Sponsor Insights

September Brand Power Rankings

As we charge full-force into fall, here are the top 30 most searched brands by sponsorship executives on the SponsorUnited platform during the month of September. 

Thanks to a high-profile deal with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution, eco-friendly hand sanitizer maker Shimmy debuted at #1 on the list, after becoming the official hand sanitizer of both teams and Gillette Stadium. 

While the partnership was announced in August, the brand has seen multiple assets with the Revolution this season, including ads on the videoboard, sponsored email content, and entertainment-related content showing fans doing the “Shimmy dance” at games. The “Shimmy Cam” has also captured Patriot fans cheering on their favorite team at the stadium in past weeks. 

Another list newcomer, OOFOS, landed in the #2 spot thanks to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders–its first sponsorship with a pro sports team in the US–that named it the team’s Official Recovery Footwear. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr also signed a multi-year partnership with the brand, highlighting how the shoes directly impact his success on the field. OOFOS currently has 11 sponsorship deals, primarily within the endurance and action sports industries.

Global tax services and software provider, Ryan LLC, made its first appearance at #3. In mid-September, ​​Dallas-based Ryan announced its inaugural MLB sponsorship, a multi-year partnership with the New York Yankees. The deal gives the brand several hospitality assets for entertaining during games, with the goal of growing its business and brand recognition in the New York metro area. 

Watch maker INVICTA, another newbie to the list ranked #4. The brand has inked multiple deals during the last two months, including a licensing deal with the NHL for the rights to create a special collection honoring hockey. The collection will include all 32 NHL teams and will be available for purchase this season, which kicks off next week. Another partnership announced in August named INVICTA Official Timekeeper of the Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium, where activations include displays on the game clock, billboards, and pop-up stores during the team’s home games.

The following brands rounded out the top 10: 

  • Turo
  • Truff Hot Sauce
  • Apple
  • Kellogg’s
  • Intuit
  • Coca-Cola

All-State Brand Spotlight

The inaugural MLS NEXT game, presented by Allstate–which took place on August 9th in Minneapolis during this MLS All-Star Week–celebrated 44 of the best young soccer players in North America. It also highlighted Allstate’s prominence as an MLS sponsor: the insurance powerhouse has deals with nearly half of the MLS clubs, and one with the league itself. 

Within a top-heavy category of Property & Casualty Insurance, Allstate has made a splash in the sponsorship world, trailing just behind State Farm and GEICO with over 175 deals. More than 25% of its overall partnerships (both sponsorships and media buys) fall within the college landscape–with the Power 5 schools and conferences, where the brand has over 60 deals, its prime targets. 

Allstate has sponsored the storied Sugar Bowl since 2007, when it succeeded previous sponsor Nokia. Among its array of assets at the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship, most notable was a sponsored activity which offered fans the chance to kick a field goal into a branded Allstate net. Across all partnerships, 43% of Allstates deals include TV-visible signage–whether field goal net signage, a courtside digital apron, or exit tunnel signage.

Nearly 100 partners have tagged Allstate in a social media post. In the last 12 months, 96 properties have partnered with Allstate on social channels, totaling nearly 1,300 posts–an average 13 posts per deal, with total engagement north of 1.1 million. 

Allstate’s highest engaged post, at nearly 70,000 followers, is with the U.S Soccer Federation. Despite its 60-plus deals with Power 5 schools, the brand rarely sees an awareness boost from social posts: Its top performer, with Louisville, engaged just over 5,000 followers, while total engagement with 184 posts across 30 schools still falls short of its soccer post performance. 

The brand’s real sponsorship success lies in live events. TV-visible signage–a bona fide brand builder–is included in 88% of Allstate’s deals within the Power 5 schools.

All-State Brand Spotlight

July Brand Power Rankings

With summer in full swing, here’s the July list of the 30 most searched brands by sponsorship executives on the SponsorUnited platform. 

