The Granddaddy of Them All” aka The Rose Bowl oldest operating college football bowl game. It was first played in 1902. Capital One has been the presenting sponsor of the previous two years of the Rose Bowl. Last season’s game, 10 brands partnered with the Rose Bowl on social media for 27 posts that generated 11k in engagement. 

The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented by Stifel
In only its 2nd year, The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented by Stifel will be played again at SoFi Stadium where Washington State will take on Fresno State. Since its inaugural season, The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl has partnered with 59 brands who bought sponsorship or media, including 9 different auto brands such as Toyota, who partners with 30 different bowls.

Myrtle Beach Bowl
The Myrtle Beach Bowl is a college football bowl game first played in December 2020 in Conway, South Carolina, and owned by ESPN Events. Of the 108 brands bought sponsorship or media with the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 9 are leisure and recreation brands, including Myrtle Waves and Darlington Raceway. This year’s edition will feature Marshall University and UCONN.

Cheez It Bowl
The Cheez It Bowl is an annual college football bowl game that is played in Orlando, Florida, at Camping World Stadium. Originally commissioned as the Sunshine Classic in 1990, the bowl has undergone several name changes, with Cheez It being the title sponsor 2020. Along with being the title sponsor for its own bowl game, Cheez-It has partnered with 25 other bowl games in various capacities. On social media, last year’s Cheez It Bowl generated 14.3K in engagement from 15 brands that accumulated 98 posts. This year’s edition will feature Florida State University and the University of Oklahoma.


Forward-Thinking Brands Took the Metaverse by Storm in 2022

Web 3.0-related technology continued to develop rapidly throughout 2022, as an ever-growing influx of brands and properties invested nearly $2B in the Metaverse and the variety of available digital asset offerings continued to expand.

Brands are getting increasingly creative in their entry to the new Web 3.0 virtual reality. Here are some of SU’s favorite examples from the last year:

  • A partnership between Metaverse platform’s Decentraland and Atari saw the creation of an Atari Arcade that operates on Ethereum blockchain. Players can also explore and search for exclusive wearables throughout the platform’s Casino.

  • Tequila maker Patrón activated its Pop-Up Series on Decentraland–a virtual experience including various quests that give users the opportunity to win prizes and exclusive wearables. 
  • Forbes worked with Metaverse platform The Sandbox to create a first-of-its-kind event on November 10, aimed at offering more opportunities for members and subscribers to socialize in the Metaverse. Forbes digital subscribers received a wearable NFT as their ticket to enter the Metaverse, while the initiative included quests to find different areas of the platform’s property, including a DJ booth, bar, and dance floor. 
  • HSBC/World Rugby Sevens Series launched virtual rugby quests in The Sandbox, becoming the first global bank to acquire a plot of land in Metaverse platform. The bank staged a virtual stadium in The Sandbox from 24 October to 14 November to activate its first community initiative. 
  • eSports organization FaZe Clan named its 12×12 virtual plot of land in The Sandbox “FaZe World,” where it will co-produce experiences including virtual events and games with the Metaverse platform.This gamified activation aims to allow users to learn more about FaZe and engage with its roster of talent. 
  • Beats by Dre partnered with Ja Morant–a non-playable character (NPC) that hosts various in-game missions–to develop the Roblox game “Dunking Simulator.” This “Dark Mode” virtual experience evolved from a recent Beats campaign, highlighting the mutual admiration between rapper Lil Baby and Ja Morant. 
  • Claire’s created Roblox game “ShimmerVille,” where users can earn digital currency through interactive retail jobs, playing mini games, or just by spending time in the digital experience. Players can also select from 15 different pets to accompany them throughout Claire’s virtual world.
  • Mattel partnered with Roblox to build roleplay-style game “Barbie Livetopia,” a virtual activation aimed at celebrating the Barbie Dreamhouse’s 60th anniversary. Custom NPCs within the game represent different characters, including Barbie and her friends. 
  • Invisalign launched a Roblox virtual experience that included an explorable dentist office, equipped with exam rooms and two mini games. Winners of the playable games are rewarded with uniforms for their digital avatars, and digital coins to buy Invisalign-branded outfits. 
  • The U.S. Open Tennis Championship and Grey Goose teamed up with Decentraland to build an immersive lounge experience that included “The Honeydew Hunt” game.

USA vs. England FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

The much anticipated USA vs England FIFA World Cup match begins in just a few hours. Take a look at some of the new and extended partnerships brands have activated across both teams.


