We’re witnessing an evolution in brand advertising strategies in sports broadcasting. Traditional linear TV networks continue to offer unparalleled reach, capturing the communal excitement of live sporting events, while streaming platforms are carving out significant niches, engaging audiences with personalized content by leveraging digital targeting. This duality presents brands with a broad spectrum of opportunities to connect with fans. As the landscape continues to diversify, brands need to navigate a complex array of choices and strategize to capture the attention of viewers across both established and emerging media channels.

In this report, we explore the most advertised brands and industries, the most utilized types of ad placements, open opportunities across brand categories, and much more.

Some highlights include:

  • Verizon, GEICO, and State Farm are the brands with the highest number of ad placements
  • Auto, Finance, and Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) are the brand categories with the highest number of ad placements
  • Traditional TV spots during the game are still the most common ad placements across networks
  • Leading placement outside of TV spots is in-game ads / logo pop ups on screen
  • Opportunity on select networks for expanding brand categories
  • Transportation, Consumer Electronics, Tech, and Telecom lead in embracing streaming networks
  • Auto has a controlling stake in most sports leagues

With an in-depth analysis of branded advertisement placements across 87 national sports broadcasts (and including both linear TV and streaming), we’re thrilled to unveil our Brand Advertising in Sports Broadcasts 2023–24 Report. Authored by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research and Analytics team, the report encompasses more than 2,000 brands, 26 networks and streaming services, and nearly 15,000 ad placements from March 13, 2023 through March 13, 2024.

The NFL 2023 season witnessed a remarkable surge in viewership, with the regular season games averaging 17.9 million viewers across ESPN, NBC, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, CBS and FOX, a notable increase from previous years. This upward trend in viewership was not just confined to the regular season but also extended to the playoffs, setting new all-time records. The playoffs alone drew an average of 38.5 million viewers across the Wild Card, Divisional, and Conference Championship rounds, making it the most-watched NFL playoffs ever recorded​​. With this increase, over 670 unique brands have capitalized on the viewership and purchased 1 or more advertisements on NFL broadcasts this year.

Top Advertising Categories Making an Impact:

Betting & Daily Fantasy: The synergy between the excitement of NFL games and the thrill of betting has made this category a frontrunner in the advertising space with 19 unique brands securing media placement across NFL broadcasts. DraftKings, FanDuel and newly created ESPN BET lead in terms of number of assets.

FanDuel x NFL on FOX

Pharma & Over the Counter: Pharmaceutical brands went toe-to-toe competing for airtime this season. In this hyper-competitive category, 48 unique brands secured media placement and competed for viewership SOV ranking this category #1 in terms of the number of brands with an advertisement. Since 2021, 27% more brands within this category have begun to advertise on NFL broadcasts.

Pfizer x NFL on ABC

Property & Casualty Insurance: Emphasizing protection and peace of mind, insurance advertisements have resonated deeply with fans, highlighting the brands' commitment to safeguarding what fans treasure most. Making a huge impact in terms of the number of assets, only 8 brands dominated this sub-category during broadcasts.

Progressive x NFL on NBC

The evolution of NFL advertising in 2023 goes beyond traditional commercials, with brands creatively engaging viewers through:

Logo/Ad Pop-ups: These brief yet impactful media assets have seamlessly integrated into live action, ensuring brand awareness among viewers. 

In-Game Live Reads: Offering a personalized touch, these shout-outs have created a unique connection between the brand, the viewers, and the announcers.

In-Game Featured Segments: Exclusive content segments have provided brands with an opportunity to weave their narratives into the fabric of the NFL, keeping fans engaged and entertained.

The NFL's record-breaking viewership in 2023 underscores the league's unmatched appeal as a marketing platform, offering brands a golden opportunity to reach out to a broad and engaged audience. With the integration of innovative advertising strategies beyond traditional commercials, brands have successfully captured the attention of viewers, making an indelible mark on the NFL's thrilling season.

With anticipation for the new NFL season reaching a fever pitch as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions tonight at Arrowhead Stadium to officially kick it off, brands are eagerly eyeing buzzy new partnerships with league athletes. But beyond on-field success, savvy marketers need to consider these star players’ other attributes—like social media performance—especially if social is a key component of a brand's campaign asset mix. With the league already tracking to blow past its record staggering 100M social media engagement record set last year, 69% of NFL player deals currently include a social media asset. Let’s take a closer look at some of football’s social superstars.

Garnering a dazzling 6.1M in total engagement from 36 unique branded posts, Tyreek Hill leads the league in engagement across all social media. The Miami Dolphins wide receiver’s TikTok post with Soul Runner, in which he ran track for the first time since college, scored the highest engagement of all NFL player posts last year with 3.6M, while the Hill/Soul Runner campaign was also the most engaging campaign between a player and sponsor, at 5.8M. The 2020 Super Bowl champion partners with 8 brands–adidas, Hublot, and Manscaped among them.

Patrick Mahomes takes second place with total engagement of 3.2M across 47 posts. With more than 20 deals with brands including Oakley, State Farm, and Walmart, the two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP has the most partnerships and highest engagement of all NFL quarterbacks, as he prepares to lead his team in its quest for a fourth championship ring and back-to-back Super Bowl victories. 

George Kittle scores the third spot with 1.6M in engagement across 30 unique posts, making him the tight end with the highest engagement in the league. The 49ers player’s sponsorship stable includes 18 deals with brands like Adobe, Bud Light, and Playstation. Little Caesars recently partnered with Kittle on a series of commercials to activate its partnership as the league’s Official Pizza Sponsor for the second consecutive year.