*See full list below

Better-for-you cereal maker Magic Spoon continued its red-hot ascent this month, moving from third place in June to the top spot in July. The brand’s momentum keeps building, as evidenced by the $85 million Series B funding round it raised in June. Some 45% of its deals are with podcasts, including the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience. 

Meanwhile, IT company DXC Technology made the list for the first time this year, seizing second place after announcing a multi-year global partnership with Manchester United. DXC will use its digital transformation expertise to improve the way ManU engages fans through its digital platforms–including ManUtd.com and the Manchester United app–by harnessing the power of data and analytics technologies. As part of the deal, DXC will have a jersey patch for the 2022/23 season on the club’s home, away, and third kits (uniforms in British parlance). The Virginia-based company will also become the Presenting Partner of the Manchester United Foundation.

Notably, DXC’s biggest market is Washington, D.C., home to 45% of its sponsorships, including the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, and Georgetown Hoyas.

In other sports news, Heinz Field has become Acrisure Stadium in a new naming-rights agreement with the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The deal begins in the new 2022 season, and is estimated at $10 million annually over the next 15 years.

In fifth place, global e-commerce platform Wish was announced as the official sleeve partner of Premier League team Leeds United throughout the 22/23 campaign. The signage extends to the men’s, women’s and academy teams, across all official replica shirts, and throughout the home stadium. The branding also offers a sneak peak of Wish’s new logo ahead of its official rebrand this month.

Dunkin’ has joined the new 3ICE Hockey League as one of its main sponsors as part of an undisclosed six-figure deal, expanding the company’s sprawling portfolio of more than 370 sponsorship and media deals. Notably, hockey ranks fourth on the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chain’s list of property types in terms of total deals.

July 2022 Brand Power Rankings

GameDay Vodka | Brand Spotlight

We highlight the sponsorship and media portfolio of GameDay Vodka. The spirit brand has a significant presence in both the National Football League and Power 5 Schools & Conferences.

GameDay Vodka Brand Spotlight

April Brand Power Rankings

The year of Cryptocurrency continues in the sponsorship world as numerous new deals continue to get signed. Nearly 30% of the top 30 most searched brands on the SponsorUnited platform continued to be from the Crypto category. From the #2805 spot to #1 spot, Coinmotion was in motion last month and in the news recently due to their involvement with Bitcoin donations to Ukraine. With sponsorship execs shining the spotlight on this brand, it will be interesting to see if sponsorship deals follow.

FlexIt Fitness has seen a 361% increase month over month in search data after signing their first Major Pro Sports deal with the Florida Panthers at the end of March. So what was included in the deal?

Designated the Official Virtual Fitness Partner of the Florida Panthers, assets included in the deal are: in-person activations, venue signage, promotion sponsor, entertainment related content with the  “FlexIt Flexcam” as well as having trainers outside the stadium getting the heart rate of fans up with exercises outdoors.

Signing a first-of-its-kind deal within the MLB, Motorola will become the Jersey Patch partner for the San Diego Padres. The deal adds to Motorola’s growing list of sponsors having over 25 deals, up over 75% since 2020.

Within the top 100 most searched brands, the Financial category leads the way by a wide margin having 22 brands land on the list. The QSR and Technology categories are tied for 2nd with 9 each. 

2022 Brand Power Rankings

Sneaker Collaborations

Everyone knows sneaker collaborations are extremely popular across music artists, athletes, influencers, and teams, and brands are eager to get in on the action. So far in 2022 we’ve seen quite a few collaborations that were unique and a bit surprising. 

Fruity Pebbles x Nike x Lebron

Waffle House x adidas

Sweethearts x Crocs

Just to name a few….

This past week, Waffle House x adidas created limited-edition golf shoes for the Masters. Available beginning April 7th, the three stripes on the sides will sport a brown, checkered waffle pattern.

What other brands have created limited edition footwear?

The adidas and Waffle House collab, follows in the footsteps of adidas and LEGO in mid 2021. The two organizations came together to provide LEGO fans with not only one shoe, but an entire sneaker line of LEGO branded sneakers. 

