SPORTS MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Once again, sportswear giants Nike and Adidas received the most social sponsorship value from the world of sports in the first 3 months of 2021. These two Apparel brands were promoted in a combined 150k posts, each well above rival Puma, 3rd place brand by number of branded posts at 30k during the 3 month period. In all, Apparel & Accessories brands led all industries, receiving $343M in social sponsorship value, known as Adjusted Ad Value or AAV. However, while the Apparel & Accessories category stayed relatively flat (+1.8%), Restaurants (+111%), Financial Services brands (37%), and Travel brands (+35%) saw significant growth in sponsorship value during Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020. 

Keep reading to find:

  • Total impact of sports on social media in Q1
  • Top Brands
  • Top Industries
  • Brands On The Rise
  • Where the value comes from (by sport property type and by sport)
  • Top Partnerships

 

WHAT WAS ANALYZED

This analysis is compiled to allow sports marketers to benchmark their brand against other brands in their segment who are also investing in sports sponsorship as well as across industry verticals. The data gathered for this report is from social and digital channels, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, VK, Weibo, and YouTube. Nearly 8,000 brands sponsoring major professional sports leagues, teams, and athletes were analyzed for brand promotion. Through computer vision and advanced machine learning, every post by those sports properties and individuals was analyzed to identify deliberate promotion of any brand by direct mention, hashtag, or keyword in the text of the post as well as brand logos within the images and videos. These branded posts were then analyzed to evaluate post quality and brand value for the associated brand(s) and summarized to come up with the data included in this report. The date range for this data was 1st January, 2021 – 31st March, 2021.

 

SPORTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

22B Followers, 4M Posts, 17B Interactions, $2.3B in sponsorship value

Sports organizations and athletes added over 1B followers, a growth rate of +5.8% in Q1 2021. Of the 4M posts, 27% of them included some form of brand promotion in the image, video, and/or text. The 4M posts is up 8% from the average in 2020, a good sign for the industry as post volume was down 15% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID among other reasons.

 

SPONSORSHIP RESULTS

TOP INDUSTRIES

Industry Category Total Category AAV Top Brand Q1 2021
Apparel & Accessories $343,100,000 Nike
Financial $312,000,000 State Farm
Beverage $254,000,000 Gatorade
Automotive $233,000,000 KIA
Travel $168,700,000 Emirates
Telecommunications $100,100,000 AT&T
Gambling $90,300,000 betway
Entertainment $84,200,000 PlayStation
Consumer Electronics $74,700,000 Beko
Energy $57,400,000 Gazprom
Technology $55,100,000 Rakuten
Sporting Goods $52,400,000 Spalding
Restaurant $31,200,000 KFC
Health & Fitness $21,800,000 Rogue Fitness
Food $21,200,000 Lay’s
Consumer Goods $20,800,000 Stanley Tools
Logistics $18,400,000 FedEx

 

VALUE BY ENTITY TYPE

SPORT ENTITY
TYPE
% TOTAL AAV
League 32%
Event 9%
Team 40%
Athlete 18%

Teams and leagues continued to generate the majority of the value coming from the world of sports. A major factor in that is the volume of content generated by teams or leagues is typically far more than an average athlete. For example, top athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar posted 186 and 282 times, respectively. Compare that to FC Barcelona’s 4,500+ posts or the NBA’s 24k+ posts and it is clear how these organizations drive more share of value even with fewer total entities.

 

VALUE BY SPORT

SPORT SPORT AAV
Q1 2021
Global Football $999,586,338
Basketball $424,706,478
Motorsports $181,487,454
Fighting Sports $134,820,477
Cricket $104,962,782
American Football $77,992,730
Ice Hockey $73,841,449
Tennis $26,118,223
Rugby $19,083,860
Cycling $17,775,117
Baseball $16,834,042
Snow Sports $16,478,829
Board Sports $16,319,584
Golf $14,367,316
Badminton $13,041,871
Athletics $7,098,959

6 of the top 10 entities in sport by AAV generated came from Global Football. The 4 others were leagues with active seasons / events, including the NBA, UFC, F1, and NHL. While Global Football dominated all sports in terms of total value generated, Basketball and Cricket entities averaged 2.5x – 3x more AAV per entity than Global Football entities.

 

TOP PARTNERSHIPS IN SPORT BY AAV

  1. Santander – La Liga
  2. State Farm – NBA
  3. Gatorade – NBA
  4. PlayStation – UEFA Champions League
  5. Heineken – UEFA Champions League

The top 5 partnerships across sports all included official sponsors of leagues / event series. Santander, the naming rights sponsor of La Liga, came out on top with over $20M in AAV. The top team – brand partnership was Chevrolet – Manchester United while the lifelong partnership between Nike & Cristiano Ronaldo was the top athlete – brand partnership by AAV.

 

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