Sponsor Insights

September Brand Power Rankings

As we charge full-force into fall, here are the top 30 most searched brands by sponsorship executives on the SponsorUnited platform during the month of September. 

Thanks to a high-profile deal with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution, eco-friendly hand sanitizer maker Shimmy debuted at #1 on the list, after becoming the official hand sanitizer of both teams and Gillette Stadium. 

While the partnership was announced in August, the brand has seen multiple assets with the Revolution this season, including ads on the videoboard, sponsored email content, and entertainment-related content showing fans doing the “Shimmy dance” at games. The “Shimmy Cam” has also captured Patriot fans cheering on their favorite team at the stadium in past weeks. 

Another list newcomer, OOFOS, landed in the #2 spot thanks to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders–its first sponsorship with a pro sports team in the US–that named it the team’s Official Recovery Footwear. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr also signed a multi-year partnership with the brand, highlighting how the shoes directly impact his success on the field. OOFOS currently has 11 sponsorship deals, primarily within the endurance and action sports industries.

Global tax services and software provider, Ryan LLC, made its first appearance at #3. In mid-September, ​​Dallas-based Ryan announced its inaugural MLB sponsorship, a multi-year partnership with the New York Yankees. The deal gives the brand several hospitality assets for entertaining during games, with the goal of growing its business and brand recognition in the New York metro area. 

Watch maker INVICTA, another newbie to the list ranked #4. The brand has inked multiple deals during the last two months, including a licensing deal with the NHL for the rights to create a special collection honoring hockey. The collection will include all 32 NHL teams and will be available for purchase this season, which kicks off next week. Another partnership announced in August named INVICTA Official Timekeeper of the Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium, where activations include displays on the game clock, billboards, and pop-up stores during the team’s home games.

The following brands rounded out the top 10: 

  • Turo
  • Truff Hot Sauce
  • Apple
  • Kellogg’s
  • Intuit
  • Coca-Cola

Big Deals Are Brewing For Beer Brands

Beer–an understandably massive sponsorship category, given its popularity–has nearly 900 brands buying sponsorships and media across the sports and entertainment industries.

Three of the top brewers in the game–Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors Brewing Company, and Constellation Brands–dominate the partnership landscape with their marquee brands.

Bud Light leads the pack with more than 400 sponsorship deals–over 100 more than sister brand Budweiser in second place. Michelob Ultra’s third-place position gives parent AB InBev, the world’s largest beer company, the top three spots. 

In social media, Bud Light also rules the roost with over 8M total followers (FB, TW, IG, TT). The Washington Capitals, one of its longtime partners, tagged the brand in more than 170 posts last season.

With over 200 deals, Coors Light is another sponsorship and social media powerhouse, with just north of 3M total followers. More than 10% of the beer’s total branded posts are with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, an AHL team that tagged Coors Light in 288 posts during their season. Twitter is the brand’s most utilized channel, and 29% of its partnerships include social media posts. 

For 31 years, Coors has been the naming rights partner of Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies. Coors’ other assets throughout the stadium include:

  • Seating section naming rights
  • Bullpen signage
  • Logo on lower bowl seats
  • Interior signage
  • Concourse signage
  • Event content and activations, including the Designated Driver Program for fans 

Corona USA, a high-wattage property of Constellation Brands, has just under 100 sponsorship deals. Earlier this year, Corona inked a contract with the MLB  to become its “Official Cerveza.” The partnership marks the first time the league has split its beer sponsorship category, as Budweiser is the Official Beer of the MLB. 

Corona’s MLB partnership has boosted the brand’s profile on social media: the league has tagged the beer over 40 times in posts this season, 3 of which are Corona’s most successful posts to date by total engagement.

In a separate deal within the league, the Seattle Mariners signed Corona with the same “Official Cerveza” designation. A club within T-Mobile Park was christened the Corona Beach Club as part of the naming rights included in the partnership. 

August Brand Power Rankings

As we bid a fond farewell to summer and head into September, here are the top most searched brands by sponsorship executives on the SponsorUnited platform during the month of August. Click on the link below to reveal the top 30. 

PRIME Hydration, a performance beverage brand owned by high-profile YouTuber and influencer Logan Paul and YouTuber and British rapper KSI, has emerged from virtually out of nowhere to take the top spot on the August list. Founded in January 2022, the brand’s Instagram account has garnered a massive 1.1M following–likely due to the owners’ popularity–and another 400K across other social media platforms.