Kittle’s teammate Christian McCaffrey takes the title of the NFL’s most engaging running back on social media, with 61K across 10 posts. The Colorado native endorses 7 brands, including BodyArmor, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hyperice.

Cade York has the highest engagement of any NFL kicker, totaling 13K with 3 posts. The Tennessee Titans player has deals with Sarchione Auto Gallery and Russell’s BBQ.

Iconic landmarks around the globe can help turn fleeting moments in time into enduring viral sensations viewed by millions worldwide, thanks to the unparalleled reach of social media. A prime example: the Sphere, the hotly anticipated revolutionary immersive venue created by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, that’s set to take Las Vegas by storm starting September 29, when U2 takes the stage for the band’s first of 25 concerts there.

The Sphere's debut as an advertising juggernaut began with a complimentary promotion of the NBA Summer League in July, when its massive round shell, called the “Exosphere,” was transformed into a basketball via its 580K square feet of programmable illumination–so big and bright it can be seen from space. Now, with the YouTube NFL Sunday Ticket deal entering its first year, the two joined forces on the Sphere’s first paid ad, animating the high-tech facade as the helmets of all 32 NFL teams to herald the start of the 2023 season. Watch this space for more show stopping Sphere activations, as it quickly becomes one of the advertising world's most prestigious digital billboards.

On the other side of the world, last month WhatsApp used the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai as the canvas for a 3D anamorphic display spotlighting the messaging app’s commitment to user privacy and multiple layers of protection. The splashy Gateway of India installations are part of WhatsApp’s global privacy campaign announced in June, which has appeared on social, digital, and broadcast channels, and in print and on billboards across India, and also ran in London in 2022. 

As the largest and fastest-growing coffee shop chain in the UK, Costa Coffee unveiled a creative activation last January in front of Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle–which drew more than 1.3M visitors in 2022–incorporating the picturesque backdrop into the brand’s savvy marketing. Featuring the slogan “Here to get your heart racing,” the heart-shaped inflatable display encouraged visitors to snap photos amidst the stunning historical surroundings, enhancing the overall experience for coffee enthusiasts and tourists alike.

South of the border, Tecate's striking digital billboard on Mexico City’s World Trade Center, the third-tallest building in Mexico’s sprawling capital, illuminated the night sky and integrated dynamically into the city's iconic skyline last year, while no doubt turning the heads of legions of beer drinkers.

Check out a few other unique brand activations tied to landmarks that we track on our platform—>

In today’s constantly advancing digital landscape, the transformation of media assets in the world of professional sports has never been more apparent. Global sports fans now stream live sports through digital platforms, while sports viewership has become a multi-screen experience, with nearly half of sports watchers simultaneously interacting with other live content. Against this backdrop, savvy brands are embracing digital media more than ever to optimize their reach and grow their bottom line.

In women’s sports, a whopping 61% of deals now include a digital component, and brands like Google are seizing the slew of opportunities presented by female athletes’ snowballing momentum.

On the social media front, tennis athletes’ impressive ability to engage fans and cultivate loyal followers offers marketers a valuable and arguably overlooked chance to connect with new audiences. Speaking of unrealized opportunities, YouTube has emerged as a curiously underused asset: less than 50% of pro sports teams currently have an integrated YouTube sponsor – underscoring the tremendous potential it presents to brands to stake a claim in the digital world.

As the soaring popularity of esports continues unabated, video game sponsorships are multiplying, as a growing number of brands opt exclusively for in-game virtual signage over assets in brick-and-mortar venues.

And as AI and machine learning enable more precise targeting and understanding of individual preferences, their impact on sports marketing can’t be overestimated – and will compel brands to forge deeper connections with fans through personalized content and hyper-tailored experiences in an increasingly competitive media landscape.

For all these reasons and more, we’re excited to unveil our the Power of Media in Sports Sponsorships Report. Authored jointly by SponsorUnited’s Marketing, Analytics, and Business Intelligence teams, it delivers an in-depth analysis of more than 15,500 brands, 1,400 athletes, and 1,100 properties between leagues, teams, athletes, and brands from April 1, 2022, through April 1, 2023.

The U.S. government’s move to potentially ban TikTok in the U.S. begs the question: how would the stateside shutdown of the red-hot app affect the Web/App (Visual, Social & Collaboration) category?

There are more than 340 brands buying sponsorships / media in the category, which translates to 1 sponsorship deal per property and more than 2 deals per brand across all property types. Not surprisingly, these brands tend to embrace social media: 54% of all deals include a social post, while 22% include digital content. Just 3% of partnerships include TV-visible venue signage.

TikTok leads the list as the category’s most active brand, with over 65 sponsorship deals with properties including the New York Yankees, the Aston Martin F1 Team, and UFC. The entertainment app engaged 10.7M users across 140 total social posts in the last 12 months. Currently, 19 of TikTok’s sponsorship/media deals are in the U.S. Only time will tell how rumors of a looming ban will impact these deals.

Meta and Active Network tie for 2nd place with 20 sponsorships each, trailed by Bumble and Tinder in 3rd with 18 deals respectively. Facebook, Zoom, Discord, OnlyFans, and Webex by Cisco round out the top 10 most active brands.

Social posts lead the list of the category’s most frequently bought assets. Messenger, a Facebook sub-brand, partnered with Cardi B on three Instagram posts last year, scoring the most engagement of any brand in the category with 3.9M. Property entitlements, digital content, broadcast ads, and event content & activations are other assets popular within the Web/App category.

