Sponsor Insights

NHL Partnerships Report

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Finance companies boost NHL team sponsorship revenue past the $1B mark for the first time in league history

The NHL 2021-22 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report highlights trends in sponsorships surrounding the National Hockey League, teams, athletes, and media partners. Uncover data on over 3,300 NHL partnership deals and over 2,000 active brands buying sponsorships and media in the NHL.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Finance companies boost NHL team sponsorship revenue past the $1B mark for the first time in league history.
    This jump is a 63% increase from the $623 million in the 2020-21 season.
  • Cause-related sponsorship campaigns increased 23% year over year, with Finance brands overtaking Healthcare brands as the most active supporter of causes.
    On average, 10 brands activated against a cause (vs. 8 last season.)
  • The seven Canadian teams had a higher average social following compared to the 23 US teams.
    Brands received 2x the engagement with US teams.
  • The NHL league account posts more than any other pro sports league, in fact, 2x more than the NFL (second-most.)
    No team or player in the NHL has a larger social following than the league itself.
  • Banking and Beer brands were the top spenders as marquee brands continued to increase spend this season.
    Beer companies more than doubled their spend with NHL teams which moved the Beverage (Alcoholic) category past Healthcare to #2.

Methodology

This report was compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform data from September 2021 through June 2022.

*Social Data Compiled from Property or Person-Controlled Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn Social Accounts and Activity.

European Football 2021-22 Report

European Football Sponsorships

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The first international sponsorship and marketing report focused on European football.

The 2021-22 European Football Partnerships Report is fortified by data from over 7,000 brands across more than 9,000 deals and from 10 of the top European football leagues (Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1, along with each league’s corresponding second tier.) This report also contains growth and engagement insights on over 2,750 brands that created collaborative social media content.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Construction is the most active sponsorship category for the third consecutive season across European football leagues.
  • While Betting deals have declined by 10%, Crypto deals have grown an impressive 140% this season.
  • The most searched brands by European football club executives were Crypto.com, FTX, DraftKings, Verizon and Dunkin’.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi now officially have over 1B followers combined due in part to joining new clubs.
  • Transferring teams can offer a huge boost in social following for players.

This report was compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform data from July 2021 through May 2022. Social data compiled from property or person-controlled Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn accounts and social activity. The leagues included in this report are as follows: Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, EFL Championship, LaLiga 2, Serie B, 2. Bundesliga, Ligue 2.

NBA 2021-22 Report

SponsorUnited Releases NBA 2021-22 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report

NBA teams surpassed $1.2B in sponsorship revenues, achieving 50% growth over the 2020-21 season.

This week the NBA 2021-22 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report was released. The report is fortified by data from over 6,000 NBA sponsorship and media deals from the 2021-22 NBA season. It highlights the impact of team revenue in addition to a comprehensive dive into marketing and partnerships across the league, all 30 teams, players, categories, assets, and brands.

Key findings from the report include:

  • NBA teams surpassed $1.2B in sponsorship revenues, achieving 50% growth over the 2020-21 season.
    Nearing $450M in additional spending on team sponsorships.

  • Revenue was driven by a significant increase in spending across the Sports Betting and Financial categories, and the emergence of Cryptocurrency.
    Socios.com, which had no NBA deals in 2020-21, launched 28 individual deals this season.

  • NBA players continue to expand as a platform for brands, as they saw a 46% increase in deals from the prior year.
    Player endorsements now represent 30% of total NBA brand deals.

  • Five of the top six searched companies on the SponsorUnited platform by NBA executives were cryptocurrency brands (FTX, Crypto.com, Coinbase, Voyager, Ankr.)
    Cryptocurrency had a higher search volume than the entire alcohol category. In fact, not one alcohol brand ranked within the top most searched 50 brands.

  • Performance on the court had the most direct correlation with fan interest.
    Playoff-eligible teams increased their social following during the season at a 150% higher rate than teams that missed the playoffs.
  • Despite missing the playoffs in his 19th season, LeBron James’ social following saw a massive increase of 22M new followers, which is more than 25 individual NBA teams.
    In fact, he alone has more Instagram followers than every NBA team’s total social following across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

“The NBA saw significant growth by capitalizing on a perfect storm of high-growth industries like Crypto and Tech aggressively entering the market with teams having highly visible platforms and innovative marketing solutions that allowed brands to tell their story in compelling ways” said SponsorUnited President & Founder, Bob Lynch.

