Sponsor Insights

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four

Basketball fans around Europe are eagerly anticipating the upcoming EuroLeague Final Four 2023, set to take place at Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania May 19th – May 21st. With its impressive capacity of 15,500 attendees, the arena will be buzzing with excitement as the stage is set for the continent’s most prestigious basketball competition. 

Last year’s champion, Anadolu Efes, won’t be defending their title this time around, but three formidable teams have qualified for the Final Four again: Real Madrid (15 sponsors), FC Barcelona (8 sponsors), and Olympiacos (22 sponsors). Real Madrid, with their rich basketball history, leads the pack with an impressive record of 10 EuroLeague titles. Olympiacos follows closely with three championships, while FC Barcelona has secured the title twice. Making their first appearance in the final round, AS Monaco Basket (21 sponsors) is eager to make a mark in this prestigious tournament. 

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague holds a special place in European basketball, with 19 teams from 10 different countries competing in the tournament. Turkish Airlines has been the exclusive title sponsor of the EuroLeague since 2010, adding prestige and support to this premier event. The tournament also boasts its own brand and logo for the semi-finals and finals, creating an attractive platform for sponsors to secure their place in the final stage. 

The EuroLeague also has regional sponsors who bring their support to specific countries. Brands like Bwin gain exposure in games played in Greece, while Domino’s Pizza and Nesine take center stage in Turkey. MaxBet makes its mark in Serbia, and Betano captures attention in Germany. Furthermore, Spalding, a key sponsor, plays an important role by providing the official balls and basket stanchion units for the games. 

The EuroLeague Final Four 2023 promises to be a basketball extravaganza with a rich history, prestigious teams, and the support of sponsors like Turkish Airlines and regional brands, the tournament showcases the pinnacle of European basketball talent. As fans eagerly await the semi-final matchups and the crowning of the next EuroLeague champion, the sport’s global community will come together to celebrate the essence of the game. Get ready for an unforgettable display of skill, passion, and competition in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four.

Global Expansion: A Layup for the WNBA

Fueled by its record-breaking 2022 season–its most-watched in 14 years–the WNBA has set its sights on global expansion to grow its reach and audience. As a preview to its 2023 season tip off on May 19th, the league made history last weekend with its first-ever international game at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in Canada. Presented by Tangerine Bank, the milestone matchup garnered significant support from over 15 sponsoring brands, including notable names like RE/MAX, Air Canada, and Bell Media with the most assets.

This groundbreaking game both showcased the league’s commitment to conquering new frontiers, and highlighted the burgeoning partnerships between brands and the WNBA. Case in point: the multiyear deal the league struck in 2021 with Amazon, granting it exclusive global streaming rights for the league, including regular season games and the Commissioner’s Cup on Prime Video. The partnership marked the first time Amazon secured streaming rights in pro basketball. 

With a sold-out crowd in attendance, the Canadian game was a resounding success–reminding fans exactly why the league grew its viewership by a remarkable 19% last year. The WNBA’s surge in popularity has also translated into substantial business opportunities for its athletes, with SponsorUnited tracking an astounding 1,000% increase in deals between brands and players since 2019.

As the trailblazing league keeps scoring slam dunks on and off the court and growing its fan base in tandem, more influential brands will no doubt come calling–joining top-tier sponsors like Coinbase, Google, State Farm, AT&T, Starry, and Doordash, all of which made their presence known within the WNBA in 2022. 

One deal already making headlines this year: late last month, the league announced a multiyear agreement with the E.W. Scripps Company to televise Friday night games during the regular season on ION, an entertainment network that reaches every U.S. TV over-the-air and on all major pay TV services. With the deal, the WNBA becomes the first sports property to air on ION.

EuroLeague Final Four

For the last 12 years, Turkish Airlines has been the exclusive title sponsor for the EuroLeague’s competition. While the exclusive title sponsor spot is taken, other brands like adidas, BKT, Spalding and 7days carry a large presence all over Europe during the games. For some brands, a partnership just for the Final Four is enough. Technogym and Acibadem have deals only at the season’s end and provide technical equipment and services to the teams.

The EuroLeague has been deemed the most important basketball tournament in Europe which includes the best teams throughout Europe. The league, a semi-closed league, consists of 18 teams competing to qualify to the Final Four which leads to being crowned the champions of Europe. This year the final stage is set in Belgrade, Serbia, in the Stark Arena. 

The four teams competing for the title are the reigning champion, Anadolu Efes, who are looking to bring the title back to Turkey. The Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, who bring the national rivalry to the international sphere. Finally, Olympiacos qualified second in the regular season to make the Final Four.

Off the court, Real Madrid ranks #1 in terms of social media following in the EuroLeague with 18M followers across all platforms, a sizeable lead over FC Barcelona ranked #2 with just over 3.5M. Anadolu Efes and Olympaicos rank #6 and #7 respectively within the EuroLeague.


NBA Play-In Tournament | Property Comparison

The NBA‘s Play-In Tournament is back for its 2nd year. We highlight the west coast matchup of the day as the Minnesota Timberwolves take on the Los Angeles Clippers tonight on TNT.