Given TikTok’s vast reach–the social media juggernaut reportedly surpassed 1B monthly users by year’s end 2022–it’s no surprise that it’s become the go-to platform for influencers to promote their partnerships.

Influencers have garnered 1B likes from branded posts with more than 1,800 brands on TikTok. Amazon, Walmart, L’Oreal, Shein, and CASETiFY lead the current list (in that order) of brands with the most deals with influencers on the platform.

The top categories with a branded TikTok post are:

  • Consumer Products: 22%
  • Apparel & Accessories: 17%
  • Retail: 11%
  • Technology: 10%
  • Food Products: 6%

While some categories partner with influencers more than others, emerging categories like Real Estate and Government–each with less than 10 TikTok deals–are getting into the game with TikTok’s stock-in-trade: authentic content that piques consumers’ interest.

Case in point: vacation rental site VRBO, which created a campaign with former NFL player Tim Tebow entertaining friends in a rented VRBO property. The message: though your name might not rhyme with VRBO, you too can have a blast in a VRBO rental. Tebow’s TikTok following totals 758K, a fraction of his 4.6M followers on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas Tourism partnered with stock car racer Toni Breidinger to showcase her trip to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, creating a #meanwhileinvegas campaign that provided a glimpse into the day of a visitor to Vegas. Breidinger has 2.1M followers on TikTok, while her audience across all social platforms grew over 20% in 2022.

Kylie Jenner, Charli D’Amelio, Sarah-Jade Bleau, Joyce Tanner, and Addison Rae dominate TikTok’s influencer ranks. Predictably, Jenner leads all influencers in total engagement with branded posts at more than 45M, trailed by Charli D’Amelio with just over 31M. Since we took a look at the D’Amelio twins last year, Charli’s total brand partnerships have grown 145% to 22–15 of which are on TikTok, where her following has increased 12% to north of 150M.

To wrap up 2022 with a bang, the NFL announced a multi-year agreement with Google last month, granting YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels exclusive distribution rights for the NFL Sunday Ticket to consumers in the U.S., starting with the 2023-2024 season. By comparing NFL’s broadcast deals, we can begin to predict which brands will likely buy into this blockbuster partnership.

The league currently partners with three streaming platforms: Paramount Plus, Peacock, and Amazon Prime Video. With 14 brands buying digital assets across all three, we can expect some of these brands and categories to also invest in its YouTube deal.

Brands that currently advertise across all three of NFL’s three streaming partners:

  • FanDuel
  • State Farm
  • Little Caesars Pizza
  • Airbnb
  • VISA
  • Apple
  • Google Pixel
  • Burger King
  • NerdWallet
  • Chipotle
  • Toyota
  • DirecTV
  • Dove

Most active brand categories:

  • Financial
  • Quick Serve Restaurants
  • Auto
  • Media
  • Insurance
  • Consumer Products
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Healthcare

The Prediction:

A deal with YouTubeTV gives brands a unique opportunity to reach a younger audience of NFL fans. According to a December 2022 survey by Morning Consult, YouTube is the #1 source of sports news for Gen Zers at 31%, vs. 21% of all U.S. adults. We expect current NFL broadcast partners that already target a younger audience to follow suit on YouTubeTV. In this first season of Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” streaming partnership, viewership in the prized 18-to-34 demographic was up 11% over TNF the previous season.

Will brands that target younger audiences and currently spend on Fortnite, Roblox, Decentraland, and other emerging platforms also invest in the NFL’s YouTube deal? Time will tell. Meanwhile, last month the NFL continued its own metaverse exploration with the launch of NFL Zone, a dynamic interactive fan experience built in Fortnite Creative.

Brands targeting younger audiences on emerging platforms:

  • Oral B
  • Xbox
  • Doritos
  • Axe
  • Fall Guys
  • Marvel Entertainment
  • Nerf
  • Chipotle
  • Warner Bros

The sports media landscape is changing dramatically, as linear TV increasingly cedes the stage to streaming platforms–the first material platform modification since the advent of cable TV.

What does this ongoing seismic shift mean for the future?

A slew of lucrative new deals inked in 2022 made headlines throughout the year, and offered a glimpse of the shifting sponsorship landscape within the industry:

  • Amazon Prime Video: NFL, Ligue 1

When Amazon Prime broadcasted its first edition of Thursday Night Football in 2022, it registered the most new Prime members in a 3-hour period in the company’s history – even outpacing major shopping days like Black Friday*.

  • Viacom18: Indian Premier League
  • Viaplay: English Premier League
  • DAZN: Serie A, LaLiga

What’s next for streaming?

While linear networks still control the majority of primetime live sports events, we can look forward to more news of major streaming rights deals for college sports, motorsports, and the NBA, as consumers continue to gravitate toward customized packages over all-in-one bundles. The ongoing proliferation of these deals will spur a new wave of exciting sponsorship possibilities, as brands pursue bold new digital real estate and content marketing opportunities to stand out from the competition.

The latest deal of note: on December 22, the NFL announced a multi-year partnership with Google that gives YouTube exclusive distribution rights for the NFL Sunday Ticket–at the price of a reported $2 billion a year. We’re currently analyzing data within the streaming sector to offer a look at potential sponsorship prospects for YouTube and the NFL in light of this deal, available in next week's newsletter.

Deals between YouTube influencers and brands are legion, as these charismatic personalities continue to build significant partnership portfolios. Sponsored integration within their YouTube videos is the leading way influencers work with brands.