11/16, Legends Partnership Extended with USA
Less than a week before the USMT’s first World Cup game of 2022 vs. Wales, Legends announced a partnership extension with the U.S. Soccer Federation. The new multi-year agreement builds on a previous four-year partnership to keep Legends as the provider for all U.S. Soccer Store experiences both online and at events. New objectives of this agreement include future plans to implement an elevated version of the Visa Fan Studio, a mobile unit that can be stationed at U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches.

11/7, U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen announce partnership extension
Almost a month before the start of the FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced a multi-year partnership extension with Volkswagen. The extension follows the German manufacturers continued growth of electric vehicles, including the ID.4 SUV and upcoming ID. Buzz. New efforts for the partnership include a focus on sustainability and electrification, as U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen will team up to work towards actionable sustainability initiatives and encouraged EV adoption.

11/3, Anheuser-Busch singed a multi-year sponsorship extension with U.S. Soccer
The longest strategic partner of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Anheuser-Busch, announced a partnership renewal that builds off the pre-existing 35-year relationship. The extension includes Kickoff Parties before select World Cup matches that include live entertainment, giveaways, and guest appearances from influencers and alumni. Matt Davis, the Head of Sports Marketing of Anheuser-Busch, focused on supporting the continued growth of the U.S. soccer’s growing fanbase.


5/30, Nuffled Health announced new partnership with the England FA
As part of a five-year partnership, Nuffled Health was announced as the FA’s Official Health and Wellbeing Partner. The partnership aims to improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities through the mental and physical benefits brought by the game of football.

5/23, Marks & Spencer (M&S) announced new joint partnership with England FA and more
To help promote the brand’s food division, M&S tapped England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland FA as part of a joint partnership. The campaign began in July, and includes both physical inventory and content integrations featuring star players from the country’s national team rosters.

Grey Cup Final

The Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s will take on the Toronto Argonauts at the Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for the 109th Grey Cup.

Twitter is utilized the most for both teams. Not only do both sports teams have their highest social following on Twitter, but all social deals between both teams include Twitter posts. Canada Life was the most leveraged brand for the Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s on Twitter, accumulating 74 posts and 20k+ engagements within the past year. Bell Media was leveraged the most for the Toronto Argonauts on Twitter, amassing 30 posts and 2.8k+ engagements in the past year.

Grey Cup Final

The Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s will take on the Toronto Argonauts at the Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for the 109th Grey Cup.
Twitter is utilized the most for both teams. Not only do but both team’s have their highest social following on Twitter, but all social deals between both teams include Twitter posts. Canada Life was the most leveraged brand for the Winnipeg Blue Bomber’s on Twitter, accumulating 74 posts and 20k+ engagements with the team in the past year. Bell Media was leveraged the most for the Toronto Argonauts on Twitter, amassing  30 posts and for 2.8k+ engagements. 

Rugby World Cup

The New Zealand Black Ferns defeated the England Red Roses in a 34-31 victory that broke multiple records and milestones for women’s Rugby.

Not only did the match sell out New Zealand’s world famous Eden Park, but the game also broke TV broadcast viewership records with an audience of over 1.2M according to Three’s owners Warner Bros. The Black Ferns made history with their victory as well, becoming the first ever host nation to win the tournament.

Additionally, this year’s competition was the first women’s Rugby World Cup that was no longer branded as the “Women’s” Rugby World Cup but instead just Rugby World Cup, ensuring there’s no difference with the men’s tournament.

Worldwide partner Mastercard was seen the most frequently of any brand during the event, leveraging signage, digital assets, and even sponsoring the “Player of the Match” award. Other Worldwide partners of the event included Capgemini, Land Rover, DHL, and Canon.

To learn more about other women’s sports leagues and athletes, visit https://sponsorunited.com/women-sports-2022-report/.

USMNT FIFA World Cup Endorsements

The much anticipated United States men’s national team’s roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was released last night in New York.

The formation below portrays the players with the most endorsements and is mostly supported by brands such as AT&Tadidas and JLab.

CMA Awards

The 56th Annual CMA Awards take place tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

Take a look at the social game and endorsement deals of the 5 nominees for Entertainer of the Year.

Golden Glove Endorsements

Rising stars took over the MLB Gold Glove Winners list with 14 players earning the award for the first time across the AL and NL leagues. With many new faces winning for the 1st time, brands will have the opportunity to capitalize on these rising stars.

Athletic apparel and equipment brands most frequently partnered with this year’s Gold Glove Award Winners, led by Rawling Sporting Goods (6), Franklin Sports (5), New Balance (4), and Nike (4).

To learn more about endorsement deals in the MLB and much more, visit HERE.