For more key insights and access to the complete report, download the SponsorUnited NBA 2021-22 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report at SponsorUnited.com.

Methodology

This report was compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform data from September 2021 through May 2022.

*Social Data Compiled from Property or Person-Controlled Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn Accounts and Social Activity.

NFL Draft Report

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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

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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)

Finance Report

Finance Companies Surpassed Three Quarters of A Billion Dollars in Total Sponsorship Revenue with Major Pro Sports Teams.

Earlier this week SponsorUnited released the ‘21-’22 Marketing Partnership Finance Report. This report highlights trends in sponsorship and partnership data across over 1,600 brands in the Finance category.

Complete report can be downloaded HERE, key findings from the report include: 

The NBA has surpassed the NFL as the top league in Finance sponsorship revenue.
Major jersey patch, venue naming rights plus Crypto and FinTech deals in the NBA has led to an additional spend of approximately $115M within the league.

Financial brands saw a major bounce back within the five Major Pro Sports, adding $270M in revenue to achieve 54% growth from 2020-21.
The giant category went on a spending spree, the two largest beneficiaries: NFL and NBA. Each league received more revenue from the category than the MLB + MLS combined.

The category is getting more fragmented and competitive than ever before.
The number of Finance brands actively buying Major Pro Sports sponsorships and media deals has increased by 20% since 2018 and the number of deals has increased 46%.

Financial brands are more likely to sign venue naming rights deals with colleges over pro sports.
Nearly half of all venue naming rights deals within NCAA schools and conferences are with financial brands, which leads all categories. Banks alone make up 35% of all venue deals.

Athletes are a consistent source for financial brands to boost their endorsement ROI.
A vast majority of social posts involving finance brands were shared by team/league accounts, rather than individual athletes. Athletes from PGA/ LPGA shared significantly more posts than the NFL; however, NFL athletes saw twice the engagement while posting significantly less.

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.

MLS 2021 Report

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SponsorUnited Releases MLS 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report

MLS surpasses $400M in team sponsorship revenues

Today, SponsorUnited, the leading data platform for sports and entertainment, released the first MLS Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report from the 2021 season. This report highlights trends in sponsorships and partnership data surrounding Major League Soccer and their 27 teams. Take a specialized look into over 2,200 active brands buying sponsorships / media within the MLS space in the report, available now at SponsorUnited.com.

MLS surpasses $400M in team sponsorship revenues in 2021.
Roughly half of revenues were driven by six industries: Finance, Healthcare, Automotive, Technology, Insurance, and Media.

Brands eye Major League Soccer as an opportunity to capture younger, new generation growth. MLS saw a 40% increase in brands since 2019. With the buzz around the 2022 World Cup (Qatar), companies may take the leap towards a long-term plan for the 2028 World Cup (US).

Local brands are more likely to invest as a primary jersey sponsor for their MLS clubs.
Of the 27 MLS teams, more than half of the main jersey kit sponsors are headquartered in their local market.

Gaming is shifting the sponsorship landscape with more new deals than any other category.
28 of the 30 net new deals were with Sports Betting brands, while only two were with lotteries and none with daily fantasy apps.

North American soccer television viewership resurges from unusual year.
TV deals in the MLS have seen a steady increase of 60% since 2019, while the 2021 MLS Cup also saw a 38% increase in viewership from 2019.

Although vacant of a league sponsorship, cryptocurrency is ready to take off.
As the most searched category on the SponsorUnited platform, expect a big footprint in the near future. Players have also already started to accept crypto as their salary.

For a deeper look, and to access many other insights, download the SponsorUnited MLS 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report at SponsorUnited.com.

Methodology

This report was compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform data from January 2021, through January 2022.

*Social Data Compiled from Property or Person-Controlled Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Accounts and Social Activity.

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.

MLB 2021 Report

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The SponsorUnited MLB 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report is here! Take a deep dive into the MLB 2021 partnership landscape in the most comprehensive report available in the industry. Download now for FREE HERE.