Over 550 brands saw sponsored integration within YouTube influencers’ videos in the past year. The most active brands were:

  • Betterhelp (sponsored videos with more than 15 influencers)
  • SeatGeek
  • DraftKings
  • HelloFresh
  • NordVPN
  • Skillshare (85% of its deals include YouTube sponsor integration)

Top YouTube Influencers

MMG (Matthew Meagher) Madden Youtuber:. One of the most endorsed YouTubers with 44 deals–of which 91% include sponsored integration on YouTube–MMG ranks in the top 1% of all social influencers by deal count. Just this year, 68 of his videos featured sponsored integration. With 2.32M followers on YouTube, he’s also bolstering his TikTok presence: his current 1M followers saw 13% growth in the last 12 months.

MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) American Youtuber: With a whopping 110M subscribers, MrBeast is a bona fide YouTube sensation, and has racked up a staggering 200M gross following across all social platforms (YT, TT, TW, IG, FB). Mobile app Brawl Stars hit the endorsement lottery with MrBeast thanks to sponsored integration in his most viewed video ever, garnering more than 300M views since November 2021.

Interestingly, MrBeast partners with less than 10 brands:

  • Brawl Stars
  • DraftKings
  • Honey
  • Venmo
  • Current
  • Walmart
  • Experian
  • Coinbase
  • Nerf

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
  1. UCLA Mattel Children's x LA Lakers - 514K
  1. Rakuten x Golden State Warriors - 333K
  1. Oracle x Golden State Warriors - 227K
  1. 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—, 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

    Twitch Brand Spotlight

    October 10, 2022

    TwitchCon 2022, a weekend of games, activations, meet & greets and more, held at San Diego Convention Center has come to an end. Check out some of the activations seen throughout the event:

    Presenting Sponsors included:

    • Capital One
    • Gonna Need Milk
    • Prime Video
    • Legion
    • Intel
    • Wendy's

    Since the NFL calendar year kicked off last April, the league and its teams have amassed over 14K branded posts on social media, engaging more than 39M followers. Some 1,225 deals have been activated across social channels during the same period.

    How does this compare to NFL athletes over the last 12 months? Players have activated 1,707 partnerships via social media across 3,099 posts for a total engagement of nearly 42M. On average, the league and teams have been more active on social media so far this season than the players themselves.

    Thanks to their team partnerships, 828 brands have been showcased on social media since the season’s start. Technology tops the category list by number of posts, closely followed by Alcohol, Financial, and Healthcare.

    The top 5 brands by post frequency so far:

    • Bud Light
    • Gatorade
    • EA Sports
    • Microsoft Surface

    Meanwhile, 848 brands have had a post with NFL athletes over the last year. For player posts, Apparel & Accessories leads the way by industry, followed by Retail and Non-Alcoholic beverages. Bud Light is the only crossover among the top 5 brands:

    • DraftKings
    • Bose
    • Bud Light
    • Lowe’s
    • Sleep Number

    The NFL season is prime time for players to showcase their brand partnerships across social media.

    The top 5 posts by players and their brand partners (by engagement in September):

    1. Tyreek Hill x Soul Runner (102K)
    1. Josh Allen x New Era Cap (97K)
    1. Justin Jefferson x Oakley (82K)
    1. Chase Claypool x Jordan Brand (50K)
    1. Justin Jefferson x Optimum Nutrition (47K)

    Teams are also leveraging their endorsement deals on social as the season heads into its 5th week.

    The top 5 posts by teams and their brand partners (by engagement in September):

    NFL x Verizon (484K)

    1. Miami Dolphins x Gatorade (203K)
    1. Dallas Cowboys x Winstar World Casino & Resort (131K)
    1. Pittsburgh Steelers x Gatorade (116K)
    1. Dallas Cowboys x Bank of America (111K)

    This Sunday, Etihad Stadium will host the 188th edition of one of the greatest football games of the season: the Manchester Derby, with both Manchester United and Manchester City vying for the win to move up the ranks of the Premier League. Off the pitch, let’s compare the teams’ endorsement deals and social media clout.

    Since 2008, when Man City was bought by the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mansour, the team had won the Premier League 6 times.

    Man City's success has attracted a slew of brand partnerships: the team has 69 sponsorship and media deals, while Manchester United has 60. In terms of sponsorships only, Man City’s 56 deals eclipse Man U’s 30.

    Manchester United has long been considered the most popular Premier League club with the widest fan base worldwide, making them one of the more exclusive teams in the league. Man U leads the Premier League on social media with an astonishing 184.7M followers combined across all channels. Man City ranks a distant 5th by this metric with 98.2M followers. Man U also dominates in total engagement with 21.5M followers–an average of 1.9M per brand–compared to Man City’s total engagement of 8.3M and per-brand average of 270K.

    In the last year, Man U’s following grew 28% (vs. 16% for Man City), thanks largely to the team’s re-signing of Portuguese superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo in August 2021. The English club gained over a million followers in the two hours after the club announced the news.

    Ronaldo’s staggering 733.1M followers across all social media–almost 3x more followers than both Manchester teams combined–make him the most followed (and arguably influential) person in not just football but in the world. His 23 deals leverage this unrivaled influence: his total engagement of 196M nets out to an average of 12.2M per brand and 2.2M per post.

    Meanwhile, Man City star player Kevin De Bruyne currently has deals with 8 brands and a gross social following of 43.5M, and teammate Erling Haaland has 7 deals and tallies over 20M followers. Notably, Haaland’s posts with Dolce & Gabbana, Hyperice, Samsung, and MICROMILSPEC have racked up 10M engagements this year.

