Sponsor Insights

Social Media Influencers = Powerful Marketing

Partnering with influencers on leading social media platforms has become a strategic way for brands to build equity and reach completely new audiences. As Cara Stucker, SponsorUnited’s senior manager of endorsements, explains, “The thing about influencer marketing is, all brands can do it. Working with influencers allows brands extreme flexibility–whatever the budget, target audience, campaign length or type of media, influencers will make it happen.”

UPDATE: Earlier today, news broke of a new partnership with Khaby Lame. Binance has signed Lame as their newest brand ambassador to grow the Binance ecosystem leveraging the power of Lame’s social media. Binance announced the partnership via their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Here’s the list of top influencers (by number of followers) tracked in the SponsorUnited database, and their top three brand deals across all social media channels.

TikTok:

1. Khaby Lame – 144.4M
Hugo Boss, Amazon Prime Student, Disney

2. Charli D’Amelio – 142.8M
Step, Morphe, Takis

3. Bella Poarch – 90.3M
Cash App, Moncler, HyperX

4. Addison Rae – 88.1M
ITEM Beauty, American Eagle Outfitters, Vital Proteins

5. Zach King – 68.8M
Credit Karma, Amazon, Google (Alphabet)

Instagram:

1. Khaby Lame – 78.4M

2. Larissa Machado (Anitta) – 62.7M
adidas, Samsung, Sol de Janeiro

3. Whindersson Nunes – 58.5M
Subway

4. Huda Kattan – 50.6M
ASOS, Sephora, Harrod’s

5. Lele Pons – 49M
Adore Me, PUBG

Twitter:

1. Whindersson Nunes – 25.4M

2. Ruben ‘El Rubius’ Doblas – 19.3MM
Amazon Prime Student, Paco Rabanne, Drift Gaming

3. AuronPlay (Raul Alvarez) – 15.9M
Fanta, LG Electronics, Amazon Prime Video

4. Cameron Dallas – 14.8M
boohooMan, Ralph Lauren, Crypto Demonz

5. Felipe Neto – 14.5M
N/A

Facebook:

1. Noel Arevalo – 74.7M
Inno Supps, Fashion Nova

2. Alexandra Mary Hirschi (Supercar Blondie) – 47M
VinFast, Driver Ape Racing Club, Xbox

3. Dhar Mann- 28M
N/A

4. Kayla Itsines – 28M
sweat, iFit, P.E. Nation

5. Luisito Comunica – 23M
Rey Palomo, Gran Malo, Deigo CDMX

*The nine categories considered when pulling data: beauty/fashion, fitness, food/travel, kids/family, pet, reality tv, tech/science, esports, and other social media influencers. 

Spirits | Category Report

The Spirits (Vodka) category has 80+ brands buying sponsorships or media across all property types.

Ranked by total sponsorships, brand leaders in this category include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Smirnoff, and New Amsterdam Vodka.

Spirits Category Report

GameDay Vodka | Brand Spotlight

We highlight the sponsorship and media portfolio of GameDay Vodka. The spirit brand has a significant presence in both the National Football League and Power 5 Schools & Conferences.

GameDay Vodka Brand Spotlight

MLB Greenlights CBD

Given Major League Baseball’s landmark announcement last week that teams can now sell CBD sponsorships, the already buzzy category will soon be top of mind for many in pro sports. With more than 160 CBD brands buying sponsorship or media, MLB executives can expect an influx of calls from those vying for the coveted distinction of becoming the official CBD partner of an MLB team. 

Time will tell if MLB players will also dive into CBD, following athletes like NFL star Dalvin Cook–who endorses CBD brand Medterra–and PGA golfers Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, who both have deals with CBD sponsorship leader cbdMD.  

Another sign of the CBD industry’s burgeoning momentum? Two CBD brands–cbdMD and Charlotte’s Web–made the top 50 in SponsorUnited’s June most-searched list. 

Here’s a snapshot of current trends across properties where CBD partnerships are legal.

The current CBD industry leaders in terms of total sponsorship deals:

  1. cbdMD
  2. 3Chi
  3. Beam Organics
  4. Charlotte’s Web
  5. Select
  6. Pure Spectrum
  7. Trulieve
  8. Cannadips
  9. Mendi
  10. Love Hemp

The most popular assets bought by CBD brands are social media posts, property entitlements, digital content, outdoor signage, and event content/activations. Emerging marketing assets include Instagram posts, official sponsor/use of marks, logo displayed on websites, static billboards, and talent endorsements.

Social media is a leading activation for CBD brands–as evidenced by their top-five most engaged posts with the following properties: 

  1. Jon Jones X Just CBD | Engagement: 186,479
  2. Kamaru Usman X Love Hemp | Engagement: 176,802
  3. Kamaru Usman X Love Hemp | Engagement: 159,361
  4. Charles Oliveira X AthletiCBD | Engagement: 128,363
  5. Ultimate Fighting Club (UFC) X Love Hemp | Engagement: 123,344

Wimbledon Endorsements

The 135th Wimbledon Championships began today, with many big names competing in the largest tennis event of the year.

