Sponsor Insights

Manchester Derby Sponsorship Outlook

This Sunday, Etihad Stadium will host the 188th edition of one of the greatest football games of the season: the Manchester Derby, with both Manchester United and Manchester City vying for the win to move up the ranks of the Premier League. Off the pitch, let’s compare the teams’ endorsement deals and social media clout. 

Since 2008, when Man City was bought by the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mansour, the team had won the Premier League 6 times.

Man City’s success has attracted a slew of brand partnerships: the team has 69 sponsorship and media deals, while Manchester United has 60. In terms of sponsorships only, Man City’s 56 deals eclipse Man U’s 30. 

Manchester United has long been considered the most popular Premier League club with the widest fan base worldwide, making them one of the more exclusive teams in the league. Man U leads the Premier League on social media with an astonishing 184.7M followers combined across all channels. Man City ranks a distant 5th by this metric with 98.2M followers. Man U also dominates in total engagement with 21.5M followers–an average of 1.9M per brand–compared to Man City’s total engagement of 8.3M and per-brand average of 270K.

In the last year, Man U’s following grew 28% (vs. 16% for Man City), thanks largely to the team’s re-signing of Portuguese superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo in August 2021. The English club gained over a million followers in the two hours after the club announced the news. 

Ronaldo’s staggering 733.1M followers across all social media–almost 3x more followers than both Manchester teams combined–make him the most followed (and arguably influential) person in not just football but in the world. His 23 deals leverage this unrivaled influence: his total engagement of 196M nets out to an average of 12.2M per brand and 2.2M per post.

Meanwhile, Man City star player Kevin De Bruyne currently has deals with 8 brands and a gross social following of 43.5M, and teammate Erling Haaland has 7 deals and tallies over 20M followers. Notably, Haaland’s posts with Dolce & Gabbana, Hyperice, Samsung, and MICROMILSPEC have racked up 10M engagements this year.

Champions League Kit Suppliers

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The 2022/23 Champions League group stage draw took place today in Istanbul, Turkey. As the countdown to the UEFA showpiece competition begins, let’s see how the kit suppliers and jersey sponsors stack up among the 32 qualified clubs.

Nike supplies over 42% of the teams that qualified directly, trailed by Puma and Adidas with the next largest share of this pool at 19% each. Nike only had one other club, Maccabi Haifa, in the playoff round of qualifying, and supplied 3 of the 4 Premier League automatically qualified teams. Brighton & Hove Albion (who finished 9th in the Premier League in 2021/22) are the only other Premier League team that has a deal with Nike. Nike also serves as kit supplier to Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) and RB Leipzig (Germany)–both owned by Red Bull, which is the primary jersey patch sponsor of both teams.

As apparel sponsor of Sevilla, Rangers and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, UK sportswear brand Castore will see its kit’s appear in the Champions League Group Stage for the first time.
Twenty-seven brands are primary jersey patch sponsors of the teams in the Group Stage. But Unibet & Emirates (three), Betano, and Redbull (all two) will have Primary jersey patches on multiple teams in the Group stages.

Of the 32 qualified teams, Sports Betting is the most active category with 8 sponsorships, followed by Airlines with 5 deals and four categories with 3.

MLS All-Star Skills Challenge

SponsorUnited was on the ground at the 2022 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge. Below are the top 3 most commonly seen brands during the Minneapolis-based event.

Event Activations:
AT&T
Old Spice
Bounty

ESPN Broadcast:
AT&T
GMC
Frontier Communications

Check out the graphic below to see how these brands activated during the event.

MLS ALL-Star Week (7)

UEFA Super Cup

Real Madrid is set to play Eintracht Frankfurt today for the first time in 62 years in the UEFA Super Cup held in Helsinki.

Checkout the brands that will gain most exposure on the field during the match.

UEFA Super Cup

European Football Returning Teams

Three European Football Leagues begin their new season this week: English Premier League, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1.

Betway and Coca-Cola had dominant appearances on and off the pitch during the 2021-22 season. Which brands plan to make their mark this season?

To view more insights about European Football download our full report: https://sponsorunited.com/2021-22-european-football-partnerships/

UEFA 2022 Women’s Euro Instant Replay

The  UEFA 2022 Women’s Euro–which wrapped up in London on Sunday–garnered record attendance across the entire tournament, doubling it from 2017 for a new record of nearly 575,000 spectators. 

The final match–which saw England win its first-ever major women’s championship with a 2-1 victory over Germany–also set new records for attendance and broadcast viewership, with over 87,000 fans and 17.5 million viewers in the UK, respectively. 