    SponsorUnited’s inaugural Music Artist Report, released yesterday, delivers an in-depth analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals from July 2021-July 2022, unlocking 10 major music genres and telling the stories of nearly 600 artists.

    Here’s a peek at some of the report’s key insights:

    Country music’s most popular performers have attracted the most eyeballs across the SponsorUnited platform.

    In addition, Country stars average more deals per artist than any other genre, with the number of brands partnering with them rising 45% since 2020.

    Their seemingly unstoppable momentum continues: Over 35% of SponsorUnited searches among music artists were Country, with Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, and George Strait ranking among the top five most searched artists.

    Music artists are betting big on their own brands—and winning.

    Of the top 50 most engaging brands, those owned by artists garnered the most attention.Four of the top five brands with the highest social engagement were beauty brands owned by superstars:

    • Rare Beauty (Selena Gomez)
    • JLO Beauty (Jennifer Lopez)
    • r.e.m. beauty (Ariana Grande)
    • Savage x Fenty (Rihanna)

    Music moves fans like no other league, team or property can.

    Not surprisingly, artists' success on social media plays a key role in driving performance of their brands. When comparing per-post engagement among a variety of property types, musicians top the leaderboard with an average engagement per post of 137K, versus 100K for general celebrities in the second-place spot.

    Artist-owned companies are expanding into new categories.

    While music artists have long added value to Cosmetics, Clothing and Alcohol brands, artists like Timbaland, Kanye West and Dua Lipa are already charting the future of artist ownership in new categories:

    • Timbaland x Beatclub: The innovative digital platform aims to revolutionize the way music makers connect.
    • Kanye West x Donda Sports: Kanye's sports marketing agency now includes clients like NBA star Jaylen Brown and NFL standout Aaron Donald.
    • Dua Lipa x Service95: Dua Lipa released her first weekly lifestyle newsletter in February 2022.

    Latin artists see massive growth from global music fans.

    Among the top 40 fastest growing social accounts, 12 were owned by Latin artists. Combined, these artists gained over 250M followers–2.5x more than Rap/Hip-Hop and 3.5x more than Country, and second only to Pop. With Latin music's total revenue projected at over $1B this year, expect to see US brands continue to team up with these red-hot performers.

    Case in point: Bad Bunny, Spotify's most streamed artist globally in 2020 and 2021. During his El Último Tour Del Mundo this year, he partnered with Airbnb to open the doors to his truck for three one-night stays for two guests at just $91 per night—a nod to his record-breaking 9.1B Spotify streams in 2021. Guests had the exclusive opportunity to explore Bad Bunny’s past, present and future, both on and off the stage.

    The NFL season kicked off in LA with a Bills win over the Rams. Checkout the NFL star's with commercial appearances during TNF broadcast on NBC:

    • Head & Shoulders x Patrick Mahomes & Troy Polamalu
    • SiriusXM x Larry Fitzgerald
    • Frito-Lay x Josh Allen
    • Subway x Patrick Mahomes
    • Subway x Rob Gronkowski
    • SoFi x Justin Herbert
    • DirecTV x Dak Prescott, Ceedee Lamb
    • State Farm x Patrick Mahomes
    • Sleep Number x Dak Prescott
    • Little Caesars x Matthew Stafford


    Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs who defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the second edition of MLB's Field of Dreams Game presented by GEICO.

    Most frequent brands seen on Fox Broadcast:

    Most frequent assets leveraged:

    • Recorded Commercial
    • Virtual Signage Projected in Lower Bowl
    • Live Read Commercial
    • 1st Base / 3rd Baseline Billboards
    • Broadcast Ad / Logo Pop Up

    * Venue assets under MLB property. Broadcast assets under MLB on FOX property

    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!

    The 2022 NFL offseason has provided prime opportunities for brands keen to raise their social media profile since the NFL Free agency began in March. With the preseason kicking off tonight, let’s break down the engagement numbers.

    Since March 1, more than 650 deals have been promoted on social channels across the league and its teams, totaling north of 6,400 posts thus far. With an average of 10 posts per brand, total engagement (likes, shares, or comments) across all deals tops 17.5 million, or just over 25,000 engagements per deal.

    Not surprisingly, the two leading social media partnerships were with last season’s Super Bowl rivals, the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. The fact that Rams posts took four of the top 10 slots by average engagement underscores the offseason benefits reaped by brands partnering with Super Bowl champions.

    The Rams also top the list of brand deals with a 3-post minimum. The team’s partnership with Nike has tallied more than 45,000 average engagements across 7 posts, for a total of more than 315,000 followers.

    Lesser-known companies like Swift Meats also were able to garner exceptional exposure in their deals with the Bengals. With 8 posts overall–which showcased the new “White Bengal” helmet, debuting this year–Swift Meat’s total engagement stands at 250,000, an average of just over 31,000 per post.

    Rounding out the top 5 most successful social media partnerships from the Draft through July 31st were the Atlanta Falcons and Coca-Cola, the New York Giants and Invisalign, and the Denver Broncos and Chevron, respectively. With a minimum of 3 posts, each saw per-post engagement of more than 20,000 followers.

    Social media’s power as a brand-building tool is indisputable–especially in the music industry. According to SponsorUnited’s latest data, 29 recording artists have at least 100 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook–accounting for a whopping 6.2 billion cumulative follows.

