Alex Morgan is the Most Endorsed Female Athlete of 2022
Brand deals across women’s sports have increased 20% year-over-year
SponsorUnited's inaugural Women In Sports 2022 report analyzes brand partnerships for both collegiate and professional sports across teams and individual athletes.
The report found that 3,500 brands bought a total of 5,650 sponsorships or media across 14 professional women’s leagues and collegiate NIL athletes. It also revealed that 1,110 brands bought a total of 2,185 sponsorships or media across individual professional and college female athletes.
“While women’s sports have always faced a variety of disparities in the industry, their ability to win over audiences and drive an exceptionally high level of engagement for brands is undeniable,” said Bob Lynch, CEO and founder of SponsorUnited. “In recent years, attendance, viewership and social engagement for women’s sports and athletes has spiked, leading to long-overdue financial backing through investments and sponsorships that are visibly paying off and should only continue to accelerate.”
Key findings include:
Alex Morgan is the most endorsed female athlete of the year The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) player scored 27 brand deals in 2022, which is more deals than any NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS or NHL athlete. Morgan leapfrogged over Ali Krieger, Serena Williams and Naomi Oasaka, the top three most endorsed female athletes in 2021. She has partnerships with Coca-Cola, Google, Chipotle, Michelob Ultra and AT&T, among others.
Partnership deals across women’s sports have increased 20% year-over-year Sponsorships with women grew 20% year-over-year across the major US sports (LPGA, NWSL, WNBA, WTA), top European soccer leagues (Women’s Super League and Liga F), and Big Bash League, AFL, NRL Telstra Premiership, Netball Superleague, Suncorp Super Netball and World Netball. Finance brands–which are already the most active sponsorship category among women’s sports–upped their sponsorship game by 30%, followed by Apparel & Accessories and Media to round out the top-three brand verticals.
Women’s golf outnumbers all other women’s sports for brand deals With 940 brand deals in 2022, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) saw a 30% increase in deals from the previous year and an 18% increase in new brand partnerships. Notable partnerships include Coca-Cola, Rolex and Epson. The LPGA held a 17-deal lead over the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which had 923 deals in 2022, followed by the National Women’s Soccer League, which had 496 deals.
Nike is the #1 sponsor for both professional and collegiate sports Nike has sponsorships with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NWSL, Women’s Big Bash League (Cricket), Netball and the LPGA, and with more than 60 athletes. Nike also sponsors five collegiate athletes and partners with 68 colleges. Trailing Nike is Adidas, the second top brand partner for both professional and collegiate sports.