Sponsor Insights

NFL Draft Report

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/nfl-draft-report/

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 SPRED Report 2021

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/nfl-spred-report-2021-page/

Today, SponsorUnited published the first SPRED Report centered around NFL player’s social performance and endorsement deals. 

Download the complete report HERE, for complete data and insights, some key findings include: 

  • adidas and Bose are the most active brands among NFL social media posts but Zenith Watches, Grip and Brady Brand attract the most attention.
  • Quarterbacks are most widely followed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook while TikTok varies among other skilled positions.
  • J.J. Watt is the most followed defensive NFL player and the most followed NFL player to not win a SB.
  • The top 10 most followed NFL players combine for over 100M gross followers.
  • 12 NFL players average over 1M total engagements, all of them on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Although Travis Etienne Jr, has yet to see the field, he has the highest % average engaged followers.
  • Most Total Gross Followers: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Most Twitter Followers: Russell Wilson
  • Most Facebook Followers: Tom Brady
  • Most Instagram Followers: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Most TikTok Followers: Gronk
  • Most Engaging: Patrick Mahomes
  • Highest % of Engaged Followers: Travis Etienne
  • Most Engagement Per Post: Tyreek Hill
  • Most Branded Posts: Russell Wilson
  • Most Brands: Russell Wilson
  • Highest Avg Engagement: Zenith Watches, Grip Boost and Brady Brand
  • Most Branded Posts: adidas, Bose and Fashion Nova
  • Most Brand Engagements: Bose, adidas and Oakley
  • Most Player Endorsements: Bud Light, Verizon, Bose and Under Armour
  • Most Engaging Categories: Apparel/Accessories, Beverage (Non-Alc) and Leisure/Recreation
  • Most Category Engagements: Apparel/Accessories, Consumer Electronics and Retail
  • Most Player Endorsements: Apparel/Accessories, Retail and Beverage (Non-Alc)
  • Most Branded Posts: Apparel/Accessories, Retail and Beverage (Non-Alc)

Las Vegas Based Brands Sponsorship/Media

With the NFL Draft in Las Vegas, Nevada throughout the weekend, many brands headquartered in the city have been actively buying sponsorship or media. With over 350 total deals in the top 10 alone, there are plenty of possibilities to connect with a brand headquartered in the city. SponsorUnited has compiled a list of the brands most active, which are they?

  • Rockstar Energy Drink
  • WynnBet
  • MGM Resorts International
  • Las Vegas Tourism
  • Allegiant Air
  • Universal Windows Direct
  • Credit One Bank
  • Resorts World Las Vegas
  • Aria Resorts & Casino
  • Caesars Entertainment

Rockstar Energy Drink leads the way with over 70 deals while each brand on the list has over 15. Although headquartered in Las Vegas, the brand seeks partnerships across the United States and even globally with deals in Canada as well as Germany.

Signing one of the largest deals of the group was Allegiant Air, securing Venue Naming Rights for the Las Vegas Raiders when their stadium opened. The stadium is now known as Allegiant Stadium. Along with Naming Rights the brand has over 25 sponsorship assets with the team including Club Naming Rights, App Presenting Sponsor, Entertainment Related Content among many more.

2022 NFL Draft Prospect Endorsements

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft took place last night and 32 of the top prospects can officially see their dreams, and dollar signs, in their future. This is the first NFL Draft where college players had almost a full year to sign endorsement deals, rather than the few weeks leading up to the Draft. Check out the top 50 NFL Draft prospects and the brands they have deals with. In total, these top 50 Draft prospects have partnered with over 75 brands. 

Which brands made the top of the list?

Company Name Number of Prospects Partnered With
Bose 4
Dr. Pepper 4
Sleep Number 4
Chipotle 3
Raising Cane’s 3

The NFL Endorsements landscape is a highly popular area among sponsors of the league. Three of the brands on this list not only are league sponsors but are big contributors to the NFL Endorsements landscape. Bose features 26 different NFL athletes on their endorsements roster including big names such as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Micah Parsons. Sleep Number has 16 NFL Athletes as a part of their team with Dak Prescott, Deebo Samuel and Mac Jones topping off the list. Lastly, USAA features 15 NFL athletes with the likes of Josh Allen, Rob Gronkowski, and TJ Watt on their endorsements roster. 