    Selena Gomez tops the list with nearly 525 million followers. Despite her staggering fan base, her 6 endorsement deals pale in comparison to Snoop Dogg (160+ million followers), whose singular charisma has helped him ink 17 partnerships. He starred in Super Bowl commercials for BIC and Pepsi last February, while his February 23rd Instagram post with another partner, Crooks & Castles Clothing, engaged 1.2 million followers–topping his long list of branded social posts.

    Katy Perry cracks the top-five in both social followers and endorsement deals. Sixteen brands have leveraged Perry’s social media following over the last 12 months, totaling more than 100 posts, while her total engagement is an impressive 17.8 million, with an average 1.1 million followers per brand. Her January 2nd Instagram post with Resorts World Las Vegas netted 890K engagements, her highest-ever tally on the channel.

    Latin music artist J Balvin takes the third spot on the endorsement list behind Perry, with 15 deals and a social following of 110 million. His customized-shoe partnership with Jordan Brand spurred a huge pop on his social media page with an engagement of over 1.5 million–more than 10% of his total engagement across 46 posts. Fortnite is Balvin’s most-promoted brand on social media by number of posts: his 10 with the online game have a total engagement of 3.5 million.

    The 150th Open Championship was held this past weekend at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland.

    Cameron Smith shot a 20 under par for the win while brands like Callaway Golf, Pacific Life, NTT DATA&U.S. Bank were seen on the course and on broadcast.

    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.


    1. Khaby Lame - 144.4MHugo Boss, Amazon Prime Student, Disney

    2. Charli D’Amelio - 142.8MStep, Morphe, Takis

    3. Bella Poarch - 90.3MCash App, Moncler, HyperX

    4. Addison Rae - 88.1MITEM Beauty, American Eagle Outfitters, Vital Proteins

    5. Zach King - 68.8MCredit Karma, Amazon, Google (Alphabet)


    1. Khaby Lame - 78.4M

    2. Larissa Machado (Anitta) - 62.7M

    adidas, Samsung, Sol de Janeiro

    3. Whindersson Nunes - 58.5MSubway

    4. Huda Kattan - 50.6MASOS, Sephora, Harrod’s

    5. Lele Pons - 49MAdore Me, PUBG


    1. Whindersson Nunes - 25.4M

    2. Ruben ‘El Rubius’ Doblas - 19.3MMAmazon Prime Student, Paco Rabanne, Drift Gaming

    3. AuronPlay (Raul Alvarez) - 15.9MFanta, LG Electronics, Amazon Prime Video

    4. Cameron Dallas - 14.8MboohooMan, Ralph Lauren, Crypto Demonz

    5. Felipe Neto - 14.5MN/A


    1. Noel Arevalo - 74.7MInno Supps, Fashion Nova

    2. Alexandra Mary Hirschi (Supercar Blondie) - 47MVinFast, Driver Ape Racing Club, Xbox

    3. Dhar Mann- 28MN/A

    4. Kayla Itsines - 28Msweat, iFit, P.E. Nation

    5. Luisito Comunica - 23MRey 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.

    Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cups takes place tonight, as both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche look to take home the cup. The Finals feature different broadcasts for US and Canadian based fans, with ABC hosting the US coverage and SportsNet hosting Canadian coverage. Looking back at the first game of the series, what differences and similarities did we find between the brands and assets sponsoring the most important matchup of the NHL season?

    SportsNet’s broadcast featured 46 unique brands. The top three most frequent brands and their assets during the Canadian coverage were:

    • DraftKings (Gaming)
    • Logo in Broadcast Studio
    • Live Read Commercial
    • Sponsored Segment
    • Split Screen Commercial
    • Recorded Commercial (3)

    ​​On Canadian broadcasts, the gaming category ranked 3rd. Didn’t crack the top 10 for US broadcasts. Reasoning would logically be legalization of single-game gambling in Canada this past August before the season started.

    • Scotiabank (Banking)
    • Period Naming Rights (Presenting Sponsor)
    • Live Read Commercial
    • Logo Pop Up
    • Recorded Commercial (3)
    • SkipTheDishes (On-Demand Delivery)
    • Sponsored Segment
    • Live Read Commercial
    • Recorded Commercial (2)

    ABC’s broadcast featured 61 unique brands. The three most prominent brands from the US coverage were as follows:

    • Lexus (Luxury Car Manufacturer)
    • Intermission Report Naming Rights (Presenting Sponsor)
    • Logo in Studio
    • Live Read Commercial
    • Recorded Commercial (4)
    • GEICO (Insurance
    • Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals
    • Live Read Commercial
    • Logo Pop up
    • Recorded Commercial (3)
    • Verizon (Telecommunications)
    • Pregame Naming Rights (Presenting Sponsor)
    • Logo in Studio
    • Recorded Commercial (3)

    The MLB season is in full swing and teams have been taking their game seriously on social media. The Atlanta Braves are delivering both on and off the field with their 14 game winning streak and ranking #1 for social engagement for sponsors across all 30 MLB teams. The Braves are the 6th most followed team in the MLB with 6M total followers (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok). They boast a YOY increase of 13% and have an impressive 1.44 engagements on their sponsored posts. Brands like Truist (homefield naming partner), Papa Johns, Subway and RaceTrac can be seen leveraging and taking advantage of the Braves’ social game.

    The other 9 of the top 10 MLB teams in terms of social engagement x sponsored posts include:

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (1.24M): The Dodgers have seen 1.24M engagements across all sponsored posts helping them claim the number two spot on the list. They are the 3rd ranked MLB team in terms of social following with 9.4M total followers. They rank #1 for followers on Instagram with 3M.

    Top brands with Dodgers social deal include: UCLA Health, Yaamava Resort & Casino at San Manuel, Advance AutoParts.

