Sponsor Insights

EDC in Las Vegas Highlights Sponsorship Opps

As the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)–the largest electronic dance festival in North America–heads to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway tomorrow (5/19-21), let’s take a closer look at this colorful, action-packed market. 

MGM Resorts International and Toyota top the list of most active brands in Las Vegas–the 40th largest market in the U.S. by population–with 10 deals each, while Las Vegas Tourism (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority) and the Las Vegas Review Journal tie for second with 9 sponsorships. Coca-Cola, Cox Communications, AXS, and Desert Radiology all take the third spot with 7 deals. Notably, all brands in the top 1,2,3 spots sponsor the Vegas Golden Knights, and all but Toyota and AXS partner with the Las Vegas Raiders. Brands, take note: both the Knights and the Raiders are currently without a partner in the Coffee, Mattress & Bedding, and On-Demand Delivery categories.   

Speaking of, the Knights boast the most sponsors in the market with a whopping 150+ partnerships, followed by the Raiders and SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, both with just over 100 sponsorship deals each. Shriners Children’s Open, Las Vegas Aviators, Oracle CloudWorld, Henderson Silver Knights, Las Vegas Lights FC, UNLV Rebels, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway round out the list of most active properties in America’s gambling capital.

With 7.9M followers and branded engagement of 1.7M, the Raiders offer the largest social media opportunity for brands, while the Latin Grammys take second place with 6.8M followers. Shareef O’Neal–son of Shaquille O’Neal and a player for the NBA G League Ignite, based in Henderson, Nevada–claims the third spot on the podium with a following of 4.9M.

EDC Las Vegas lands in fourth with 4.1M followers. The EDM festival powerhouse inked over 15 sponsorship deals last year with brands including Corona USA, Uber, Tinder, and Verizon, and engaged 255K followers with 78 posts in the last 12 months.

The Las Vegas market (defined as all properties based there) garnered a total engagement of 5.5M across 15K unique posts. An Instagram post by former Las Vegas Aces player Elizabeth Cambage, in a paid partnership with Savage X Fenty, outperformed them all, engaging 133K followers. 

Music Festival Report 2022

Download Report
SponsorUnited released its
2022 Music Festivals & Artists Marketing Partnerships Report analyzing more than 8,300 brands, 850 artists and 600 music festivals.

Key findings from the report include:

Deals with Video Games Surge – As gaming’s popularity continues to soar, music artists are finding new and innovative ways to engage with audiences through partnerships with video game brands. In a growing trend, gamers are becoming fans of music artists after first hearing their songs in video games. This has led stars like Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Anitta, and Meghan Trainor to team up with nearly 70 brands – including Call of Duty, Roblox, and Fortnite – to promote their work. According to SponsorUnited data, seven of the top 15 endorsed artists have partnered with at least one video game brand, allowing them to reach new audiences and create multi-platform experiences.

“Since the inception of gaming, music has played a critical role in immersive experiences for players, and now more than ever, as artists explore novel methods to promote their music and interact with their fanbase beyond conventional channels,” said Bob Lynch, Founder and CEO of SponsorUnited. “As the intersection between music and gaming continues to evolve and blur, we anticipate even more imaginative and dynamic collaborations between the two industries in the future.”

Snapchat is Owning Music Festivals – By using AR to enrich the music festival experience, the buzzy messaging app is reaching new audiences, cultivating loyalty, and capturing key marketing insights. Snapchat has partnered with 16 Live Nation festivals, including Lollapalooza and The Governor’s Ball, to provide augmented reality (AR) experiences for fans that can help attendees locate friends, discover exclusive landmarks, and purchase merchandise. In reviewing all of Snapchat’s sponsorship partners in the music category – artists, festivals, stadiums, etc. – nearly two-thirds (62%) were with music festivals. 

Coca-Cola is the #1 Festival Brand – The top-five brands aligning with music festivals were Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Tito’s, Monster, and Pepsi. Music festivals have become prime targets for the beverage industry, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage brands exclusively comprising the top 12 by sponsorship volume. This underscores the value of music festivals as key platforms for these brands to engage their target audiences. The continued emergence of hard seltzer brands (White Claw and Bud Light Seltzer) and ready-to-drink cocktails (High Noon) – as marquee festival sponsors reflects the burgeoning shift in consumer preferences, as beverage companies strive to stay relevant in a highly competitive market.