The 2022 NFL Draft class features greatness both on and off the field. Five players in particular have taken full advantage of obtaining endorsement deals with over 6 deals each. Kayvon Thibodeaux has the most endorsement deals of the bunch with 11. Some of the most notable brands to partner with Thibodeaux include Beats by Dre, Old Spice and Snickers. Tied with the second most endorsement deals are defensive standouts Aiden Hutchinson and Demarvin Leal. With eight deals each, Bose and Chipotle partnered with Hutchinson while FTX and Fanjoy partnered with Leal. The final two players in the top five include Chris Olave with seven deals and Derek Stingley Jr. with six deals who both feature deals with the popular quick serve restaurant Raising Cane’s.


NFL 2021 Annual Report | Brands in the Spotlight

Last week, SponsorUnited released the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report.

We highlight Roblox, Tide and FaZe Clan to showcase the power of unique activations within the NFL. Download the full report at SponsorUnited.com for complete insights into NFL brand partnerships last season.

NFL 2021 Annual Report | Endorsements

The top ranking NFL players in terms of endorsements during the 2021 season were: Rob Gronkowski, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Russell Wilson, and Travis Kelce. Each player has over 25 brand deals; Gronk leads the way with 30 deals leveraging his 8.7 million social followers. He ranked #7 among NFL athletes for most social followers. Gronk has starred in commercials for T-Mobile alongside longtime teammate, Tom Brady. He also has appeared in a Wolf & Shepherd commercial and USAA. Although having the most deals, the highest average engagement per post comes from rival tight end, Travis Kelce, who has a 4.33% avg engagement compared to Gronk’s .78%. Russell Wilson leads the group in total engagement with over 3 million likes/shares.

Over 1,000 brands had endorsement deals with NFL players during the 2021 season, a big uptick from 2020 seeing a 51% increase. The most active brands partnering with players were Verizon, adidas, BodyArmor, Nike, and Bud Light, while the fastest growing categories were Apparel, Technology and Financial. 

The average engagement per branded post for players was 12.6K compared to the slightly higher engagement for teams with 14.5K. For players with a minimum of 10 branded posts, the average engagement was 16K, inferring that the most active NFL athletes are getting more engagement on posts than teams.

NFL 2021 Partnerships Report

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/nfl-2021-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.

Super Bowl Commercials | Top 5

The top 5 commercials as measured by USA Today’s Ad Meter Rating was as follows:

  1. Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage: “Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie”
  2. Amazon “Mind Reader” with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost
  3. Doritos/Cheetos “Push It” campaign with Charlie Puth and Megan Thee Stallion
  4. Kia “Robo Dog / The All-Electric Kia EV6”
  5. Toyota “Brothers” starring paralympian Brian McKeever and his older brother Ryan

Coming in the top spot according to USA Today, Rocket Mortgage, headquartered in Detroit, has over 50 sponsorship deals. The Detroit Lions are their largest deal in terms of total assets bought with over 20 total sponsorship assets. The brands top market stays consistent with their headquarters as they have over 15 sponsorship or media deals within the Detroit Market.

According to SponsorUnited data, Amazon and its sub-brands lead the way with 1,098 sponsorship or media deals while Toyota  has over 130 more sponsorship deals than the other four brands combined. Within the United States, Los Angeles is the top market for both Toyota and Amazon while only in the top five for one other brand, Rocket Mortgage. New York and Chicago have a large impact across the top three brands as they both land in the top four across Amazon, Toyota and Kia.

Super Bowl LVI | Commercial Endorsements

The average cost for a Super Bowl LVI commercial this year was the highest it’s ever been. According to NBC Sports, a 30-sec ad was priced at a $6.5M. Last year’s Super Bowl averaged roughly $5.5M.

For many viewers, Super Bowl commercials are the most attractive part of the game. These viewers hush the room as their favorite athletes, celebrities and influencers team up with brands in a unique, and usually funny way. SponsorUnited tracked a 30% increase in brand partnerships with athletes, influencers and celebrities. In addition, a shocking 61% of all ads during the Super Bowl featured an athlete, celebrity or influencer.

