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Partnership Reports

Retailers Lean In On Partnerships to Lure Back-to-School Shoppers

August 21, 2023

With back-to-school shopping in high gear, big-box retailers and online stores are taking center stage across the country. Shanghai-based online marketplace Temu, which entered the US market in September 2022, has garnered serious attention this year thanks to its inaugural Super Bowl ad last February, which marked the brand’s very splashy entrée into the sponsorship world. Within the last 12 months, Temu has inked nearly 15 sponsorship deals, all with athletes, artists or influencers—a popular strategy amongst retail brands.

More than 750 retail brands have partnered with boldface names during the last 12 months. Leading the charge on this front: retail giant Walmart, which currently boasts more than 40 celebrity endorsers, ranging from athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Devin White, and Cam Newton to musical artists including Kane Brown, Cardi B, and Becky G.

While Walmart leads the way in high-profile endorsements, Amazon takes the cake when it comes to deal volume among back-to-school brands. The world’s largest online retailer has more than 135 sponsorships (not including its sub-brands), most notably with the Seattle Kraken, whose home ice was renamed Climate Pledge Arena after the brand bought its naming rights–a nod to Amazon’s sustainability focus. Within these partnerships, Amazon’s social campaigns have chalked up total engagement of 10.7M across more than 1,400 branded posts.

Another favorite back-to-school brand is Target, whose sponsorship portfolio numbers over 50 deals. Most notably, the Minneapolis-based behemoth was the naming rights partner of the Minnesota Twins (2008), Lynx, and Timberwolves (both 1990). In 2017, Target made its first foray into MLS by becoming both a sponsor of the league and signing a deal with then-expansion team, Minnesota United FC, as its primary jersey patch partner.

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