Partnership Reports

Back To School Retailers

August 8, 2022

Back-to-school time is here–a prime opportunity to take a closer look at the sponsorship picture of two top-of-mind retail giants: Walmart and Target.

With more than 90 sponsorship deals, Walmart–the world’s second-largest retailer behind Amazon–dominates the back-to-school retailer space, with over 25 more deals than the second-place brand.

Social media influencers–including Remi Bader, Sofia Bella, and Rach Parcell–account for more than 10% of Walmart’s sponsorship or media deals. So it’s no surprise that social posts are the retailer’s most utilized asset, while TikTok is the preferred channel for more than 5 of its partnerships. Two TikTok posts–with content creator Zeth and Celina SpookyBoo, a Canadian TikTok star and podcaster who has 19 deals–rank among Walmart’s 3 highest performing social posts ever, with over 800,000 engagements. They also take the first and third spots in engagement across the entire department store category, with Macy’s in second with its post with Maluma, a Colombian music artist.

Meanwhile, Target ranks third within department store brands in number of sponsorship deals with just over 40, less than half of Walmart’s count.

Target has been the venue naming rights sponsor for the Minnesota Twins since 2008, when the team’s Minneapolis hometown field became Target Field. The deal includes signage around the stadium, community-related content, and fan activities at the venue, among many other assets. Target also has had naming rights to the Target Center since 1990, home of the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves.

One of Target's larger deals on the national stage is its partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS), which saw the brand sponsor the MLS All-Star Concert featuring Khalid this past Monday in downtown Minneapolis. Instagram is its top social media asset, while 65% of its sponsorship deals include a social post.

Speaking of, Walmart and Target lead the charge for brands within the Mass Merchant & Department Stores category, where social posts are the top purchased asset amongst the 350+ brands buying sponsorship or media. Many of them favor media deals over sponsorships: on average, each brand has 1 sponsorship among its more than 6 total deals. Once again, Walmart trumps the competition, with over 250 digital media partnerships–double the number of both Target and Macy’s.

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