December 3, 2020

NFL Sponsorship Trends

SBJ Atlas

One of the most notable changes across NFL stadiums in 2020 is the increased availability of TV visible assets primarily because of the addition of seat cover signage. SportsAtlas leveraged Nielsen Sports data to take a look at TV visible exposure through the first few months of the season and identify trends compared to the 2019 season.

Emerging Brands

  • After receiving limited TV visible exposure in 2019 despite entering into various team partnerships, this season Invisalign has received exposure with three teams (Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles) and has partnerships with eight other teams. In addition to in-venue inventory with a few teams and a league-level partnership, Invisalign is quite active on social with 73 posts across eight of the company’s sponsored teams since the season began. Invisalign’s activations on social focus around “Moments that made you smile” from teams’ games, happy birthday posts, and sponsored giveaways.
  • Old Spice has partnered with the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Tennessee Titans to receive seat cover signage for much coveted Sunday exposure after having no in-venue inventory last season. In addition to Old Spice, Procter & Gamble brands Head & Shoulders (Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Tide (Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers) each have received exposure, indicating a larger trend for the consumer goods conglomerate, which also has a deal with the NFL.
  • SoFi, given their naming rights agreement with the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams, is arguably the most obvious new entrant in 2020. In addition to a substantial presence in-venue, SoFi is active on social with 23 posts from the Chargers and Rams accounts since the season began. SoFi primarily activates around “It’s Good! For Good” campaign, making charitable donations for each completed field goal.

Exiting Brands

  • One of the most noticeable and explainable absentees from the sponsorship landscape this season is Ticketmaster. After receiving television exposure with 15 different teams last season, the ticketing brand has only been linked to the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Football Team in 2020.
  • BABE Wines, another mainstay in 2019, has received far less exposure on Sundays despite being the official wine of the NFL. According to Nielsen Sports, after receiving TV visible signage with nine teams last season, the wine – targeting female NFL fans – has only received exposure with the two New York franchises. Apart from announcing partnerships with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers early in the season, the brand is also missing on social. Similarly, the official hard seltzer of the NFL, Bon & Viv, has yet to appear on-screen this season.
  • Another brand absent this year after a strong presence in 2019 is Uber. While the company goes unnoticed, Postmates, which was recently acquired by Uber, serves as the official on-demand food delivery partner of the NFL and receives signage with the Los Angeles Rams.