Lebron James x Nike x Fruity Pebbles debuted the LeBron James 19 Low Magic Fruity Pebbles shoe. Providing promotions during the launch, fans were able to buy a box of the Magic Fruity Pebbles for 20% any items and automatically be entered into a sweepstakes for Lebron’s limited-edition shoe.

Crocs has been a leading brand within the sneaker collaboration space partnering with many music artists. Diplo, Post Malone, Saweetie, Justin Bieber amongst others have all partnered with Crocs over the last year creating Crocs that show off the artists style and vibes.

Sneaker Collaborations

Kellogg’s | Brand Spotlight

Kellogg’s has over 80 sponsorship deals while a third of those deals come within the college space including schools as well as bowl games and tournaments. Frosted Flakes deals alone span across more than 15 NCAA properties. Most notably though, Kellogg’s utilizes the Cheez-It brand as the presenting sponsor of a college football bowl game during as well as the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at the beginning of the basketball season. 

Across Major Pro Sports, Kellogg’s has a league deal with the MLS which spans across 16 of their 27 teams as seen in the SponsorUnited MLS 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report. Cheez-It and Pringles are the Official Snacks of the MLS and eMLS and their other brand Eggo, is the Official Waffle. The focus of their partnership with the MLS is to engage with their younger, multicultural audience.

Within all of their sponsorship deals, 64% of their deals include TV-Visible signage including courtside aprons, digital ads on the goal line and exit tunnel signage. TV-Visible signage and Property Entitlements are the largest assets secured in Kellogg’s sponsorship deals.

Tequila | Sponsorship Lineup

In honor of National Margarita Day, here are the most active tequila brands among all sponsorships & media partnerships: Don Julio, Hornitos Tequila, and El Jimador. Of the 75+ brands tracked, Hornitos was the fastest growing across NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS while Don Julio was the fastest growing within music.

Don Julio signed a deal with Austin FC during their inaugural season in 2021 having six sponsorship assets with the team. The assets they had with the team ranged from signage in the stadium to in-store point of sale activations as well as a sponsored attendee take home item. Don Julio has over 10 sponsorships within the music space including artists having a deal with country music artist, Ingrid Andress.

Hornitos has over 25 sponsorship, media or vendor deals across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS while more than five of those currently are a sponsorship deal as well. Besides use of marks, TV-visible signage is the most bought asset by the brand as it is included in 35% of deals.

El Jimador is the leading Tequila brand in the MLS with eight deals in 2021, more than doubling the second brand Lunazul Tequila. Their biggest deal in terms of sponsorship assets comes with the MLS Cup Champions, New York City FC. On the digital media front, the two organizations worked together to have a sponsored video on the website and app as well as content sponsored on the Pup Partner page on the website.

 

Tequila Brands Lineup

The Future of Fitness Coaching is within the Future App

Future, a fitness app that virtually connects you with your very own personal trainer, has signed deals with the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors. The brand will become the Official Fitness Coaching partner of both teams as they have opened up a new sponsorship category within the NBA

The brand will be getting awareness with logo visibility at both Madison Square Garden and the Chase Center while also creating exclusive content with the strength and conditioning coaches of both teams. They will also be featured during the game with promotions available for fans attending games.

Each week SponsorUnited sends out a list of the top 25 hottest brands to current clients. This list is ranked by weekly increase in profile views by unique users of SponsorUnited. Last week after the deal was announced with the teams, Future was ranked #5 on the list while the week prior was ranked #478. It will be interesting to watch Future as the season continues. SponsorUnited will be tracking all assets Future has at both arenas which is set to debut in the next week as the All-Star break has ended. The brand has currently been activating with the Golden State Warriors on social media with branded posts called “Road Reps.”

 

Peloton | Brand Spotlight

Peloton is changing the way people get fit. With 15% of their partnerships tied to athletes and influencers, social media is their #1 sponsorship asset.

Notable athlete deals include partnerships with Olympic Gold Medalist, Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix.