Sponsor Insights

Brands Partied Hard at This Year’s NFL Draft

There was a lot of buzz around the NFL Draft over the weekend and while the new draftees were the true winners,  brands came in a close second. SponsorUnited has released the 2022 NFL Draft Sponsorship Report where you can take a deeper dive into the partnership deals between brands, teams and players. 

Some of the key insights include: 

  • Tech and Apparel made up ⅓ of all deals among first round picks
  • Wide receivers caught the most deals, but EDGE players tackled the most brands
  • Rookies from Ohio State, Georgia and Oregon closed the most deals (40% of all deals)

Gain key insights around broadcast sponsorships, draft party sponsorships, player deals and more in SponsorUnited’s 2022 NFL Draft Report.

NFL SPRED Report 2021

Today, SponsorUnited published the first SPRED Report centered around NFL player’s social performance and endorsement deals. 

Download the complete report HERE, for complete data and insights, some key findings include: 

  • adidas and Bose are the most active brands among NFL social media posts but Zenith Watches, Grip and Brady Brand attract the most attention.
  • Quarterbacks are most widely followed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook while TikTok varies among other skilled positions.
  • J.J. Watt is the most followed defensive NFL player and the most followed NFL player to not win a SB.
  • The top 10 most followed NFL players combine for over 100M gross followers.
  • 12 NFL players average over 1M total engagements, all of them on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Although Travis Etienne Jr, has yet to see the field, he has the highest % average engaged followers.
  • Most Total Gross Followers: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Most Twitter Followers: Russell Wilson
  • Most Facebook Followers: Tom Brady
  • Most Instagram Followers: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Most TikTok Followers: Gronk
  • Most Engaging: Patrick Mahomes
  • Highest % of Engaged Followers: Travis Etienne
  • Most Engagement Per Post: Tyreek Hill
  • Most Branded Posts: Russell Wilson
  • Most Brands: Russell Wilson
  • Highest Avg Engagement: Zenith Watches, Grip Boost and Brady Brand
  • Most Branded Posts: adidas, Bose and Fashion Nova
  • Most Brand Engagements: Bose, adidas and Oakley
  • Most Player Endorsements: Bud Light, Verizon, Bose and Under Armour
  • Most Engaging Categories: Apparel/Accessories, Beverage (Non-Alc) and Leisure/Recreation
  • Most Category Engagements: Apparel/Accessories, Consumer Electronics and Retail
  • Most Player Endorsements: Apparel/Accessories, Retail and Beverage (Non-Alc)
  • Most Branded Posts: Apparel/Accessories, Retail and Beverage (Non-Alc)

2022 NFL Draft Prospect Endorsements

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft took place last night and 32 of the top prospects can officially see their dreams, and dollar signs, in their future. This is the first NFL Draft where college players had almost a full year to sign endorsement deals, rather than the few weeks leading up to the Draft. Check out the top 50 NFL Draft prospects and the brands they have deals with. In total, these top 50 Draft prospects have partnered with over 75 brands. 

Which brands made the top of the list?

Company Name Number of Prospects Partnered With
Bose 4
Dr. Pepper 4
Sleep Number 4
Chipotle 3
Raising Cane’s 3
USAA 3

The NFL Endorsements landscape is a highly popular area among sponsors of the league. Three of the brands on this list not only are league sponsors but are big contributors to the NFL Endorsements landscape. Bose features 26 different NFL athletes on their endorsements roster including big names such as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Micah Parsons. Sleep Number has 16 NFL Athletes as a part of their team with Dak Prescott, Deebo Samuel and Mac Jones topping off the list. Lastly, USAA features 15 NFL athletes with the likes of Josh Allen, Rob Gronkowski, and TJ Watt on their endorsements roster. 

The 2022 NFL Draft class features greatness both on and off the field. Five players in particular have taken full advantage of obtaining endorsement deals with over 6 deals each. Kayvon Thibodeaux has the most endorsement deals of the bunch with 11. Some of the most notable brands to partner with Thibodeaux include Beats by Dre, Old Spice and Snickers. Tied with the second most endorsement deals are defensive standouts Aiden Hutchinson and Demarvin Leal. With eight deals each, Bose and Chipotle partnered with Hutchinson while FTX and Fanjoy partnered with Leal. The final two players in the top five include Chris Olave with seven deals and Derek Stingley Jr. with six deals who both feature deals with the popular quick serve restaurant Raising Cane’s.

 

NFL 2021 Annual Report | Brands in the Spotlight

Last week, SponsorUnited released the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report.

We highlight Roblox, Tide and FaZe Clan to showcase the power of unique activations within the NFL. Download the full report at SponsorUnited.com for complete insights into NFL brand partnerships last season.

NFL 2021 Annual Report | Controversy and Winning

NFL Controversy and Winning

No press is bad press. Whether you went big or went home, NFL players social stats were likely to increase.