NIL Deals | Endorsements

With March Madness wrapping up earlier this week, it signifies the end of the first ever March Madness tournament in which many athletes participating have NIL deals. Before the tournament began, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero signed a deal with Yahoo! Sports in order to promote the company’s bracket “Pick’em game”. In addition to this deal, Sheets and Giggles (a mattress company) signed five athletes to be a part of their “Sleep Sixteen” campaign. This initiative promoted the effects of a good night’s sleep by partnering with five female and male athletes who played the least amount of minutes on their teams, educating fans on the importance of rest. 

During the tournament, two unlikely athletes were able to capitalize on big time moments.

The first being Doug Edert, who helped lead the 15th seeded Saint Peters Peacocks to a historic Elite Eight run. During this run Edert capitalized by signing a NIL Deal with Buffalo Wild Wings. Another unlikely deal came from an athlete, but not on the court. During the Saint Mary’s vs. Indiana first round game, a ball got stuck on top of the hoop. When nobody could get the ball down, Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny saved the day by getting the ball down. Days after the game, BreakingT signed a deal with Cerny creating a shirt to encapsulate the moment.


Five popular basketball players have been taking advantage of the new NIL rules. Azzi Fudd, Zia Cooke, Paige Bueckers, Hailey Van Lith, & Paolo Banchero all have over four deals and more than 250k social media followers.

Four Brands Fill Out Their Brackets Better Than You

State Farm, Nissan, GEICO, and Continental Tire are still alive in the Final Four. These four brands have a sponsorship deal with all of the remaining teams.

Insurance, Auto and Finance have the most assets, this is twice as much as the next category, Healthcare. There are nine insurance brands with deals ties to the remaining four teams, deals in this category are led by State Farm and GEICO. The leading category, Auto, has 10 brands with deals. This category is lead by Continental Tire which has the most total deals.

The four remaining teams, on average, have 28 sponsorship deals per team. Leading the group is the Kansas Jayhawks with 31 deals, followed closely by Villanova with 30. Going head to head in the Final Four are long time rivals Duke and North Carolina. Duke beats UNC in regards to total sponsorships with 28 deals compared to UNC’s 23. The average amongst the rest of the NCAA Schools & Conferences is nine. There are over 2,400 brands buying sponsorships within college basketball across 280+ different schools/conferences. State Farm not only is top for the Final Four, but also across all teams, while GEICO and Nissan each make the top five.

March Madness | Mens #1 Seeds

March Madness has arrived! The first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament begins today, as 64 collegiate teams compete to become college basketball champions.

Take a look at how the four #1 seeded teams matchup with partnerships and social presence.

March Madness #1 Seeds (3.17)

Brands Are Going Dancing With NIL Deals

Over 115 brands have taken advantage of signing a men’s college basketball player to a NIL deal since granted access in July 2021. Mercury NFT claims the #1 overall spot with 11 total NIL deals. The brand’s college portfolio includes Dontaie Allen, Keion Brooks Jr., Davion Mintz, Jacob Toppin, TyTy Washington, along with Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats. 

Rounding out the top four spots are Morgan & Morgan (10 deals), FTX (7 deals) and Raising Cane’s (7 deals). 48% of Morgan & Morgan’s total sponsorship deals are with collegiate basketball players while FTX continues to expand their portfolio across numerous colleges and leagues during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

The technology category has over 30 endorsements within the NIL space with NFT’s accounting for nearly 50% of tech category deals. Ranked by sub-categories in technology, NFT is second after Non-Athletic Apparel/Footwear. Cryptocurrency is 5th as brands lean on the younger generation to promote the blockchain technology that has recently revolutionized the technology industry. Instagram is the most utilized social media platform by these athletes as it beats out Twitter in terms of the number of branded posts.

10 of the Kentucky Wildcat players have landed in the top 30 for NCAA men’s basketball players in terms of NIL endorsement deals. Here is the full list of the top athletes with 5 or more endorsement deals:

NIL deals

Categories Continue to Expand Portfolios With NCAA Deals

Ranked by total sponsorship deals, banking and restaurants/event space lead categories in deals with NCAA Schools & Conferences. These top two categories are the only two categories to have over 500 deals within the NCAA, while banking brands are the clear leaders having over 40% more sponsorship deals than any other category. 

The retail category expanded their portfolio with over 100 new deals within the NCAA this year, more new deals than any other category.

PNC Bank led the banking category in total sponsorship deals, followed by US Bank and Wells Fargo. These brands dominated this category each sponsoring almost 50% more NCAA Schools & Conferences than any other brand.. 

The restaurants / event spaces category was led by Buffalo Wild Wings who was the only brand in the category to have sponsorship deals with 20+ schools. First Watch was the biggest emerging brand in the restaurants/event spaces category signing sponsorship deals with 7 schools in 2021. Currently, 45% of all of First Watch’s sponsorships are with NCAA schools/conferences, including the Kentucky Wildcats and UCF Knights.