Sponsor Insights

Apparel & Accessories Leads In NIL Deals

More than 1,000 brands have partnered with collegiate athletes in NIL deals over the last 15 months, and that number continues to be on the rise.

Through August 2022, 1,637 NIL partnerships have been inked across college sports, which collectively include 3,381 social posts. Engagement across all deals stood at 34M– averaging 20,839 per deal–while average engagement per post numbered 7,069, with 5.14% of followers engaging.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 industry categories in the NIL space by number of deals, with a quick look at their respective leading players.

Apparel & Accessories

  • The Players Trunk : 60% of the brand’s overall NIL partnerships are with men’s college basketball athletes. 
  • Adidas: The brand has NIL deals with athletes in 8 sports, while 51% of its NIL partnerships are with female athletes (21% women’s soccer; 15% softball; 15% women’s volleyball). 
  • American Eagle Outfitters: 46% of American Eagle Outfitters’ NIL partnerships are with college football athletes–30% of whom play for Ohio State. LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne’s 9 American Eagle Outfitters posts have racked up a total engagement of 2,333,957 so far. 

 

Technology

  • Players’ Lounge: 91% of the gaming brand’s overall partnerships are with college athletes, of which 79% are football players.  
  • Epic Games: College football players comprise 54% of the brand’s NIL partnerships are with football athletes. While female basketball players only account for 13% of its deals, University of Oregon’s Sedona Prince tops Epic’s partner list for highest total social engagement (25,489) and average engagement per post (12,745). 
  • Mercury NFT: 68% of the brand’s overall partnerships are with college athletes:  62% in men’s Basketball and 6% in football. 

 

Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR)

  • Raising Cane’s: While 42% of the chicken finger specialist’s NIL partnerships are with football athletes, the brand is the only QSR that has a partnership with a (female) wrestler–Marlee Smith (Arizona State). Football player Stetson Bennet boasts the brand’s highest total and average engagement, at 46,964 and 23,482, respectively. 
  • Krystal: 59% of the Georgia-based burger maker’s overall partnerships are with college athletes (37% football; 12% men’s basketball; 10% women’s basketball). Georgia women’s soccer player Abby Boyan is its one NIL deal outside of football and basketball. 
  • Bojangles: 27% of the chicken-and-biscuit brand’s NIL partnerships are with female athletes (23% women’s basketball; 5% softball), while 52% are with football players. 

 

Financial 

  • FTX: 65% of the brand’s NIL partnerships are with football players, while 23% of FTX’s overall partnerships are with college athletes (17% football; 6% men’s basketball). Sacramento State men’s basketball player Deshaun Highler totaled 19 posts for FTX, with a total engagement of 33,233. 
  • H&R Block: 94% of the tax prep company’s partnerships are with female athletes. South Carolina women’s basketball player Zia Cooke leads its list of athlete endorsers: 5 of her posts for the brand scored total engagement of 200,248 followers. 
  • Current: 53% of the fintech brand’s NIL partnerships are with football players. Nebraska Women’s volleyball standout Lexi Rodriguez and Arizona State women’s wrestler Marlee Smith boast Current’s top two total engagements on social, at 8,628 and 1,858, respectively. 

 

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

  • UPTIME Energy: 44% of the brand’s overall partnerships are with college softball players. It’s 1 of 6 brands (along with Magic Spoon, Champs Sports, DoorDash, DSW, and Met-Rx) to have a partnership with a men’s soccer athlete–Jared Panson of Brandeis University–and 1 of 2 non-alcoholic beverage brands (along with Rowdy Energy) to partner with a lacrosse athlete.  
  • Simple Truth: 55% of its overall partnerships are with men’s basketball players.  
  • Six Star Pro Nutrition: 24% of the brand’s total partnerships are with college basketball athletes (16% men’s; 8% women’s). It’s the only non-alcoholic beverage partnered with a (female) golfer: Stanford University’s Rachel Heck.   

 

The top 5 brands by number of deals in the NIL space are:

  1. Hooters: 40% of the brand’s overall partnerships are with college football players. One of its notable NIL deals outside the sport is with University of Arkansas golfer John Daly II, son of professional golfer John Daly.
  2. Players’ Lounge (see above)
  3. FTX (see above)
  4. Raising Cane’s (see above)
  5. Degree: The deodorant brand has deals with athletes across 11 college sports; 24% of its NIL partnerships are with female athletes.  

These Organizations are Crushing the Social Game for Tech Brands

FC Barcelona has the highest average engagement per tech branded post over any other property. Leveraging brands like Estrella Damm, Gatorade, and Beko Global across their social media channels FC Barcelona has a total gross social following of 261M. Other international football teams and leagues with the highest engagement on social media include Real Madrid C.F., Chelsea Football Club, and The Premier League.

NFL | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

NFL Insight

The NFL leads Major Pro Sports for Technology brands in highest total revenue, most unique brands, and have increased their number of sponsorship deals with NFL athletes by over 50.

Bose CorporationEVERFIMicrosoft Surface, and EA SPORTS have a prominent presence in the NFL working with 30+ properties each.

Want to learn more about technology brand’s presence in the Major Pro Sports? Download the Technology Annual Report for FREE now at SponsorUnited.com.

Technology Sponsorships Report

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/tech-sponsorships-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.

Major Pro Sports | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

Major Pro Sport Tech Insight

The Tech Category is now the 6th highest ranked within Major Pro Sports sponsorships, averaging 9 sponsorship deals per team. Over 400 technology and consumer electronics brands are buying sponsorship or media across the leagues.

Interested in learning more about spend data within the Technology and Consumer Electronics industry? Download the Technology Annual Report for FREE now at SponsorUnited.com.

Endorsements | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

Ariana Grande and Fortnite created a campaign in game called the “Rift Tour” giving players the ability to navigate throughout the game for an in game concert experience.

Looking for more insights on partnerships in the technology category? Stay with us this week as we release our Technology Sponsorships Annual Report!

Youth Initiatives | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

SAAS / Software company, EVERFI emphasize youth and community initiatives through their partnerships in Major Pro Sports.

93% of EverFi’s total deals include a community / cause related asset. Interested in learning more about SAAS / Software brands? Stay tuned for the SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report coming next week!

Netaverse | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

The Brooklyn Nets and Yes Network have embraced virtual reality broadcasting in the form of the “Netaverse”, making the NBA team officially the first professional sports team to join the metaverse. The “Netaverse” uses over 100 high-resolution video cameras around the court which help render the virutal reality experience for fans bringing them closer to the game than ever.

Over 400 technology brands are buying sponsorships in Major Pro Sports. Want to take a deeper dive into the future of tech innovation in sports? Keep an eye out for the SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report coming soon! 

Logitech | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

Logitech is the most active technology brand in esports leveraging over 100 partnerships with esports leagues, teams, and influencers.

Los Angeles leads the way in terms of most Logitech sponsorship deals per market, followed closely by the New York market. Interested in learning more about Logitech along with other tech brands and their sponsorship portfolios? The SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report is coming soon!

 

Socios.com | Technology Sponsorships Annual Report

Socios.com

As Socios.com pushs into the United States, in 2021 they signed deals with the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS.

Stay tuned next week for the SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report. This FREE report will highlight expanding brands, categories, activations, social media data and more!