To uncover more surrounding NFL players and their partnerships, followers, social engagement, and more, download the FREE NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report at SponsorUnited.com.

NFL 2021 Annual Report | Endorsements

The top ranking NFL players in terms of endorsements during the 2021 season were: Rob Gronkowski, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Russell Wilson, and Travis Kelce. Each player has over 25 brand deals; Gronk leads the way with 30 deals leveraging his 8.7 million social followers. He ranked #7 among NFL athletes for most social followers. Gronk has starred in commercials for T-Mobile alongside longtime teammate, Tom Brady. He also has appeared in a Wolf & Shepherd commercial and USAA. Although having the most deals, the highest average engagement per post comes from rival tight end, Travis Kelce, who has a 4.33% avg engagement compared to Gronk’s .78%. Russell Wilson leads the group in total engagement with over 3 million likes/shares.

Over 1,000 brands had endorsement deals with NFL players during the 2021 season, a big uptick from 2020 seeing a 51% increase. The most active brands partnering with players were Verizon, adidas, BodyArmor, Nike, and Bud Light, while the fastest growing categories were Apparel, Technology and Financial. 

The average engagement per branded post for players was 12.6K compared to the slightly higher engagement for teams with 14.5K. For players with a minimum of 10 branded posts, the average engagement was 16K, inferring that the most active NFL athletes are getting more engagement on posts than teams.

NFL 2021 Annual Report | Social Engagement

NFL Social Engagement

Over 1,000 brands signed endorsement deals with NFL athletes during the 2021 season, a big uptick from 2020 seeing a 51% increase.

To unpack the rest of the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Report, visit SponsorUnited.com to download the FREE report.

NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report

STAMFORD, Conn.March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, SponsorUnited, the leading data platform for sports and entertainment, released the first NFL Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report from the 2021 season. This report highlights trends in sponsorships surrounding the National Football League, teams, athletes, and media partners. Uncover data on over 7,000 NFL partnership deals and over 3,600 active brands buying sponsorships and media in the NFL. The complete report is available now at SponsorUnited.com.

Key learnings from the report include:

NFL team sponsorships saw a major bounce back, adding $600MM in revenues to achieve 57% growth from 2020 and 14% growth from 2019.
Four categories drove over a quarter of the sponsorship revenue in the NFL: Finance, Healthcare, Alcohol, and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.

Players saw a huge growth in endorsement deals.
Over 1,000 brands had player endorsements deals, growing 51% year over year. The most active brands were Verizon, adidas, BodyArmor, Nike, and Bud Light. Fastest growing categories were Apparel, Technology and Financial.

More than 1 out of 5 sponsorship deals were tied to cause & community-related initiatives, doubling since 2019.
Youth-related initiatives, focused on education and health, was the most supported cause by NFL teams. Everfi was the most active brand, with the Financial, Healthcare and Technology categories most likely to tie into a cause.

Controversy and winning drove social follower growth.
Antonio BrownTom Brady and Aaron Rogers saw the largest gain in followers since the pre-season, while the Dallas Cowboys, LA Rams and Las Vegas Raiders gained the most followers amongst teams.

Sports Betting, Crypto and Tech are driving league growth and interest.
Sports Betting saw the largest expansion in sponsorship and media deals for the 2nd year in a row, at an 83%+ increase. Cryptocurrency was the most searched category by NFL executives on the SponsorUnited platform.

For a deeper look, and to access many other insights, download the SponsorUnited NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report at SponsorUnited.com.

NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report | Social Media Brand Performance

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, Bose Corporation ranked #1 in total posts (with players and teams) while Lexus had the highest average engagement per post.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the release of the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report.

Super Bowl Commercials | Top 5

The top 5 commercials as measured by USA Today’s Ad Meter Rating was as follows:

  1. Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage: “Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie”
  2. Amazon “Mind Reader” with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost
  3. Doritos/Cheetos “Push It” campaign with Charlie Puth and Megan Thee Stallion
  4. Kia “Robo Dog / The All-Electric Kia EV6”
  5. Toyota “Brothers” starring paralympian Brian McKeever and his older brother Ryan

Coming in the top spot according to USA Today, Rocket Mortgage, headquartered in Detroit, has over 50 sponsorship deals. The Detroit Lions are their largest deal in terms of total assets bought with over 20 total sponsorship assets. The brands top market stays consistent with their headquarters as they have over 15 sponsorship or media deals within the Detroit Market.

According to SponsorUnited data, Amazon and its sub-brands lead the way with 1,098 sponsorship or media deals while Toyota  has over 130 more sponsorship deals than the other four brands combined. Within the United States, Los Angeles is the top market for both Toyota and Amazon while only in the top five for one other brand, Rocket Mortgage. New York and Chicago have a large impact across the top three brands as they both land in the top four across Amazon, Toyota and Kia.