Sponsor Insights

NFL Christmas Games

The National Football League will have its first-ever Christmas Day tripleheader this year.

Take a look at how the competing team’s social game and sponsorship portfolio compare.

Footballers Karim Benzema & Alexia Putellas Take Home the Ballon d’Or

DOWNLOAD Ballon d’OR SPRED Report HERE

Congratulations to Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas, the winners of this year’s Ballon d’Or (“Golden Ball”) Award, presented in Paris on October 17th. Nominees for the annual award recognizing the best player over the previous year–presented by French news magazine French Football since 1956–included 30 men’s and 20 women’s football players from around the world.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema–nicknamed “Karim the Dream”–was the favorite after winning the UEFA Nations League with France, the LaLiga title, the Spain Supercup, and the Champions League with Real Madrid, as well as the 2021/2022 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. With 120M total followers, Benzema was the second most-followed Ballon d’Or nominee this year on social media. His partnerships with 6 brands–including adidas, Jean Paul Gaultier, Technogym, and Crypto.com–have generated 16M engagements and counting. 

Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or Award for the second consecutive year, becoming the first female player to win the title twice. Her elite run has boosted her social following a whopping 330% year-over-year to 3M across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The FC Barcelona midfielder takes the 5th spot among both male and female Ballon d’Or nominees in terms of brand partnerships, garnering more than 2.4M engagements across 18 branded posts.

With a staggering following of more than 740M, nominee Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular person in the world on social media. He also leads the nominees in brand partnerships with 17, including LiveScore, Nike, Clear (Unilever), and CR7, his own underwear brand. With 18 nominations during his career–the most of any player–the Portuguese megastar has won 5 Ballon d’Or trophies, a feat surpassed only by Lionel Messi with 7 awards.

Alex Morgan tops the list of female players on social media with an audience of more than 20M–ranking her 15th among all Ballon d’Or nominees by total followers. With 27 deals, the San Diego Wave striker also partners with more brands than any other female athlete. Morgan’s most engaging branded post–on Instagram with Beat Everybody, the clothing brand she cofounded with fellow US Women’s National Soccer Team players Allie Long and Kelley O’Hara–has racked up 293K engagements since January. 

To learn more about these athletes and their social metrics, download the Ballon d’Or SPRED Report at https://sponsorunited.com/ballon-dor-spred-report/.

NBA Teams Score Big On Social In The Offseason

The 2022/23 NBA season–the league’s 77th–tipped off on Tuesday with a marquee doubleheader. As fans gear up for a slew of exciting match-ups over the next six months, here’s a glimpse at how the league’s teams and players fared on social media during the offseason. 

NBA teams stayed active with 3,187 sponsored posts across 366 deals since mid-June, engaging over 18.7M followers–an average of 51K per deal and 5.6K per post.

Top 5 offseason posts (by total engagement):

  1. Bibigo x LA Lakers – 526K
  2. UCLA Mattel Children’s x LA Lakers – 514K
  3. Rakuten x Golden State Warriors – 333K
  4. Oracle x Golden State Warriors – 227K
  5. Coinbase x Chicago Bulls – 197K

The Lakers and the Warriors dominated social media during their time off, generating a combined 42% of the NBA’s total engagement. The Lakers accounted for 20%,  engaging 3.7M fans across 103 posts–40 of which were with Korean food company Bibigo, the team’s jersey patch sponsor. Five of the NBA’s 10 most engaging posts were Lakers’ branded posts, 3 of which were with Bibigo. 

Engaging 4.1M followers across 291 posts–192 with Oracle–the Warriors were responsible for 22% of the NBA’s social engagement since last season ended. The team averaged engagement of 415K per brand, eclipsing the Lakers’ 234K per partner. The Warriors’ offseason social activity with Oracle amassed over 1M more engagements than any other NBA partnership, due in large part to its plethora of posts. 

NBA players were also busy on social media during the offseason, as Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo proved why they’re among the four highest paid players in the league.

Top 5 NBA player offseason posts (by total engagement):

  1. Lobos 1707 Tequila x Lebron James – 1.8M
  2. Sports Illustrated x Lebron James – 1.121M
  3. Brown & Brown Custom Clothiers x Giannis Antetokounmpo – 1.118M
  4. Zion Williamson x Jordan Brand – 585K
  5. RIMOWA x Lebron James – 579K

Athletes with supersize social media clout naturally command much bigger deals. Here are the NBA giants with the highest-earning endorsement portfolios, and some of their deep-pocketed brand partners.