So far, PRIME has secured more than 5 sponsorship / media deals–some with Logan Paul or KSI brands, and 2 marquee partnerships with Arsenal and MBM Motorsports. PRIME became Arsenal’s official hydration partner this year, while securing assets including product placement on the press conference podium, stadium signage, and social posts. Meanwhile, its sponsorship of MBM Motorsports saw PRIME’s logo branded on the front hood of the vehicle driven by pro stock car driver Timmy Hill.

At the end of July, third-ranked VRBO signed a deal with the Fiesta Bowl to become the exclusive title sponsor of the popular college football bowl game. In addition, the vacation rental online marketplace became the Fiesta Bowl’s official travel sponsor, with branding at fan activations, digital and social media content, in-stadium exposure, and inclusion at other year-round events run by the Fiesta Bowl.

Meanwhile, eighth-ranked Paycor, an HR software company, signed a 16-year venue naming rights deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in August, changing the name of the team’s home venue in Cincinnati to Paycor Stadium. Paycor will be integrated throughout the venue, and has already seen exposure during the Bengals’ preseason broadcasts, with a live read commercial and a logo pop-up next to the scoreboard in the Bengals’ August 12th game against the Arizona Cardinals.

All-State Brand Spotlight

The inaugural MLS NEXT game, presented by Allstate–which took place on August 9th in Minneapolis during this MLS All-Star Week–celebrated 44 of the best young soccer players in North America. It also highlighted Allstate’s prominence as an MLS sponsor: the insurance powerhouse has deals with nearly half of the MLS clubs, and one with the league itself. 

Within a top-heavy category of Property & Casualty Insurance, Allstate has made a splash in the sponsorship world, trailing just behind State Farm and GEICO with over 175 deals. More than 25% of its overall partnerships (both sponsorships and media buys) fall within the college landscape–with the Power 5 schools and conferences, where the brand has over 60 deals, its prime targets. 

Allstate has sponsored the storied Sugar Bowl since 2007, when it succeeded previous sponsor Nokia. Among its array of assets at the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship, most notable was a sponsored activity which offered fans the chance to kick a field goal into a branded Allstate net. Across all partnerships, 43% of Allstates deals include TV-visible signage–whether field goal net signage, a courtside digital apron, or exit tunnel signage.

Nearly 100 partners have tagged Allstate in a social media post. In the last 12 months, 96 properties have partnered with Allstate on social channels, totaling nearly 1,300 posts–an average 13 posts per deal, with total engagement north of 1.1 million. 

Allstate’s highest engaged post, at nearly 70,000 followers, is with the U.S Soccer Federation. Despite its 60-plus deals with Power 5 schools, the brand rarely sees an awareness boost from social posts: Its top performer, with Louisville, engaged just over 5,000 followers, while total engagement with 184 posts across 30 schools still falls short of its soccer post performance. 

The brand’s real sponsorship success lies in live events. TV-visible signage–a bona fide brand builder–is included in 88% of Allstate’s deals within the Power 5 schools.

All-State Brand Spotlight

July Brand Power Rankings

With summer in full swing, here’s the July list of the 30 most searched brands by sponsorship executives on the SponsorUnited platform. 

*See full list below

Better-for-you cereal maker Magic Spoon continued its red-hot ascent this month, moving from third place in June to the top spot in July. The brand’s momentum keeps building, as evidenced by the $85 million Series B funding round it raised in June. Some 45% of its deals are with podcasts, including the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience. 

Meanwhile, IT company DXC Technology made the list for the first time this year, seizing second place after announcing a multi-year global partnership with Manchester United. DXC will use its digital transformation expertise to improve the way ManU engages fans through its digital platforms–including ManUtd.com and the Manchester United app–by harnessing the power of data and analytics technologies. As part of the deal, DXC will have a jersey patch for the 2022/23 season on the club’s home, away, and third kits (uniforms in British parlance). The Virginia-based company will also become the Presenting Partner of the Manchester United Foundation.

Notably, DXC’s biggest market is Washington, D.C., home to 45% of its sponsorships, including the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, and Georgetown Hoyas.

In other sports news, Heinz Field has become Acrisure Stadium in a new naming-rights agreement with the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The deal begins in the new 2022 season, and is estimated at $10 million annually over the next 15 years.

In fifth place, global e-commerce platform Wish was announced as the official sleeve partner of Premier League team Leeds United throughout the 22/23 campaign. The signage extends to the men’s, women’s and academy teams, across all official replica shirts, and throughout the home stadium. The branding also offers a sneak peak of Wish’s new logo ahead of its official rebrand this month.

