NFL Collects Record Amount In Sponsorship Fees

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Top Story

NFL avoids crypto winter, collects record amount in sponsorship fees

The NFL saw a 4% increase in 2022 sponsorships to an estimated $1.88 billion, according to IEG.

What's the deal?

In 2022, the NFL did pick up E&J Gallo for its wine sponsorship, while Apple replaced Pepsi as the Super Bowl Halftime sponsor. IEG counts 52 active league-level sponsors, and technology companies top the list with 34 new deals. The NFL added cybersecurity company Acronis, HCL Technologies, and Amazon Web Services as well.

IEG managing director Peter Laatz said in a statement that the NFL’s “methodical, conservative approach to sponsorship” helped the league dodge the cryptocurrency “debacle” after top crypto platform FTX filed for bankruptcy and deals with teams went sideways. FTX’s failure could result in hundreds of millions of losses, especially for NBA teams.

The bottom line:

The NFL weathered the defections of big-name brands like Barclays, Bridgestone, Ford trucks and Pizza Hut and still managed to post a record amount of sponsorships this past season.

Read: Forbes


Derek Jeter's sports trading cards venture brings digital innovation to a favorite national pastime

Over the years, the MLB hall-of-famer has had more than enough to chew on—evolving from novice collector to appearing on countless cards himself during his 20-year career as a Yankee shortstop. With Jeter’s latest venture, Arena Club, the baseball icon sets out to dive into the $13-billion-dollar sports trading card industry at a moment when this analog pastime is in flux.

Expected to grow $6.71 billion by 2026, the global sports trading cards market has boomed, with a recent string of high-profile sales spiking all-time auction highs. “I think we’re at a crossroads,” says Ty Wilson, a collector since 1997 and host of the web series Chasing Cardboard. “The heart of collecting sports cards really goes back to community… You don’t experience any of that community piece of it on the NFT side. And I think that’s where the heart and soul of it—that’s not connecting very well. How does the community piece stay relevant with NFTs? No one’s figured that out.”

Read: Fast Company


Hyatt, Lacrosse Unlimited, Lulu’s tap college athletes’ authenticity to target Gen Z

As Super Bowl LVII approaches, hotel chain Hyatt is touting its recent partnership with the University of Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt — who happens to have a namesake in common with the brand. The partnership marks Hyatt’s first deal with a college athlete, and the company will feature the wide receiver in media interviews and social media posts to promote Hyatt’s Phoenix properties before the big game takes place there on Feb. 12.

As for Hyatt’s recent NIL agreement with University of Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, the brand utilized its Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to promote the partnership and generate engagement in a timely manner. The hotel chain also tapped Hyatt to spread the news of its agreement to be the exclusive hospitality sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival through 2025, which Hyatt (the athlete) shared through his Instagram account and Instagram Stories.

Read: Digiday



Hashtag Sports Awards entries close February 17

Entries for the 5th annual Hashtag Sports Awards, honoring the most engaging content, creators, and campaigns across 50+ categories, will close next week.

Hashtag Sports is proud to benchmark effective engagement and showcase the ROI of investing in the fan experience. The awards are a great opportunity to be recognized by the brightest minds in sports content and marketing. Check out just a few of our recent winners above, and reach out for 1-on-1 help or a free consultation.


Sports Illustrated publisher taps AI to generate articles, story ideas

The publisher of Sports Illustrated and other outlets is using artificial intelligence to help produce articles and pitch journalists potential topics to follow, the latest example of a media company investing in emerging technology.

The Arena Group, whose publications include TheStreet, Men’s Journal, and Dealbreaker, said it is working with AI startups Jasper and Nota as part of an effort to generate stories that pull information from its own library of content. The company is also using technology from OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, a chatbot that has generated considerable buzz among consumers and businesses due to its humanlike, content-producing capabilities.

Read: Wall Street Journal


MLS games on Apple TV+ might be significant for other sports

In signing a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Apple, America’s fifth-biggest professional sports league became the first to push all of their local and national content on a streaming platform. Now, all MLS games are in one place, completely blackout-free. MLS will produce all broadcasts themselves, hiring “at least” 12 English-language teams and 12 Spanish-language teams of play-by-play voices and color commentators to announce every game in both languages.

NBA, MLB, and NHL executives are all watching to see how MLS’ deal with Apple TV goes, especially given the news of the impending bankruptcy of Bally Sports — the regional sports networks that own local broadcasting rights for 16 NBA, 14 MLB, and 12 NHL teams.

Read: The Salt Lake Tribune

What Else Is Trending?
  • ADVERTISING: Fox sold out its inventory of Super Bowl ads, but the economy didn't help when it came to selling the final 5%.
  • BETTING: Americans are more than doubling their Super Bowl wagers this year to $16 billion as legal sports betting explodes.
  • EXPERIENTIAL: Team Whistle is collaborating with The Players Company on a content house surrounding Super Bowl LVII.
  • BRANDS: As part of a stunt by soda brand Olipop, two soda cans walked into a Denver Nuggets game and seated themselves courtside.
  • ATHLETES: Fox broadcasters have high hopes for Tom Brady in the booth in 2024, but they're in no rush for his arrival.



Angels partnering with FBM on jersey patch

The Details

With Major League Baseball permitting clubs to wear sponsored patches on their jerseys for the first time in 2023, the Angels announced that they entered a three-year agreement with Foundation Building Materials as their official jersey patch partner. Foundation Building Materials (FBM) is a local company founded in neighboring Orange, Calif., in 2011 and has 280 locations across the United States and Canada, including in every Major League market. Their rectangular logo, which features a Cypress Tree and the FBM initials, shares the same red and blue official colors of the Angels and will be worn on the sleeve of the jersey.


Content Strategy Manager, Sports
Paramount+ - Burbank, CA

Customer Success Manager
Greenfly - New York, NY

Head of Sports Strategy (US)
AIP Connect - New York, NY

Partnerships Director, Stadiums
TIXR - New York, NY

Director, Community & Fandom
LA Clippers - Los Angeles, CA

Director, Consumer Insights
U.S. Soccer - Chicago, IL

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