Sponsor Insights

CMA Awards

The 56th Annual CMA Awards take place tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

Take a look at the social game and endorsement deals of the 5 nominees for Entertainer of the Year.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

Lollapalooza kicks off its 4-day festival in Chicago with Metallica headlining tonight.

Notable brands Metallica works with include ESP Guitars, Blackened American Whiskey, The Coda Collection and Yousician.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

Rolling Loud 2022

Billed as the largest hip-hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud rolls into Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium Friday with 35 sponsors onboard for the three-day event.

Booze leads the list of industries banking on the buzzy event, with big names like Ciroc, Smirnoff, Dussé, and Modelo among the 8 Alcohol category sponsors. Meanwhile, Cannabis/CBD & Accessories takes the second spot, with 5 brands–KaliBloom, Backwoods, Diet Smoke, The Flowery, and Tree O’five–taking advantage of the festival’s location and audience opportunities.

The Media & Entertainment companies bringing the festival to life–like Snapchat, Twitch, Spotify, Verizon, and HBO Max–rank third on the industry list, followed by Cryptocurrency & NFT in fourth, with Zelus and Gutter Cat Gang leading the way. Sponsors in the Financial Services category–a leading endorser of music-related events–include Venmo and Dave. 

Rolling Loud Miami’s three headliners–Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, and Future–count some heavy hitters among their own endorsement deals. While their portfolios might appear small, their partners prove otherwise.

Kid Cudi’s partnerships, McDonald’s and Cadillac, activate heavily across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He also headlines “Camp McDonald’s,” a first-of-its-kind, in-app virtual summer camp that launched July 5th, offering food deals and exclusive virtual concerts every Sunday through the month. While Kid Cudi trails Kendrick Lamar and Future by number of social media followers (16.1 million), he leads across all engagement metrics–total (607,224), per brand (303,612), and per post (101,204)–with an engagement rate of 2.7%. 

With 38.1 million followers on social media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter), Future has built an impressive sponsorship stable, including Hugo Boss and Samsung (a joint #BeYourOwnBoss partnership with both brands in early 2022), Porsche, and Bethesda Softworks. Future remixed the theme song for Bethesda Softworks’ PS5 game “Deathloop” (released last September), which was promoted on Twitter.

Hot on Future’s heels with 37.4 million followers is Kendrick Lamar, who featured in Pepsi’s SuperBowl halftime show commercial, “The Call,” along with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, among other artists. Notably, despite his 11.5 million Instagram followers, Lamar has only 5 posts on the channel, none of which include brands.


Governors Ball

Festival season is in full swing and given the cancellation of many festivals due to Covid, artists and brands are ready to take center stage. The Governors Ball at Citi Field kicks off today with headliners Kid Cudi, Halsey and J.Cole. 

Cole & Kid Cudi both have a strong social following of over 15M however, shockingly enough J. Cole doesn’t have a single deal and Kid Cudi only has one (Cadillac since mid-2021). Halsey on the other hand has leveraged her social media presence of over 45M for her four endorsement deals- Verizon, Ipsy, Magnum Ice Cream & About-Face Beauty.

While the headliners are heavy in followers but light in terms of deals, Jack Harlow stands out amongst the artists having a staggering 140% increase in social followers YoY and brands have jumped on the opportunity to partner with the rising star. 

Although Harlow has seen a massive increase in social following due to his rising popularity, Harlow has consistently had 7-10 endorsements over the last three years. A few of his current deals include Sprite, Venmo, KFC, New Balance, & Verizon. 

Born in Kentucky, Harlow has stated in an Instagram post that he was going to be the biggest music artist ever to come out of Kentucky. Once he started to establish his dream, there was no better brand to partner with the rising KY star than KFC. As part of the partnership, Harlow’s face and name can be seen on KFC buckets and carryout bags. This is a unique collaboration that very few other artists have had the opportunity to do. Other artists with a unique QSR partnership within the last two years are Travis Scott x McDonald’s, Burger King x Nelly, Lil Huddy x Anitta.

Coachella | SponsorInsight

More than 20 brands joined music fans in California as Coachella is back in-person for the first time in 2 years. Many brands tied their deals back to unique campaigns or experiences at the festival. Along with attendees at the event held over two consecutive weekends, millions around the world saw some of their favorite artists hit the stage. Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish were on stage which was made possible via livestream.

Many of the festival’s brand partners created unique experiences for fans in attendance & utilized technology to bring the experience to fans.

YouTube created a livestream during the festival’s first weekend on April 15-17. The Coachella live stream featured six creators operating out of the YouTube shorts documenting their festival experience. Fans were also able to live chat on the stream as well as have access to exclusive merchandise from artists via YouTube shopping.

