Last Saturday, Real Madrid raised their 14th Champions League trophy, making them the most successful team in the history of the tournament, with a total of 14 UCL trophies.
We broke down some of the top insights from the biggest soccer game of the year.
In addition to being the first MLS club to win CONCACAF Champions League, the Sounders will also be the first to represent the league at the FIFA Club World Cup.
We highlight some of the activations and FS1 broadcast ads during the Sounders 2022 CONCACAF Champions League victory, which saw a record-breaking crowd of 68,741 fans.
The 2022 Papa Johns Trophy winners were decided in the closing moments of the soccer match as Rotherham United scored a last-minute equalizer and beat Sutton United 4-2 in extra-time.
SponsorUnited was in attendance and captured over 70 sponsorship assets throughout the match, check out some of the activations and insights!
Teams Compete on the Field in El Clásico, While Brands are Competing Off the Field
With a combined annual commercial turnover of €700m, this Sunday, two of the world’s biggest football teams Real Madrid and Barcelona, match up for the second El Clasico of the 2021/22 La Liga season.
The rivalries extend from the pitch to their partners with competitors utilizing the power of the clubs to gain market share in their categories. This can be seen with Nike (FCB) v Adidas (RM), Mahou (RM) v Estrella Damm (FCB), and Cupra (FCB) v Audi (RM). The outlier in this being Coca-Cola, who are the Soft Drink Partner of both clubs, despite Gatorade (PepsiCo) also being the Official Sports Nutrition Partner of FC Barcelona, in comparison to Powerade (Coca-Cola) for Real Madrid.
Most recently, Barcelona agreed to terms with Spotify on a mega 4-year deal worth north of $300 million. This deal marks the teams first with a digital audio company while Real Madrid currently does not have one. The deal sees Barcelona’s stadium renamed to Spotify Camp Nou while also getting exposure on the team’s training kits.
Despite both teams having a social following of over 250M, Real Madrid leverages their social media more with over 1,200 sponsored posts (compared to FC Barcelona’s 450) resulting in over double the total engagement at 78.5M v FC Barcelona: 32.3M.
Both teams have global presence and awareness which can be seen through their partnership portfolio. Both teams have deals with large international brands Emirates (RM) and Rakuten (FCB) being the primary jersey patches, as well as smaller, regional deals with local and regional brands for the teams. Real Madrid has regional sponsors including KOK Sports (Asia) and RepX (LATAM), while FC Barcelona include Rakbank (UAE) and Taiping Life Insurance (China) among their partners.
Unlike what is being seen in the U.S., the betting category has shrunk dramatically across La Liga teams. This is due to new laws banning the advertisement of gambling companies across Spain, which had previously seen all La Liga sides having a betting partner in 2020/21, including seven with primary jersey patch deals.
This past week, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first person ever to pass 400 million followers on Instagram. Over the 18 years that Ronaldo has been playing professional soccer, he has been able to create a following around the world. Adding in Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, Ronaldo has well over 500 million followers across all social media platforms.
Taking advantage and leveraging his massive following are 20 brands currently within 13 categories. Ronaldo has an apparel deal with Nike which has posted his highest engagement score on social media of over 12.5 million. Other brands Ronaldo has partnered with include Altice, Herbalife, Therabody and Crunch Fitness. Interesting to note that the brands partnered with Ronaldo have headquarters not only in Europe where he plays soccer but also in other countries around the world as he is a global sensation.
The MLS has had a strong rise recently as the league saw a 40% increase in brands buying sponsorship or media from 2019. Although on the rise, the social media presence of some of the top athletes show the true power of being a soccer superstar around the world. Blase Matuidi, Christian Ramirez, Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) and Jonathan dos Santos each have secured over five endorsement deals ranging from apparel brands such as Nike and Puma to Modelo, BodyArmor and Quantum Energy Squares. The four athletes combined have a total Instagram following of just over 14 million which in total is just 3% of the entire following of Cristiano Ronaldo. The top 25 MLS athletes account for only 6% of Ronaldo’s 400 million.
Inter Milan beat Juventus Football Club with a last minute winner in the Supercoppa Italiana, an annual competition played by the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italiana.
The two teams showcase partnerships with brands including Jeep, adidas, Socios.com, and Nike. Both teams are also in the top five for most exclusive properties within Serie A, just behind A.S Roma and Genoa.