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 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.

Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

Tech sector estimated to have spent over $300M in partnerships across U.S. Major Pro Sports

This report details trends in sponsorships and partnership data surrounding the technology and consumer electronics category and subcategories throughout 2021 and into early 2022. The report takes a specialized look into over 3,500 technology and consumer electronics brands and their sponsorship and media partnerships. 

The Technology Category is now the 6th highest ranked within Major Pro Sports sponsorships.

Total revenue spent across the five Major Pro Sports in the technology and consumer electronics industry eclipsed the $300M benchmark for sponsorship spending. The brands in the tech industry have edged out auto manufacturers, retail and insurance brands making it one of the hottest categories entering this decade.

Tech Brands spend the most with the NFL.

The NFL led all Major Pro Sports for tech brands in highest total revenue, most unique brands, and had over 50 new sponsorship deals with NFL players; the most of any category. With an average NFL team spend of close to $4M, the tech category was ranked #6 across category partnership spending in the NFL. Software deals had the most sponsorships with the NFL across all tech and consumer electronics brands. 

Esports, the 6th Major Pro Sport for Technology Brands.

Given the tech savvy audience associated with Esports, it’s no surprise that tech brands were 450% more active in Esports than any other category. Esports gives technology brands a platform to utilize their brands across the industry. With over 750 different brands partnering to provide equipment to Esports leagues, teams, and influencers, the industry remains the most active while seeing the largest increase in deal volume from 2020.

Music & Entertainers are making big moves in the virtual 3D space.

Music artists and entertainment influencers have stepped onto a new virtual stage, one that could very well shape the future of how we consume live music events. In 2021, tech bands partnered with music artists for in-game virtual concerts and activations to engage with the users as they enter their digital worlds. 

 The Rise of NFT.

As the technology space continues to evolve, NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens) are at the forefront of the expansion, starting with NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) deals. Technology brands rank #2 among categories for NIL brands while Mercury NFT and Candy Digital were two of the top three brands having NIL deals.

Popularity Contest: Thirst for Crypto Partnerships Helps Finance Retain #1 Rank in Sports & Entertainment Category Search in ’21

According to SponsorUnited data, there was a 672% increase in the number of Cryptocurrency brands buying sponsorship or media from 2020 to 2021 with Coinbase, Crypto.com & FTX being the three most searched Financial brands.

Have NFT’s followed the Cryptocurrency hot streak?

As much buzz as NFT’s have been getting as of late, SponsorUnited is not seeing nearly the research and partnership demand as you’d expect vs. other hot categories within the SponsorUnited platform. Last week (1/16-1/22), our search data shows that sports & entertainment executives continue to look for the next big brand in Cryptocurrency as these brands saw 4.9X more search than NFT’s. 

As for NFT’s, Socios.com a platform that looks to bring the fans closer to the team. Socios.com currently has a partnership with 26 NBA teams according to the SponsorUnited platform, while expanding with 40+ new deals in the United States in 2021. Their expansion into the US comes after a year where they had 90% of their deals internationally which is now just over 60%.