Fifteen brands leveraged the tournament’s unprecedented spotlight as sponsors, with visibility on social media and at the venues. Healthcare brand Grifols’ many sponsorship assets included signage on the video board, sponsored content via email, and social media posts of the tournament’s top scorer, Beth Mead.

Heineken had a unique opportunity as presenting sponsor of the pregame warm-up for some of the matches, which included a live DJ set.

As the presenting sponsor of the “player of the match” for all 31 games, VISA enjoyed prime positioning, with its logo front and center on the trophy. VISA also scored the most social posts with the UEFA Women’s Champions League with 72–nearly double those of second-place Heineken.

VISA’s social posts with the UEFA outnumbers all other brands in 2022, while Heineken scored the highest total engagement with the league, with 160,000 followers across 46 posts. Heineken also leads in highest average engagement per post, at over 3,000 followers.

VISA and Heineken also created campaigns celebrating women’s empowerment surrounding the tournament. Heineken launched a campaign in May that encourages fans of all genders to show their passion for women’s football. VISA’s campaign, unveiled last month across audio, digital, and print formats, leveraged the tagline, “When more of us play, all of us win,” in homage to female athletes.

Women's Euros Final Instant Replay

Kit Suppliers | European Football

SponsorUnited released ​​the first international partnerships report focused on European football. Jersey exposure is a significant asset for brands to leverage with the prominent logo position. For more insights, check out the full report.

  • No surprise, Apparel & Accessory giants Nike and Adidas lead the way with 62 team partnerships (34%). The largest number of deals are in Spain (50%) and least amount are with Italian teams (17.5%)
  • Italy has the most suppliers with 17 unique brands
  • There is a relatively even split between primary and secondary leagues (18 different brands av. 5.4 teams each v. 20 @ 5.2)
  • Castore have announced their plans for European expansion (already supplying Newcastle and Wolves) signing up Aston Villa, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Sevilla and UD Almeria for 22/23
  • With nearly 170 kit deals, Ligue 1 is the most popular league for brands to sign a jersey kit sponsorship with
  • 40% of brands purchased both a primary and a practice jersey patch with the same team
  • The highest sub-category for primary jersey patches was Betting Services with 18, despite being banned in 20% of the leagues

European Football 2021-22 Report

European Football Sponsorships

Download Now: https://sponsorunited.com/2021-22-european-football-partnerships/

The first international sponsorship and marketing report focused on European football.

The 2021-22 European Football Partnerships Report is fortified by data from over 7,000 brands across more than 9,000 deals and from 10 of the top European football leagues (Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1, along with each league’s corresponding second tier.) This report also contains growth and engagement insights on over 2,750 brands that created collaborative social media content.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Construction is the most active sponsorship category for the third consecutive season across European football leagues.
  • While Betting deals have declined by 10%, Crypto deals have grown an impressive 140% this season.
  • The most searched brands by European football club executives were Crypto.com, FTX, DraftKings, Verizon and Dunkin’.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi now officially have over 1B followers combined due in part to joining new clubs.
  • Transferring teams can offer a huge boost in social following for players.

This report was compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform data from July 2021 through May 2022. Social data compiled from property or person-controlled Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn accounts and social activity. The leagues included in this report are as follows: Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, EFL Championship, LaLiga 2, Serie B, 2. Bundesliga, Ligue 2.

UEFA Champions League Final

Last Saturday, Real Madrid raised their 14th Champions League trophy, making them the most successful team in the history of the tournament, with a total of 14 UCL trophies.

We broke down some of the top insights from the biggest soccer game of the year.

 

UEFA Champions League IR

Equal Pay for USWNT & USMNT

Up until Wednesday, the US Women’s Soccer team had to rely heavily on sponsorship deals to level out their income as professional athletes. While the Women’s National Soccer team outperformed the Men’s, there was a HUGE pay gap between genders. 

Take a look at a few former and current Women’s Soccer players who capitalized on their skills on and off the field, and how they size up against the men.. 

Alex Morgan has secured 25 total deals over the past year with some of the most notable brands being Google, Coca-Cola and AT&T. Megan Rapinoe has also cashed in big with 15 total deals including commercials with Cliff Bar and Subway, alongside notable deals with Nike and Victoria Secret. Lindsey Horan has 10 deals most notably with Adidas, Quest Nutrition and Visible. These female athletes have been able to navigate a world with unequal pay and now get the chance to get equal pay and the ability to use their soccer talents to sign more endorsement deals.

On the flip side, Men’s players have seen less success on the field which can equate to less success off the field. Jozy Altidore (former player) & Christian Pulisic have less deals than most of their female counterparts, Altidore has six deals and Pulisic who is an up and coming star on the team has seven. Interesting to see the differences in endorsement deals when a team has been successful on the field as the USWNT has been over the last couple decades.