The Top 5 Most Endorsed Artists  – Steve Aoki (25 deals), Snoop Dogg (24 deals), T-Pain (24 deals), Dolly Parton (19 deals), and DJ Khaled (18 deals).

Female Artists Dominate Social Media – Ninety percent of the most-engaging artists across all social media channels are female. Out of the top 10 most-engaging artists on social media, nine are female pop singers. K-Pop, specifically, generates the highest engagement (41% of the top 10) thanks to BlackPink singers, Rosé and Jisoo, and the girl band TWICE. Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Yves Saint Laurent, and Oreo are a handful of the brands leveraging the female-run space. 

“While male artists receive more endorsements annually, female artists are wielding a significant influence on social media,” continued Lynch. “Brands are becoming increasingly aware of the impactful role female artists are playing within their communities, and we can expect to see a shift towards more balanced partnerships in the future, driven in part by their incredibly high engagement levels.”

Technology’s Transformative Impact on Music Festivals

The 2022 Music Festival & Artist Report highlights how technological advancements–including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse–are enhancing and elevating live music festivals in unprecedented ways. 

More than 30 different brands have activated within this new immersive realm, offering attendees an unforgettable journey beyond the traditional concert setting, and strengthening the relationship between brands and music. As music festivals continue to focus on innovation after a record-setting season–some 6.5M fans attended Live Nation festivals in July-September 2022, up nearly 40% over the same period in 2019–they’re exploring new ways to incorporate technology into their events to bolster the festival experience for both attendees and sponsors. 

Case in point: Snapchat bet big on AR in 2022, partnering with 16 Live Nation festivals, including Lollapalooza and The Governor’s Ball, to provide AR enhancements for fans that help attendees locate friends, discover exclusive landmarks, and purchase merchandise. By using AR to enrich the in-person experience–with branded filters, lenses, and interactive immersions that allow fans to participate in the performance in new and exciting ways–the buzzy messaging app is connecting with new audiences, cultivating loyalty, and capturing key marketing insights. Snapchat reaches over 75% of the 13-34 age demographic in 20 countries, and plans to leverage its massive user base to make AR the next frontier of visual expression for artists.

Why Does AR Matter?

  • Reaches a highly-engaged, youthful audience infatuated with visual expressions
  • Enhances the festival experience to generate buzz, content sharing, and word-of-mouth endorsements from satisfied festival-goers
  • Measures marketing impact, which provides valuable insights into campaign effectiveness

Click here to download the report. https://sponsorunited.com/2022-music-festival-artists-report/ 

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.

Music Artist Report Reveals Social Media’s Reach

SponsorUnited’s inaugural Music Artist Report, released yesterday, delivers an in-depth analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals from July 2021-July 2022, unlocking 10 major music genres and telling the stories of nearly 600 artists. 

Here’s a peek at some of the report’s key insights: 

Country music’s most popular performers have attracted the most eyeballs across the SponsorUnited platform.

In addition, Country stars average more deals per artist than any other genre, with the number of brands partnering with them rising 45% since 2020. 

Their seemingly unstoppable momentum continues: Over 35% of SponsorUnited searches among music artists were Country, with Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, and George Strait ranking among the top five most searched artists.

Music artists are betting big on their own brands—and winning

Of the top 50 most engaging brands, those owned by artists garnered the most attention.Four of the top five brands with the highest social engagement were beauty brands owned by superstars: 

  • Rare Beauty (Selena Gomez)
  • JLO Beauty (Jennifer Lopez) 
  • r.e.m. beauty (Ariana Grande) 
  • Savage x Fenty (Rihanna)

Music moves fans like no other league, team or property can.

Not surprisingly, artists’ success on social media plays a key role in driving performance of their brands. When comparing per-post engagement among a variety of property types, musicians top the leaderboard with an average engagement per post of 137K, versus 100K for general celebrities in the second-place spot. 

Artist-owned companies are expanding into new categories. 