  1. Serena Williams – Currently with 26 endorsements, Serena partnered with Tonal creating a campaign geared towards women letting them know they can also use strength equipment.
  2. Alex Morgan – Having 25 partnerships within 15 categories, Morgan has a deal with Michelob Ultra which saw her face along with Jimmy Butlers and Nneka Ogwumike on cases being sold at stores as well as on the big screens during the Super Bowl.
  3. Martha Stewart – Starring in the BIC’s commercial with Snoop Dogg promoting the new EZ Reach Lighter Ad Campaign during the Super Bowl. The famous chef totals 20 deals with brands from a variety of different categories such as Appliances & Kitchen, Food Distributor and Food Products.
  4. Guy Fieri – Although he owns multiple restaurants and follows Martha Stewart as a famous chef, Fieri showcased his diverse portfolio of partners in a commercial with Bud Light Seltzer. Fieri has 19 deals in 13 categories while being the face of King’s Hawaiian in grocery stores.
  5. Becky G –  Becky G partnership with Jimmy Choo currently is her highest engaged post on social media with over a 1.1 million engagement score. The international music artist debuted in an ad with Michelob Ultra Pure Gold during the Super Bowl which added to her current list of 17 partners.

Here is a list of all of the brands and their celebrity endorsements per commercial:

Brand Celebrity/Influencer/Athlete
Amazon Alexa Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost
AT&T Mila Kunis, Demi Moore
AT&T Zac Efron
Avocados from Mexico Drew Brees
Avocados from Mexico Andy Richter
Bic Lighters Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg
BitBuy Kyle Lowry
BMW Arnold Schwarzenegger
BMW Salma Hayek
Booking.com Idris Elba, Jonathan Goldsmith, Isaiah Mustafa
Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda Guy Fieri
Busch Light Kenny G
DraftKings Jerry Rice
Expedia Ewan McGregor
Frito Lay – Cheeto’s Megan Thee Stallion
Frito Lay – Cheeto’s & Doritos Charlie Puth
Frito-Lay/Pepsi Co Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Jerome Bettis, Victor Cruz, Terry Bradshaw
GM Dr. Evil
GM Rob Lowe, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling
Googel Pixel Lizzo
Greenlight Ty Burrell
Hellmann’s Jerod Mayo
Hellmann’s Pete Davidson
Hologic Mary J Blige
Honey Gibi ASMR
Honey Daniel Thrasher
Lay’s Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd
Michelob Ultra Peyton Manning, Steve Buscemi
Michelob Ultra Peyton Manning, Brooks Koepka, Alex Morgan, Nneka Ogwumike, Jimmy Butler, Serena Williams
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer Brooks Koepka
Michelob Ultra Pure Gold Becky G
NFL Michael Strahan
Nissan Eugene Levy, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista
Nissan Brie Larson
Oikos Deion Sanders, Shedeur Sanders (Son)
Pepsi (halftime show) Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre
Planet Fitness Lindsay Lohan, William Shatner, Dennis Rodman, Buzzy Cohen, Danny Trejo
Planters Ken Jeong, Joel Mchale
Rakuten Hannah Waddingham
Rocket Mortgage / Rocket Homes Anna Kendrick, Barbie
Salesforce Matthew McConaughey
Sam’s Club Kevin Hart
Squarespace Zendaya
Stella Artois’ Eli Manning, Ryan Clark, Dan Marino
T-Mobile Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus
Taco Bell Doja Cat
Telemundo Andres Cantor, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, the Despicable Me minions
Tonal Serena Williams
Toyota Brian McKeever, Robin McKeever
Toyota Tommy Lee Jones, Leslie Jones, Rashida Jones, Nick Jonas
TurboTax Jason Sudeikis
Uber Eats Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Coolidge, Trevor Noah
Verizon Jim Carrey, Geraldine Viswanathan

Super Bowl LVI | Instant Replay

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams for winning Super Bowl LVI and Cooper Kupp on receiving the MVP award.

Anheuser-Busch showcased their brands in featured segments during the broadcast on NBC, while Crypto brands, being new to the Super Bowl scene, saw advertisements from CoinbaseFTXeToro & Crypto.com who have combined over 115 new sponsorship deals since the beginning of 2021.