The advancements and creativity seen in the 2023 landscape of Sports & Entertainment have been notably impressive. The collaboration between sponsorships and brand partnerships has been influential, establishing new benchmarks and directions.
Starting with entertainment, one of the most captivating moments this year has been the re-emergence of Barbie on the global stage. This iconic brand's triumph stems from strategic marketing maneuvers across diverse industries and media platforms, underlining the potent power of apt partnerships for both established and nascent brands. Meanwhile, digital celebrities such as MrBeast and Logan Paul, initially recognized through social media, are now leveraging their influence to pioneer successful brand ventures. Additionally, we're observing a blending of roles between celebrities, athletes, and influencers. A trend gaining momentum is their quest for equity stakes in brands they champion, signaling an intriguing evolution in the world of brand endorsements.
Parallel to these entertainment shifts, the technological sector, spearheaded by AI, is carving new vistas in sponsorships. AI's promise to revolutionize the sponsorship
sphere through its precision in content targeting and endorsement impact evaluation is monumental. What's more, AI companies themselves are diving into the realms of sports and entertainment sponsorships, heralding exhilarating times ahead for industry aficionados.
Shifting focus to sports, the US major pro sports leagues have had a phenomenal year. A notable spike of 17.5% in team sponsorship revenue was observed, with Major League Baseball at the forefront, achieving a 23% revenue boost largely due to innovative assets such as jersey patches. This leads to the burning question: Will the NFL, with its whopping $19.5 billion total revenue from the previous year, introduce their jersey patches and ride this trend? Additionally, 2023 was a landmark year for women's sports leagues. Women’s leagues attracted more than 1,000 additional brand partners, experiencing a year-over-year surge of 35%. This is coupled with the red-hot Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) domain that continues to mature. With 550 new brands venturing into collaborations with elite collegiate athletes this year, athletes like Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark are not just sports stars but are also ascending as full-fledged celebrities with robust personal brands.
In light of these incredible strides in sports and entertainment, we're elated to unveil the 2023 Year in Review—Sports & Entertainment Marketing Partnerships report. This comprehensive report, a joint effort between SponsorUnited’s Marketing, Research & Insights, and Analytics departments, encapsulates data on over 82,000 brands, 160,000 sponsorship deals, and 75,000 branded social posts from January 1, 2023, to October 16th, 2023.