Estimated NBA athlete endorsement portfolio earnings (Source: Sportico)

  1. Lebron James – est. $75M
    • Cypto.com, GMC, Ruffles
  2. Kevin Durant – est. $48M
    • NBA Top Shop, Weemaps, Nike
  3. Steph Curry – est. $45M
    • Rakuten, FTX, Literati
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – est. $44M
    • WhatsApp, Nike, Breitling
  5. Russell Westbrook – est. $25M
    • Jordan Brand, Converse, Varo

2022 Citi Open

Nick Kyrgios won Washington’s 2022 Citi Open, his second Citi Open championship in just over three years.

Citi was the title sponsor for this event. Host sponsors included Kastle SystemsEvents DCCityRidgeEmirates and Tennis Channel.

Citi Open

Citi Open pt.2

NFL Off-Season Social Data

The National Football League (NFL) is back with the first pre-season game of the 2022-23 season taking place tonight.

Which social media partnerships this offseason were the most successful ranked by average engagement per post? Swipe below to find out!

Social Media Influencers = Powerful Marketing

Partnering with influencers on leading social media platforms has become a strategic way for brands to build equity and reach completely new audiences. As Cara Stucker, SponsorUnited’s senior manager of endorsements, explains, “The thing about influencer marketing is, all brands can do it. Working with influencers allows brands extreme flexibility–whatever the budget, target audience, campaign length or type of media, influencers will make it happen.”

UPDATE: Earlier today, news broke of a new partnership with Khaby Lame. Binance has signed Lame as their newest brand ambassador to grow the Binance ecosystem leveraging the power of Lame’s social media. Binance announced the partnership via their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Here’s the list of top influencers (by number of followers) tracked in the SponsorUnited database, and their top three brand deals across all social media channels.

TikTok:

1. Khaby Lame – 144.4M
Hugo Boss, Amazon Prime Student, Disney

2. Charli D’Amelio – 142.8M
Step, Morphe, Takis

3. Bella Poarch – 90.3M
Cash App, Moncler, HyperX

4. Addison Rae – 88.1M
ITEM Beauty, American Eagle Outfitters, Vital Proteins

5. Zach King – 68.8M
Credit Karma, Amazon, Google (Alphabet)

Instagram:

1. Khaby Lame – 78.4M

2. Larissa Machado (Anitta) – 62.7M
adidas, Samsung, Sol de Janeiro

3. Whindersson Nunes – 58.5M
Subway

4. Huda Kattan – 50.6M
ASOS, Sephora, Harrod’s

5. Lele Pons – 49M
Adore Me, PUBG

Twitter:

1. Whindersson Nunes – 25.4M

2. Ruben ‘El Rubius’ Doblas – 19.3MM
Amazon Prime Student, Paco Rabanne, Drift Gaming

3. AuronPlay (Raul Alvarez) – 15.9M
Fanta, LG Electronics, Amazon Prime Video

4. Cameron Dallas – 14.8M
boohooMan, Ralph Lauren, Crypto Demonz

5. Felipe Neto – 14.5M
N/A

Facebook:

1. Noel Arevalo – 74.7M
Inno Supps, Fashion Nova

2. Alexandra Mary Hirschi (Supercar Blondie) – 47M
VinFast, Driver Ape Racing Club, Xbox

3. Dhar Mann- 28M
N/A

4. Kayla Itsines – 28M
sweat, iFit, P.E. Nation

5. Luisito Comunica – 23M
Rey Palomo, Gran Malo, Deigo CDMX

*The nine categories considered when pulling data: beauty/fashion, fitness, food/travel, kids/family, pet, reality tv, tech/science, esports, and other social media influencers. 

Jocelyn Alo Endorsements | World Softball Day

On the field, there is little Jocelyn Alo can’t do. She is a 2x Women’s College World Series champion, 3x First Team All-American, all-time NCAA home run leader and #1 overall pick in the 2022 WPF Inaugural College Draft.