    1. New York Mets (1.21M): The New York Mets not only have seen success in total engagement on sponsored posts, they also have the most active fans boasting the highest ratio of engagement on branded posts. 0.9% of Mets followers interact with branded posts, that’s almost 40% higher than the Dodgers.

    Top brands with Mets social deal include: Coney Island Brewing Company, Citibank, loanDepot

    1. Chicago White Sox (734K): The Chicago White Sox are #4 on the list with a total engagement of 734K. The White Sox are the 16th most followed team in the MLB and 5th most followed property in the Chicago market. They saw a YOY increase of 5%.

    Top brands with White Sox social deal include: FanDuel, Horseshoe Hammond, Guaranteed Rate

    1. Houston Astros (703K): The Astros come in at #5 with 703K total engagements on branded social posts. They are the 13th most followed team in the MLB with 4.4M followers across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

    Top brands with Astros social deal include: Reliant Energy, AT&T SportsNet and Budweiser

    1. Chicago Cubs (690K): The #6 team on the list, the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are the 2nd most followed property in Chicago and 4th most followed in the MLB with 8.3M total followers. They have a prominent presence on TikTok with 726K followers, the most of any MLB team.

    Top brands with Cubs social deal include: Las Vegas Tourism, Sloan, Marriott Bonvoy

    1. Milwaukee Brewers (438K): The Milwaukee Brewers are the 24th most followed team in the MLB with 2.4M total followers and come in 7th for total engagement for sponsored posts with 438K. They have seen a 5% YOY increase and are the 2nd most followed property in the Milwaukee market, just behind the Bucks.

    Top brands with Brewers social deal include: UW Credit Union, Fleet Farm, Ball Sports Wisconsin

    1. Philadelphia Phillies (274K): With 274K total engagement, the Philadelphia Phillies take the #8 spot. They are the 12th most followed team in the MLB with 4.5M total followers and the 4th most followed property in the Philadelphia media market.

    Top brands with Phillies social deal include: SportsRadio 94 WIP, Independence Blue Cross, Herr’s

    1. San Diego Padres (272K): The San Diego Padres are ranked #9 with 272K total engagement on sponsored posts. They have 2.7M total followers across the major social media platforms and have a YOY increase of 16%.

    Top brands with Padres social deal include: Petco, ClickUp, USAA

    1. Boston Red Sox (178K): Rounding out the top 10 is the Boston Red Sox with 178K total engagements. They are the 2nd most followed team in the MLB, only behind the New York Yankees, with 9.7M total followers.

    Top brands with Red Sox social deal include: JetBlue, Nissan, STIHL

    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.

    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)

    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.

    In one of the craziest Kentucky Derby. finishes ever, Rich Strike took home 1st at 80-1 odds, the largest in Derby history. The broadcast on NBC saw a 14% increase in the number of brands leveraging the over 15 million viewers this year, an 8% increase in viewership.

    BMW was the newest addition to the Derby’s sponsorship list signing on as the Official Luxury Vehicle. With BMW entering the race for the first time, which brands have been capitalizing on the Derby’s viewership the longest?

    Woodford Reserve has been the Official Bourbon of the Derby since 1999, the longest partnership to date. Longines and Vineyard Vines have also been Derby sponsors for over a decade with partnership starting in 2011.

    *Photo From Churchill Downs Website

    During the Derby, Churchill Downs owned brands TwinSpires and Brisnet also saw exposure throughout the race and events before and after.

    A sponsor since 2020, Ford was visible at multiple points throughout the race including at the starting line for all to see. Ford was also visible across barrier signage throughout the course as well as on a large fixed wallscape on top of the stable.

    Mexico-based brand, Banorte , led all Finance brands with the highest average engagement per post: 262,354.

    Download the SponsorUnited ’21-‘22 Marketing Partnership Finance Report now at for more insights.

    Finance Posts for Social

    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.

    According to an analysis of over 30,000 brands spending on endorsements or sponsorship/media campaigns, each of the “Power 5” platforms represents a unique characterization. For example, Consumer Products is the most active category on TikTok, while not cracking the top five on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

    This past year, we tracked over 30,000 brands buying endorsements or sponsorship/media campaigns that included social media. We found that the Alcohol category had the most sponsored posts in Major Pro Sports, led by Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. The most engaging post in Major Pro Sports was Bibigo’s jersey patch announcement with the Los Angeles Lakers, which saw an engagement score of 1,056,188. The New England Patriots had the highest engaging TikTok post–a sponsored video partnering with apparel company Stitch.

    A major decision maker when choosing TikTok for branded social posts, is to directly target a younger demographic with personable content, as 41% of the user base is made up of people ages 16-24. Manscaped is a top five brand in the consumer products category when ranked by total partnerships, and leverages TikTok through integrated videos with verified social influencers such as TooTurntTony, who’s sponsored TikTok videos with Manscaped average 386,000 engagements. Walmart leads all brands in total integrated media deals on TikTok, having 66 partnerships with a roster of celebrities and influencers to promote beauty products and fashion designs.

    The Apparel & Accessories category appears in the top five categories for all social media platforms, and is led by the two apparel giants Nike and adidas. An impressive 60% of all adidas 900+ partnerships include social media content, while only 37% of Nike’s 1,600+ partnerships.

    Social Media Sponsors

    For the first time, Apple TV+ covered MLB Friday night baseball and their brand integrations throughout the broadcasts were seamless. The doubleheader broadcast was presented by Cue Health and ZipRecruiter and Apple products were uniquely featured throughout the broadcast.

