Just when you think the NFL can’t fly any higher, the league’s popularity soars to new heights. NFL regular-season games averaged the most viewers since 2015 and the second highest since averages were first tracked in 1995. The Wild Card playoffs drew nearly 137 million fans—the second largest total audience on record.

Against this blockbuster backdrop, the league is unveiling new and lucrative sponsorship avenues for blue-chip brands. This is exemplified by Pepsi, a longtime NFL partner. Pepsi became the "Official Zero of the NFL” this season, compelling the league to allow players to wear jerseys with the number “0” for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, Toyota inked a multi-year agreement last October to become the NFL’s Official Auto Partner.

The NFL also continues to grow its audience and entice younger viewers via savvy distribution deals—like the NFL Sunday Ticket, which moved to YouTube TV this season in a seven-year partnership that will pay the league some $2 billion annually. Amazon Prime Video's Thursday Night Football ended its second season with an average 11.7 million viewers per game in 2023.

With the US market firmly in hand, the NFL has its sights set on a growing list of distant shores. Twenty-one clubs participated in its Global Markets Program in 2023 across 14 international markets, up from 19 clubs across 10 markets the previous season. In December, the league announced plans to play a regular season game in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2024—marking the league’s first foray into South America—and voted to expand the slate of international matchups from four to up to eight games in 2025.

For all these reasons and more, we’re thrilled to unveil our NFL Marketing Partnerships 2023 Report. Jointly authored by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research and Analytics departments, it encompasses more than 2,100 brands, 3,500 sponsorship deals, and more than 49,000 sponsorship assets from September 1st, 2019 to January 8th, 2024.

The US Open 2023 continues to unfold as a spectacular stage for emerging tennis talent, showcasing the next generation of rising stars as they face off on center court in the country’s most anticipated annual tournament.  

At just 20 years old, Carlos Alcaraz is quickly becoming a bona fide tennis sensation both on the court and on social media. His impressive engagement score of 7.4M and a 7% engagement rate—eclipsing the average engagement rate of 2.3% for major pro sports athletes—his partnerships with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolex have been resounding successes, speak to his standing as a sought-after brand ambassador whose sponsorship stable will surely explode.

While Ben Shelton—another 20-year-old phenom who just became the youngest American US Open semi-finalist in 30 years—may have only 2 deals currently, with On-Running and Yonex, his sky-high 12% engagement rate makes him a virtual shoe-in for future top-tier brand partnerships.

Americans Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe are also making waves. Californian Fritz has 12 endorsement deals spanning 10 different categories and total social media engagement exceeding 140K, while Tiafoe, whose 12 deals include Barclays, Yonex, and Cadillac, has more than doubled his Instagram following to over 740K in the past year.

At just 19, Coco Gauff’ boasts an impressive sponsorship portfolio of 7 partnerships–UPS, Barilla, BOSE, and American Eagle, among them, showcasing her wide appeal to a diverse range of brands. She’s also the first American teenager to reach the final four since Serena Williams in 2001–a distinction that will further fuel her already undeniable marketability. 

Belarus’s Aryna Sabalenka's social media following has soared 148% across all social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, X, TikTok) in the last year. With an engagement rate of 8.2%, she's quickly becoming one of the most popular tennis players of her generation, and an alluring potential ambassador for brands. Her current 4 deals include Maestro Dobel Tequila, WHOOP, and Nike. 

Meanwhile, Latvian tennis star Jelena Ostapenko recently won the Birmingham Classic, upsetting defending champion Iga Świątek for her first win over a world #1 since 2017, before making it to her first US Open quarterfinal this week, where she lost to Gauff. Though she may have fewer deals than her opponent, with 6–including blue-chip brands like Emirates, Wilson, and adidas–her 125K in total engagement underscores her burgeoning appeal and potential in the world of tennis endorsements.

Grey Cup Final

November 20, 2022

The Winnipeg Blue Bomber's will take on the Toronto Argonauts at the Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for the 109th Grey Cup.