Dunkin’ has joined the new 3ICE Hockey League as one of its main sponsors as part of an undisclosed six-figure deal, expanding the company’s sprawling portfolio of more than 370 sponsorship and media deals. Notably, hockey ranks fourth on the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chain’s list of property types in terms of total deals.

July 2022 Brand Power Rankings

June Brand Power Rankings

LifeBrand–a social media detection and monitoring software developer–took the top spot last month, rocketing up the list from #16 in May. Over 40% of its sponsorships are in its home market of Philadelphia, including deals with three of the city’s pro sports teams–the Eagles (largest deal by share of assets), Phillies, and 76ers. On May 31st, the tech startup welcomed Los Angeles running back Austin Ekeler as its newest brand ambassador and equity stakeholder–a nod to the company’s strategy to make inroads on the West Coast. 

Meanwhile, #2-ranked VeChain, in its inaugural partnership, became the UFC’s first-ever Official Layer 1 blockchain partner. The deal grants the company an unprecedented level of integration into key UFC assets, and brand visibility with some 900 million households in 175 countries that receive UFC’s TV broadcasts. 

On June 13th, better-for-you cereal maker Magic Spoon–third on the list–announced an $85 million Series B funding round, as three of its products moved to Target store shelves. Nearly 50% of its partnerships are with podcasts, including the Joe Rogan Experience and Pod Save America. 

Also notable: #8-ranked Caterpillar, the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, signed a multiyear global deal with the NHL last month, becoming the league’s Official Heavy Equipment and Industrial Power sponsor, starting with the 2022-23 regular season. The company also inked a multiyear sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) in May. 

And speaking of the NHL, Gatorade–which landed in SponsorUnited’s top 30 for the first time this year–announced the end of its 16-year sponsorship with the league last month, as it shifts strategy with a big push into name, image, likeness (NIL) deals with college athletes and women’s sports. One-armed basketball phenom, Hansel Enmanuel, announced his new NIL deal with the sports drink maker on June 16th.  

 

2022 Brand Power Rankings

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

Dos Equis | Brand Spotlight

A beer brewed in Mexico, Dos Equis stays close to their roots having over 35 sponsorship or media deals just across the border in southwestern United States. Dos Equis’ largest deal in terms of the number of sponsorship assets is with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. In this deal, the brand has naming rights to the beer garden inside of the arena, as well as digital signage during games.

However, NCAA earns the spotlight in terms of deals with Dos Equis. 

The Mexican beer has partnership deals with five NCAA Bowls and Tourneys including the Rose Bowl and the Playstation Fiesta Bowl. The brand also has deals with over 15 NCAA Schools and Conferences like the NCAA Football Champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, and The Big Ten Conference.

Aside from Official Sponsorship status, Concourse Signage is in almost 40% of all of the brands sponsorship deals. Venue Entitlements is included in 25% of all sponsorship deals like the Cool Zone in partnership with the Texas A&M Aggies. 

Even with more than 30 sponsorship deals, the import and domestic beer category has many brands with even more partnerships. Dos Equis falls in the top 15 in the category which is led by Bud Light.

Dos Equis Brand Spotlight

April Brand Power Rankings

The year of Cryptocurrency continues in the sponsorship world as numerous new deals continue to get signed. Nearly 30% of the top 30 most searched brands on the SponsorUnited platform continued to be from the Crypto category. From the #2805 spot to #1 spot, Coinmotion was in motion last month and in the news recently due to their involvement with Bitcoin donations to Ukraine. With sponsorship execs shining the spotlight on this brand, it will be interesting to see if sponsorship deals follow.

FlexIt Fitness has seen a 361% increase month over month in search data after signing their first Major Pro Sports deal with the Florida Panthers at the end of March. So what was included in the deal?

Designated the Official Virtual Fitness Partner of the Florida Panthers, assets included in the deal are: in-person activations, venue signage, promotion sponsor, entertainment related content with the  “FlexIt Flexcam” as well as having trainers outside the stadium getting the heart rate of fans up with exercises outdoors.

Signing a first-of-its-kind deal within the MLB, Motorola will become the Jersey Patch partner for the San Diego Padres. The deal adds to Motorola’s growing list of sponsors having over 25 deals, up over 75% since 2020.

Within the top 100 most searched brands, the Financial category leads the way by a wide margin having 22 brands land on the list. The QSR and Technology categories are tied for 2nd with 9 each. 

2022 Brand Power Rankings

GEICO | Brand Spotlight

With the GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race taking place this weekend, we take a look at GEICO’s sponsorship and media activity outside of the big race.

GEICO has 300+ sponsorship deals across 80+ different leagues/associations.

#BrandSpotlight

Geico Brand Spotlight