We highlight the endorsement deals for the top two seeds in both Men’s and Women’s singles.

The NHL’s Big Leap In Cause-Related Marketing

Cause-related sponsorship campaigns in the NHL grew 23% this year over last–placing the league second only to the NFL in activating community/cause-related assets in professional sports. Following the recent release of SponsorUnited’s NHL 2021-2022 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report, here’s a quick look at the biggest cause-related sponsorship takeaways this season.

More than 320+ brands activated NHL community/cause-related campaigns–led by Scotiabank, which launched multiple campaigns with the NHL and four Canadian teams (the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, and Edmonton Oilers). Other brands with the highest frequency of these campaigns were as follows:

  1. TD Bank
  2. EverFi
  3. Ford Motor Company
  4. Northwell Health
  5. Bauer Hockey
  6. Chase
  7. SAP
  8. adidas
  9. Tim Hortons
  10. Kaiser Permanente
  11. Esso
  12. Boeing
  13. Budweiser
  14. Stop & Shop
  15. Dunkin’
  16. National Grid
  17. Love Your Melon
  18. Toyota
  19. BMO Harris Bank


Financial brands led all industries, overtaking Healthcare brands as the most active supporter of causes. Insurance, Technology, and Auto (in that order) rounded out the top-five industry categories, which alone contributed to almost half of all NHL cause-related sponsorship campaigns. 

To learn more, check out the SponsorUnited NHL 2021-2022 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report at https://sponsorunited.com/nhl-partnerships-report/.

Cause Related Marketing

Memorial Cup Qualifying Teams

The CHL’s 2022 Memorial Cup began this week, a four-team round-robin tournament held at TD Station.

We highlight the sponsorship and media activity of the four competing teams during the nine day tournament.

Memorial Cup Qualifying Teams

2022 US Open | Instant Replay

Last weekend Matt Fitzpatrick took home his first major championship win. Fitzpatrick has deals with Castore, Protiviti, Skechers, Troon and Workday. All five brands can be seen on the course either on his hat, shirt or golf bag. Fitzpatrick promotes his social media where he is ranked #71 amongst golfers in terms of total followers (219K total following across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) with a 15% YOY growth in followers.

Take a closer look into which brands boasted a prominent presence during the coveted U.S. Open:

Over 70 brands were active on the broadcast the final day while LexusAmerican ExpressROLEXSentry, & Deloitte had the most unique assets during the event.

Viewership for the final round on NBC was 5.41M and a key way brands activated during the event was through broadcast advertisements. 63 total brands had a placement during the final round of the event with 16 having more than one asset. Brands that had more than one asset include AT&T, Corona and Verizon. 

Lexus, American Express and Rolex saw the greatest number of unique assets during the event with Sentry Insurance and Deloitte rounding out the top five. Here are just some of the ways these brands activated: 

Lexus – Golf Simulator (Sponsored Attendee Activity), Trophy Experience, Split Screen Commercial, Ad / Logo Pop Up

American Express – American Express Cardmember Lounge, Member When Moments (Featured Segment), Split Screen Commercial

Rolex – Interior Signage, Upcoming USGA Championships and Scoreboard (Featured Segments), Ad / Logo Pop Up

Sentry Insurance – USGA GHIN Mobile App (Presenting Sponsor), Split Screen Commercial

Deloitte – Bunker Cam (Presenting Sponsor), Ad / Logo Pop Up, Live Read Commercial 

* These five brands are all partners of the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) 

Austin Leibach, who oversees golf operations at SponsorUnited, gives his thoughts on what the LIV Golf Tour could mean for the PGA TOUR, “All eyes are always on the golf majors, the four largest tournaments each year, but I expect to see even more focus on them in the coming year. The PGA TOUR is missing some major star power in the likes of Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Dechambeau, Koepka, and others, lured away by the extreme salaries of the LIV Golf Tour. Since these golfers are still allowed to compete in the majors, I anticipate a larger brand focus on these normally exclusive tournaments.”

 

US Open

John John Florence | Endorsements

On International Surfing Day we highlight one of the most dominant Pipe surfers of his era, John John Florence.

100% of Florence’s partnerships include social content, where he averages over 57,000 engagements per brand.

John John Florence Trading Card

Jocelyn Alo Endorsements | World Softball Day

On the field, there is little Jocelyn Alo can’t do. She is a 2x Women’s College World Series champion, 3x First Team All-American, all-time NCAA home run leader and #1 overall pick in the 2022 WPF Inaugural College Draft.

To celebrate World Softball Day, let’s take a look at her NIL and social game.World Softball Day Jocelyn Alo (1)