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NFL SPRED Report 2023

April 27, 2023

Social media plays an increasingly crucial role in the marketability of pro athletes and potential draftees, as well as their ability to engage fans–a phenomenon we examine in our second NFL Social Performance Ranking of Endorsement Deals (SPRED) Report for 2023.

Published just ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, the report includes an in-depth analysis of brand endorsements and social engagement across nearly 425 NFL athletes. Compiled using SponsorUnited’s proprietary platform, the data encompasses more than 700 brands, 1,400 deals, and 2,375 social posts.

Comprising a wide array of player, brand, and category social metrics, the report reveals a host of interesting insights. Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson, for example, tops the list of most active players with 77 branded posts in the last 12 months, and ranks second in gross followers, total engagement, and brand collaborations–but fails to crack the top 25 by engagement rate (average % of likes, shares, and comments on branded posts). Meanwhile, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill leads the league in total engagement and average engagement (average number of likes, shares, and comments received on each post).

Among brands, sports betting company DraftKings boasts both the most player endorsements and most promoted posts across NFL athletes, but falls to 9th in total engagement, where adidas takes the #1 spot. On the category front, Retail and Apparel & Accessories rank in the top 3 by average engagement, total engagement, and endorsements (most brands and most promoted posts by NFL players), while Consumer Electronics reigns supreme in average engagement.  

The report also ranks the top 2023 NFL Draft prospects based on the number of endorsement deals signed by these college football standouts, selected by ESPN as the likely 1st and 2nd round picks as of April 25th. The rankings reveal that QBs dominate the top of the prospect list, taking the top three spots and five out of the top seven overall–and suggest that QBs are highly coveted not only by NFL teams, but also by brands looking to partner with the next generation of NFL stars.

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