To celebrate World Softball Day, let’s take a look at her NIL and social game.World Softball Day Jocelyn Alo (1)

NBA Playoff Appearance Strengthen Social Media Experience

This year, the 16 NBA playoff teams saw a 12.5% increase in social media followers while non-playoff teams saw a 5% growth. Is this due to more time in the limelight or because their markets are home to the best players in the league?

Of the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams, the Chicago Bulls rank highest in the NBA in terms of social media followers, with nearly 30M and ranked #4 in the league. Interesting to note that of the eight teams, five rank #1 in their market in terms of social followers.

With superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets have the highest average engagement rate per post while the Boston Celtics have the highest total engagement. As defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks have the most social deals, 55 unique brands to be exact. While the Atlanta Hawks have less social deals but the highest number of branded posts, with over 2,300 already this season..

Now onto the Western Conference teams. Four of the eight teams rank #1 in social media followers in their market while all eight teams are at least top three in their respective markets. To no surprise,, the Golden State Warriors rank highest amongst the crew in social follower rank within the NBA landing at #3. The Utah Jazz had the highest YoY growth with a 29% increase.

The Warriors take the title for having the highest average engagement rate as well as total engagement of over 50M. This separates them from the pack by a landslide, the Mavericks come in 2nd with a total engagement of just over 8M.

Family Influencers | Endorsements

Over the last two years, it’s no shock there has been a rise in family social media accounts and family social media influencers. This goes for those who want to stay in touch, to those who want to rake in the deals. Four semi-known families have managed to turn their family social media accounts into a semi-empire (and no, we’re not talking about the Kardashians’).  The Royalty Family, The Holderness Family, The Bee Family and The Bee Family have all established a name for themselves in the Family Influencer space.

Which brands have leveraged these families’ followers?

With 2.1M followers between their Tiktok and Instagram,  the Royalty Family utilizes their 17.1M subscribers to showcase their 11 brands deals including notable deals with Chime, Staples and Centrum. 

Coming off being crowned the winners of Season 33 of the Amazing Race, the Holderness Family features nine brand deals showcased across their five social media platforms with over 6.5M followers. Some of their more notable deals include AT&T, King’s Hawaiian and Great Clips.

With the most combined followers of the group, the LaBrant Family has over 50M followers across their five social media platforms. With eight brand deals including King’s Hawaiian, Cash App and SHEIN. 

Lastly, the Bee Family has secured five brand deals to their 32M followers across five social media platforms. Some of the most notable brands include Welch’s, Kraft Heinz and Team Seas. 

These four families have quickly gained popularity over the last two years and enjoyed increased followers and brand deals over this time. As the rest of the year plays out, the family influencer space will be one to monitor for an increase in followers and brand deals.

Checkout some of the brands they partner with and how they leverage brand deals across their social media platforms. 

 

Family Influencer accounts (4)

International Nurses Day

On Thursday May 12th the world celebrated International Nurses Day. A day filled with gratitude toward a profession which has been working tirelessly over the last few years. During the Pandemic, there was a massive uptick in nurses taking to social media to share their stories and shed light on their heroing industry.

Miki Rai, a nurse, now nurse and social media influencer, has secured over 10 deals and has over 2.1M followers across Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok. This nurse’s quick rise to fame has opened the door for unique categories (in particular healthcare brands) to leverage social media like never before.  

Rai has endorsed popular healthcare brands including Vicks, Lubriderm, and Unisom. Rai also works with brands to help encourage and educate the next generation of Nurses. Rai alongside the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and BoardVitals are using her social media presence to help raise awareness for various health issues and help walk prospective nurses on the process of the board exams.

Overall in the healthcare space, BetterHealth leads the way with 60 sponsorship deals. 82% of the sponsorship deals come in the podcast industry with influencers coming in 2nd with nine sponsorship deals. Invisalign comes in second with 49 total deals. 25 of those deals come from the NFL with 10 deals with teams, one with the league, and 14 with NFL Athletes. 

Next on the list is Kaiser Permanente which has 39 deals including deals within four of the top five Pro Sports leagues. AdventHealth, Florida Hospital, comes in 4th on the list with 25 sponsor deals spread across various leagues and the state of Florida. Lastly, American Medical Response comes in 5th with 25 deals. These deals are spread across multiple sports teams and leagues including three Buffalo based teams with the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bulls and Rochester Americans.