    Apple TV+’s first iteration of their MLB broadcast featured the New York Mets vs. the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros vs. the Los Angeles Angels, covered by Stephen Nelson (play-by-play), Hunter Pence (analyst), Katie Nolan (analyst), and Heidi Watney (reporter).

    Sub-brands and concepts from Apple were integrated during the competition aiming to enhance the viewers experience. Each player’s “Walk Up Song” was presented by Apple Music with the Apple Music Logo and song details featured on screen next to the batter. How long until Apple integrates a QR code for viewers to automatically download or purchase music directly from the TV during Friday night games?

    Apple’s Siri was utilized to activate both entertainment and event related content, providing fans with fun trivia questions and calculated probability stats during the games. Reporter Heidi Watney conducted interviews while wearing a pair of Apple Airpods Max. For added exposure for the brand, Watney was interrupted during her live interview with Jeremy Peña’s parents by Peña’s first ever career home run.

    Amazon is also making headway in the professional sports broadcast game in 2022, after Prime Video was announced as the exclusive home of NFL Thursday Night Football. Prime Video’s first NFL broadcast was in 2017, with non-exclusive streaming rights to ten regular season games. The new Thursday coverage will feature legendary sports broadcaster Al Michaels, who covered his record 11th SuperBowl this past year. The National Football League currently  partners with Amazon by leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide new stats that create better experiences for fans, players and teams.

    Apple TV+’s studio’s Pre-Game Show was presented by BetMGM and Post-Game Show by SoFI. The Friday night coverage will continue through the season, including tonight for Jackie Robinson Day. Broadcasts for Apple TV+ coverage are available in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

    MLB x AppleTV

    2HYPE | Endorsements

    March 14, 2022

    YouTube sensation 2HYPE was founded in 2019. The members have been growing their gross social following of 20+ million since early as 2014.

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

    The Lineup 2HYPE

    With the MLB and MLBPA agreeing to a deal yesterday, Apple has signed a major deal with the league to stream games on Apple TV. This marks the 6th deal for the tech giant’s streaming service who will host “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader with live pre and post game shows. The deal will span across the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea to start with more countries expected to be added.

    So what does this mean for brands? Brands will get their share of the pie as this will also open up partnerships across streaming services to allow brands to expand their global reach and international brands to gain access to the US markets.

    Amazon and the NFL have signed a similar agreement beginning this upcoming season as well as HBO Max the the U.S Soccer Federation beginning in 2023.

    Many of these streaming platforms have the capabilities to reach hundreds of countries around the world and the TV landscape is changing. In a recent forecast of digital sports viewership by eMarketer, almost one in four US live sports viewers watched via digital channels in 2020. Within the Amazon and NFL partnerships, Amazon is expected to utilize enhanced shopping features, where users can interact mid-game with a product, increasing brand conversion rates. Traditional in-game commercials will continue to run, but with the ability to know your user, Amazon is expected to debut targeted advertisements which brands across the world will.

    NFL Social Engagement

    Over 1,000 brands signed endorsement deals with NFL athletes during the 2021 season, a big uptick from 2020 seeing a 51% increase.

    To unpack the rest of the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Report, visit to download the FREE report.

    Throughout the 2021 NFL season, Bose Corporation ranked #1 in total posts (with players and teams) while Lexus had the highest average engagement per post.

    Stay tuned tomorrow for the release of the NFL 2021 Marketing & Partnerships Annual Report.

    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.

    Trending NFL teams and players with the largest social follower gain in the month of January:

    10) Green Bay Packers (+84,758)

    9) Marcedes Lewis (+85,180)

    8) Pittsburgh Steelers (+96,982)

    7) San Francisco 49ers (+101,041)

    6) Kansas City Chiefs (+103,943)

    5) Dallas Cowboys (+120,933)

    4) Cincinnati Bengals (+128,556)

    3) Tom Brady (+184,022)

    2) Odell Beckham Jr. (+343,053)

    1) Antonio Brown (+961,136)

    On a related note, Brown actually picked up more followers than the NFL league social accounts (+961k vs +921k).

    The term "Any Press is Good Press" rang true during the month of January in the NFL. Antonio Brown quit on the Buccaneers mid-game, then saw the largest growth in social media followers. Brown currently optimizes his social media following partnering with six brands, three within the apparel and accessories category. He has also entered the NFT space with Spooky Boys Country Club. Brown's highest engaged post comes on Instagram with Skeleton Concept having an engagement score of over 130,000 per the SponsorUnited platform.

    Interesting to see that within the top four of the list, two social media accounts will be represented in the Super Bowl, Odell Beckham Jr. of the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals accounts. The 13 brands that OBJ has a partnership with leverage his nearly 20 million followers across social media. Recently, OBJ signed a deal with Cash App in which he'll get paid in Bitcoin during his tenure with the Rams. He can also be seen promoting the app with a $1 Million giveaway.

    FC Barcelona has the highest average engagement per tech branded post over any other property. Leveraging brands like Estrella Damm, Gatorade, and Beko Global across their social media channels FC Barcelona has a total gross social following of 261M. Other international football teams and leagues with the highest engagement on social media include Real Madrid C.F., Chelsea Football Club, and The Premier League.

    With the start of a new year, fitness resolutions are top of mind for many.

    We highlight the top fitness trainers and influencers in the sponsorship and media space. Remi Ishizuka has six deals in the retail category as well as food products which include Kohl's, Walmart, Nuun Hydration& Tic Tac.

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