While music artists have long added value to Cosmetics, Clothing and Alcohol brands, artists like Timbaland, Kanye West and Dua Lipa are already charting the future of artist ownership in new categories:

  • Timbaland x Beatclub: The innovative digital platform aims to revolutionize the way music makers connect.
  • Kanye West x Donda Sports: Kanye’s sports marketing agency now includes clients like NBA star Jaylen Brown and NFL standout Aaron Donald.
  • Dua Lipa x Service95: Dua Lipa released her first weekly lifestyle newsletter in February 2022.

Latin artists see massive growth from global music fans.

Among the top 40 fastest growing social accounts, 12 were owned by Latin artists. Combined, these artists gained over 250M followers–2.5x more than Rap/Hip-Hop and 3.5x more than Country, and second only to Pop. With Latin music’s total revenue projected at over $1B this year, expect to see US brands continue to team up with these red-hot performers. 

Case in point: Bad Bunny, Spotify’s most streamed artist globally in 2020 and 2021. During his El Último Tour Del Mundo this year, he partnered with Airbnb to open the doors to his truck for three one-night stays for two guests at just $91 per night—a nod to his record-breaking 9.1B Spotify streams in 2021. Guests had the exclusive opportunity to explore Bad Bunny’s past, present and future, both on and off the stage.

Music Artist Report

SponsorUnited Unveils Inaugural Music Artist Report

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/music-artist-report-2022/

Social media drives new and innovative partnerships in an industry forecast to more than double in value to over $53 billion by 2030.

Just released, the first Music Artist Marketing Partnerships Report. This inaugural report delivers an in-depth analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals from July 2021-July 2022, the report unlocks 10 major music genres and tells the stories of nearly 600 artists. 

Key findings include:

  • Bon Iver, Steve Aoki, Saweetie, Snoop Dogg and J. Balvin top the ranks for most brand partnerships by music artists.
    Among these top 5, Organizations & Groups dominated the category list with a third of all deals–2x more than Technology and 3x more than Apparel.
  • T-Mobile is one of the few brands hitting all the right notes.
    The only company on the SU platform with sponsorships across six different music genres, the wireless giant was most active in Country, with deals including Dolly Parton, Chris Young, Old Dominion and more.
  • Social media engagement emerges as a driving force for attracting brand partnerships.
    Pop music artists generated the highest average engagement and partnered with the most brands, followed by Rap/Hip-Hop in second place and Country in third.
  • Country artists surged as the most popular searched by sponsorship executives.
    Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs were the top 3 most searched artists on the SponsorUnited platform.
  • Music artists gained over 3.2B new followers.
    1.5B followers on Instagram, nearly 1B on TikTok, more than 682M on Facebook, and just 122M on Twitter.
  • Latin artists saw massive social growth from fans around the globe.
    Among the top 40 fastest growing social accounts, 12 were owned by Latin artists. Combined, the Latin genre gained 250M followers–2.5x more than Rap/Hip-Hop and 3.5x more than Country.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

Lollapalooza kicks off its 4-day festival in Chicago with Metallica headlining tonight.

Notable brands Metallica works with include ESP Guitars, Blackened American Whiskey, The Coda Collection and Yousician.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

29 Recording Artists Join the 100M+ Follower Club

Social media’s power as a brand-building tool is indisputable–especially in the music industry. According to SponsorUnited’s latest data, 29 recording artists have at least 100 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook–accounting for a whopping 6.2 billion cumulative follows. 

Selena Gomez tops the list with nearly 525 million followers. Despite her staggering fan base, her 6 endorsement deals pale in comparison to Snoop Dogg (160+ million followers), whose singular charisma has helped him ink 17 partnerships. He starred in Super Bowl commercials for BIC and Pepsi last February, while his February 23rd Instagram post with another partner, Crooks & Castles Clothing, engaged 1.2 million followers–topping his long list of branded social posts. 

Katy Perry cracks the top-five in both social followers and endorsement deals. Sixteen brands have leveraged Perry’s social media following over the last 12 months, totaling more than 100 posts, while her total engagement is an impressive 17.8 million, with an average 1.1 million followers per brand. Her January 2nd Instagram post with Resorts World Las Vegas netted 890K engagements, her highest-ever tally on the channel. 