Lay’s, in person at Coachella, debuted their Potatodomes experience across the festival grounds. Potatodomes included art, sampling room and a four-course tasting experience.

BMW had a #RoadToCoachella campaign featuring original content from Doja Cat. Within this partnership, Doja Cat designed a custom wrap with Coachella branding on the BMW iX vehicle.

Cryptocurrency brand, FTX created an NFT named the “Coachella Keys Collection”. The NFT was a promotion that included 10 one-of-one NFTs that grant lifetime festival access and VIP on-site experiences for Coachella. It also granted front row access to the Coachella Stage, onstage access at the Sahara Tent, and dinner by a celebrity chef.

Coachella 2022

Dua Lipa Brings Truly on Tour

The Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia Tour started early February in Miami at FTX Arena and the global tour will end November 3rd in New Zealand. One brand getting tons of exposure during this tour is Truly Hard Seltzer as they are the presenting sponsor for her live stream concert “Truly Inspired.” After the first few concerts through February, Truly not only is the presenting sponsor of the digital concert but has been seen at the concert with massive LED branding in the arenas that says “Fresh Seafood & Cocktails, Yours Truly.” 

Truly and Dua Lipa signed a partnership in May of 2021 where she was the star of their new campaign at the time, “No One is Just One Flavor.” Since then, Dua Lipa has been in commercials for Truly as well as consistently posting on social media while tagging the brand.

The global superstar also has endorsement deals with Versace and Taco Bell. Dua Lipa was seen in a campaign dressed up with a Versace bag as well as starring on the runway during a fashion show for the brand as well as being the face for the brand on billboards wearing items with the logo. In her partnership with Taco Bell, Lipa can be seen in a commercial during the Super Bowl in 2022. 

Among all Pop Music Artists, Lipa is ranked #18 in total social following with over 104 million followers while growing 30% year-over-year. Compared to the top five pop music artists ranked by social following, Dua Lipa ranks second in highest average engagement rate per branded post with a 1.82%, just behind Selena Gomez who has a 2.65% avg. engagement.

Super Bowl Halftime Performers | Endorsements

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar will be headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. In total, the five artists combined have +350 million social media followers. Snoop Dogg leverages his followers with 16 brand partnerships, the most deals of the Halftime performers. Eminem leads the way in terms of total followers ranking #6 amongst Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B Music Artists with +150 million followers. Followed by Snoop Dogg ranking #7 with +129 million followers.

As of now, Snoop will be featured in two Super Bowl commercials this coming Sunday during the big game. One of the Ads will feature Snoop and the other halftime performers in a Pepsi commercial. The second comes from his brand partner, Bic Lighters, starring himself and Martha Stewart. The partnership with Bic Lighters has developed co-branded content with Snoop which has allowed him create his own lighters featuring his image. According to the SponsorUnited platform, Snoop’s highest engaged post is currently from an Instagram post with Triller during the Jake Paul – Ben Askren fight which he announced live. Old El Paso, a tex-mex brand and Takis, the maker of a spicy tortilla chip, partnered with Snoop Dogg to create and showcase a new product that combines the Old El Paso taco shells with the Takis spicy tortilla chip. In multiple ads, Snoop is seen showcasing the new product on Instagram while in a Old El Paso truck.

On January 28th, Eminem and Peloton partnered to kick off The Peloton Eminem Artist Series with a special one-night boxing event. Members were able to join three live boxing classes to Eminem’s music followed by three more days of different types of exercises. Along with Peloton, Eminem has a partnership with Pepsi for the Halftime show as well as Nifty Gateway & Mitchell & Ness.




Music Artists | Social Engagement

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Rihanna was the #1 artist in 2021 for total engagement on promoted social posts, delivering 210M likes/shares while promoting Boots UKSavage X Fenty: Lingerie by Rihanna and others.

Female artist reach in general is on another level: The combined 261 teams/league followers of the NFL, EPL, NBA, La Liga, Serie A, MLB, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, NHL, MLS still wouldn’t exceed the top 10 most popular female artists (3.11B vs. 2.99B).

And just to run up the score, female artists deliver 2.7X the engagement on branded posts vs. their male counterparts, engaging an average of 1.0% of their followers on posts that include brands, vs. 0.37%.On average, each music artist signs more than 3 endorsement deals while the top brand signing music artists is Pepsi.

According to the SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Report, Music Artists & 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. Ariana Grande is the latest example of this having partnered with Fortnite to create the “Rift Tour” allowing players to have an in-game concert experience.