Twitter is utilized the most for both teams. Not only do both sports teams have their highest social following on Twitter, but all social deals between both teams include Twitter posts. Canada Life was the most leveraged brand for the Winnipeg Blue Bomber's on Twitter, accumulating 74 posts and 20k+ engagements within the past year. Bell Media was leveraged the most for the Toronto Argonauts on Twitter, amassing 30 posts and 2.8k+ engagements in the past year.

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

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

Opening Ceremonies for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games took place today. Spotlighted are endorsement deals for some of the top competitors from around the world competing in the games.

Alexis Pinturault from France competes in his 3rd Winter Olympics as an alpine skier. Pinturault has 14 partnerships across 10 categories, including deals with Red Bull, Agence, Zoom, and Bollé.

On January 8th, 2022, online sports betting was legalized in New York. Big companies like DraftKings and FanDuel quickly launched earning an estimated $91.4 million in revenue through the first 16 days according to DraftKings has the most partnership deals in the betting services / DFS space. FanDuel ranks #4 according to the SponsorUnited platform.

DraftKings leads the way in the category having the most active deals in the New York market. This includes deals with the New York Giants and New York Mets. In 2021, DraftKings had a 56% increase YOY sponsorship increase while having 85+ deals within 30+ leagues. The most common assets bought besides use of marks, is social media posts 57% of the time, and event content/activation 41%.

Betway ranks #2 in this category having more deals internationally than in the United States. Betway has 19 deals in the UK, 10 deals in Germany and 18 deals in the United States. 13 of the deals in the United Kingdom are with the Premier League. Their largest deal is with West Ham United which includes 12 unique sponsorship assets, this is 10 more than the Totthenham Hotspurs.

After having a deal with the Pat McAfee Show since 2019, FanDuel signed the podcast to a mega deal at roughly $30 million/year according to multiple reports. With online betting now legal in New York state, the New York market is tied with Pittsburgh as FanDuel's top market. 57% of the brands sponsorship deals are with the 5 Major Pro Sports in the United States.

In total, there is currently over 320 active brands buying sponsorship or media within the betting services & DFS categories while each brand averages 7 deals.

Tom Brady | Trading Card

February 1, 2022

Congratulations to Tom Brady on a Hall of Fame career ending with 7 Super Bowl rings and being one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game.

Brady finished his career having 14 endorsement deals while aggressive pursuing the Cryptocurrency and NFT space signing a deal with FTX and creating NFT platform Autograph.

NFL Conference Playoffs are taking place this weekend. The remaining NFL teams are only 1 win away from making it to the Super Bowl as the Chiefs host the Bengals, and the Rams host the 49ers in the NFL Conference Championship games this weekend.

Today's Lineup highlights 1 player from each of the teams with the most endorsement deals. Travis Kelce leads all athletes playing on Sunday with over 26 partnerships, edging out his super-star QB teammate, Patrick Mahomes, who has 22 deals. Kelce has deals with HyVee, Bud Light, Aaron, Sachs & Associates & Club Carwash.

SAAS / Software company, EVERFI emphasize youth and community initiatives through their partnerships in Major Pro Sports.

93% of EverFi's total deals include a community / cause related asset. Interested in learning more about SAAS / Software brands? Stay tuned for the SponsorUnited Technology Sponsorships Annual Report coming next week!

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,, and Nike. Both teams are also in the top five for most exclusive properties within Serie A, just behind A.S Roma and Genoa.

The 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis aired on ESPN last night. More than 80 brands were visible during the broadcast where the The University of Georgia beat The University of Alabama 33 - 18.

Many familiar brands within the college space leveraged the airtime. AT&T who was seen throughout the game has over 60 deals across the NCAA. Other brands with a significant presence in the NCAA and also during the championship game broadcast were Taco Bell, Capital One, and Goodyear. These brands have 50, 30 and 10 deals across the NCAA respectively.

As the NCAA Football season comes to an end, more than 9,000 brands in over 30 categories were actively buying sponsorship or media within the NCAA since the start of the football season. TicketSmarter, Coca-Cola & Pepsi are the top three brands in terms of sponsorship deals with Allstate and Nike rounding out the top five.

NCAA Championship 2022 IR
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