The much anticipated United States men’s national team’s roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was released last night in New York.
Rising stars took over the MLB Gold Glove Winners list with 14 players earning the award for the first time across the AL and NL leagues. With many new faces winning for the 1st time, brands will have the opportunity to capitalize on these rising stars.
Athletic apparel and equipment brands most frequently partnered with this year’s Gold Glove Award Winners, led by Rawling Sporting Goods (6), Franklin Sports (5), New Balance (4), and Nike (4).
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Congratulations to Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas, the winners of this year’s Ballon d’Or (“Golden Ball”) Award, presented in Paris on October 17th. Nominees for the annual award recognizing the best player over the previous year–presented by French news magazine French Football since 1956–included 30 men’s and 20 women’s football players from around the world.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema–nicknamed “Karim the Dream”–was the favorite after winning the UEFA Nations League with France, the LaLiga title, the Spain Supercup, and the Champions League with Real Madrid, as well as the 2021/2022 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. With 120M total followers, Benzema was the second most-followed Ballon d’Or nominee this year on social media. His partnerships with 6 brands–including adidas, Jean Paul Gaultier, Technogym, and Crypto.com–have generated 16M engagements and counting.
Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or Award for the second consecutive year, becoming the first female player to win the title twice. Her elite run has boosted her social following a whopping 330% year-over-year to 3M across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The FC Barcelona midfielder takes the 5th spot among both male and female Ballon d’Or nominees in terms of brand partnerships, garnering more than 2.4M engagements across 18 branded posts.
With a staggering following of more than 740M, nominee Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular person in the world on social media. He also leads the nominees in brand partnerships with 17, including LiveScore, Nike, Clear (Unilever), and CR7, his own underwear brand. With 18 nominations during his career–the most of any player–the Portuguese megastar has won 5 Ballon d’Or trophies, a feat surpassed only by Lionel Messi with 7 awards.
Alex Morgan tops the list of female players on social media with an audience of more than 20M–ranking her 15th among all Ballon d’Or nominees by total followers. With 27 deals, the San Diego Wave striker also partners with more brands than any other female athlete. Morgan’s most engaging branded post–on Instagram with Beat Everybody, the clothing brand she cofounded with fellow US Women’s National Soccer Team players Allie Long and Kelley O’Hara–has racked up 293K engagements since January.
To learn more about these athletes and their social metrics, download the Ballon d’Or SPRED Report at https://sponsorunited.com/ballon-dor-spred-report/.
The 2022/23 NBA season–the league’s 77th–tipped off on Tuesday with a marquee doubleheader. As fans gear up for a slew of exciting match-ups over the next six months, here’s a glimpse at how the league’s teams and players fared on social media during the offseason.
NBA teams stayed active with 3,187 sponsored posts across 366 deals since mid-June, engaging over 18.7M followers–an average of 51K per deal and 5.6K per post.
Top 5 offseason posts (by total engagement):
The Lakers and the Warriors dominated social media during their time off, generating a combined 42% of the NBA’s total engagement. The Lakers accounted for 20%, engaging 3.7M fans across 103 posts–40 of which were with Korean food company Bibigo, the team’s jersey patch sponsor. Five of the NBA’s 10 most engaging posts were Lakers’ branded posts, 3 of which were with Bibigo.
Engaging 4.1M followers across 291 posts–192 with Oracle–the Warriors were responsible for 22% of the NBA’s social engagement since last season ended. The team averaged engagement of 415K per brand, eclipsing the Lakers’ 234K per partner. The Warriors’ offseason social activity with Oracle amassed over 1M more engagements than any other NBA partnership, due in large part to its plethora of posts.
NBA players were also busy on social media during the offseason, as Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo proved why they’re among the four highest paid players in the league.
Top 5 NBA player offseason posts (by total engagement):
Athletes with supersize social media clout naturally command much bigger deals. Here are the NBA giants with the highest-earning endorsement portfolios, and some of their deep-pocketed brand partners.
Estimated NBA athlete endorsement portfolio earnings (Source: Sportico)
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.
The top 5 brands by number of deals in the NIL space are:
While many brands are singling out top players to partner with, some are casting a wider net–like Hooters, which in August signed 51 offensive linemen from 10 top college football programs.
Following is a snapshot of social engagement garnered by these deals (which average 2 posts per partnership) across college sports through August 2022. Top deals are ranked by average engagement per post, with a minimum of 3 posts.
A perennial fan favorite, college football’s NIL deals number 598 and include 1,235 posts. Total engagement across all posts was 2.7M, averaging 4,564 per deal, while average engagement per post was 1,618, with 4.17% of followers engaging.
Despite having just 52 deals with a collective 88 posts, women’s gymnastics trumps all other college sports by social engagement, with a whopping 19M across all posts, averaging 224,327 per deal. Average engagement per post was 74,776, with 5.48% of followers engaging.
With a total of 328 deals spanning 635 posts, men’s basketball–another high-profile fan favorite–boasts total social engagement of 3.8M, averaging 11,710 per deal. Per-post engagement averaged 4,198, with 4.54% of followers engaging.
At 5.4M, women’s college basketball’s total social engagement is second only to women’s gymnastics–averaging 23,163 per deal, with 234 total deals spanning 430 posts. Average engagement per post was 8,828, with 4.51% of followers engaging.
Though baseball’s storied standing as one of America’s all-time favorite sports is undeniable, its following at the college level–on social media, at least–pales in comparison to others’. With 52 deals encompassing 92 posts, total engagement was just 161,000, averaging 3,100 per deal. That said, its social followers–though few in number–are devoted: per-post engagement averaged 1,119, with a whopping 9.79% of followers engaging.
With 83 deals encompassing 159 posts, softball’s total engagement was 1M, averaging 12,427 per deal. Average engagement per post was 4,352, with 5.17% of followers engaging.