Latin music artist J Balvin takes the third spot on the endorsement list behind Perry, with 15 deals and a social following of 110 million. His customized-shoe partnership with Jordan Brand spurred a huge pop on his social media page with an engagement of over 1.5 million–more than 10% of his total engagement across 46 posts. Fortnite is Balvin’s most-promoted brand on social media by number of posts: his 10 with the online game have a total engagement of 3.5 million.

Rolling Loud 2022

Billed as the largest hip-hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud rolls into Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium Friday with 35 sponsors onboard for the three-day event.

Booze leads the list of industries banking on the buzzy event, with big names like Ciroc, Smirnoff, Dussé, and Modelo among the 8 Alcohol category sponsors. Meanwhile, Cannabis/CBD & Accessories takes the second spot, with 5 brands–KaliBloom, Backwoods, Diet Smoke, The Flowery, and Tree O’five–taking advantage of the festival’s location and audience opportunities.

The Media & Entertainment companies bringing the festival to life–like Snapchat, Twitch, Spotify, Verizon, and HBO Max–rank third on the industry list, followed by Cryptocurrency & NFT in fourth, with Zelus and Gutter Cat Gang leading the way. Sponsors in the Financial Services category–a leading endorser of music-related events–include Venmo and Dave. 

Rolling Loud Miami’s three headliners–Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, and Future–count some heavy hitters among their own endorsement deals. While their portfolios might appear small, their partners prove otherwise.

Kid Cudi’s partnerships, McDonald’s and Cadillac, activate heavily across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He also headlines “Camp McDonald’s,” a first-of-its-kind, in-app virtual summer camp that launched July 5th, offering food deals and exclusive virtual concerts every Sunday through the month. While Kid Cudi trails Kendrick Lamar and Future by number of social media followers (16.1 million), he leads across all engagement metrics–total (607,224), per brand (303,612), and per post (101,204)–with an engagement rate of 2.7%. 

With 38.1 million followers on social media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter), Future has built an impressive sponsorship stable, including Hugo Boss and Samsung (a joint #BeYourOwnBoss partnership with both brands in early 2022), Porsche, and Bethesda Softworks. Future remixed the theme song for Bethesda Softworks’ PS5 game “Deathloop” (released last September), which was promoted on Twitter.

Hot on Future’s heels with 37.4 million followers is Kendrick Lamar, who featured in Pepsi’s SuperBowl halftime show commercial, “The Call,” along with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, among other artists. Notably, despite his 11.5 million Instagram followers, Lamar has only 5 posts on the channel, none of which include brands.


Sponsor United x Governors Ball

Over the weekend SponsorUnited was on the ground at the 2022 Governors Ball at Citi Field. Some of the most unique brand activations take place during Music Festivals to leverage the energized fanbase. Tito’s, Goose Island, Bacardi, Coinbase, Dunkin’ & M&M’s activated throughout the festival, so which activations provided the most memorable experience for fans?

Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Tito’s “Party in the Shack”, where attendees could purchase Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails while charging their phones or taking photos in the photo booth. Attendees could also participate in activities to win branded sunglasses or bandanas.

Goose Island: Goose Island had a special photo booth opportunity with a bear to promote their own “beer hug” beer, along with some take home items like sunglasses.

Bacardi: Bacardi had their own sponsored club, with a couple activities where attendees could play pickleball, dance on the dance floor, a customized station for fans to personalize items with their on-site upcycling, along with a charging station.

Coinbase: Coinbase had an elevated space where attendees could scan the Coinbase QR code and set up their own Coinbase Wallet as well as take their own NFT profile picture which is then delivered via the app. (Nice way for brands to get fans to sign up for the app!) 

Dunkin’: Dunkin’ had a sponsored club/deck, attendees could enjoy a cup of coffee along with photo opportunities with their branded swinging bench and phone booth. Unique selfie stations if you will.

M&M’s: M&M’s had a sponsored music lounge where attendees received free small samples of M&M chocolate, and participated in a personality/vibe test.