Throughout the 2020 regular season, SportsAtlas and Zoomph tracked more than 5,500 sponsored posts on social media from team-owned handles. The list below details the top 10 most prominent sponsorships along with a quick summary of the types of content focused on in these partnerships.
Note: Sponsorships include text mentions occurring on social media during the 2020 regular season.
Source: SportsAtlas, Zoomph | Date Range: 9/9/20 – 1/3/21 | Note: Includes sponsorships featuring text mentions only
Posts: 288 | Most Engaging Post: Manti Te’o to the Practice Squad
Hyundai’s partnership with the Bears was featured more often on social than any other partnership during the 2020 season. Hyundai leveraged recurring content focused on game updates, roster moves, and press conferences to maintain a consistent presence throughout the season.
Posts: 194 | Most Engaging Post: Fan Appreciation Day
Posts: 133 | Most Engaging Post: Taysom Hill Press Conference
Similar to Hyundai with the Bears, Verizon’s social partnerships with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints centered around press conferences, which provided the brand with consistent access to content that fans were likely to engage. In addition to sponsoring the Texans’ press conferences, Verizon was incredibly active during Fan Appreciation Month when the brand was the presenting sponsor for various giveaways on Twitter and Instagram.
Posts: 89 | Most Engaging Post: Mike Gesicki Highlights
Baptist Health was most regularly the presenting sponsor of #TopNews, a content series –hosted on the Dolphins’ website – that dove deep into key storylines surrounding the team. In addition to tagging the team handle in each post, Baptist Health also received logo placement on the thumbnail linking the article.
Posts: 85 | Most Engaging Post: Monday Night Football
Pepsi’s most popular posts were game previews early in the season on Instagram. While engagement declined over the course of the season, Pepsi’s sponsored content still garnered over four times the engagements per post compared to each of the other top 10 partnerships. Pepsi did sprinkle in other content throughout the season including snippets from player interviews, player of the game, and score updates.
Posts: 82 | Most Engaging Post: Four Game Winning Streak
Verizon’s third social partnership landing inside the top 10 came with the Miami Dolphins where the company was mentioned in 82 posts. The bulk of the telecom provider’s posts were promoting The Blitz, the Dolphins regular news updates on the team site, and The Audible, the team’s podcast.
Posts: 82 | Most Engaging Post: Cooking with Russell Wilson
Ranking 7th during the NFL season was Bose’s sponsorship of the Seattle Seahawks. Subjectively, Bose’s integration into the Seahawks posts were the most organic of the top 10 partnerships with many of the most popular posts centered around the “sounds of the game,” which aligned well with the audio equipment provider’s products.
Posts: 79 | Most Engaging Post: Alex Singleton – Next Gen Stats
In addition to sponsoring occasional Next Gen Stats posts, XFINITY was the presenting sponsor of almost 80 #Eagles360 posts. During this recurring content series, followers received inside access into recent events at Eagles practices including highlights, interviews, and updates.
Posts: 76 | Most Engaging Post: Honorary Captain – Parker McCollum
While Red Diamond’s sports portfolio is relatively thin compared to the other brands in the top 10, the coffee and tea brand had a consistent presence with the Houston Texans on social. Red Diamond was included on a variety of content, most notably on posts where local beat writers provided followers with updates surrounding the team.
Posts: 72 | Most Engaging Post: Jaguars/Vikings Final Score
Eleven of GEICO’s 21 NFL team partnerships had a social element to them, however, the partnership with the Jaguars was the most consistent. GEICO’s sponsored content with Trevor Lawrence’s next team almost exclusively presented score updates throughout the Jaguars’ games each Sunday. The most engaging post showed the final score of the team’s narrow loss to the Vikings where they moved into pole position to draft the Clemson signal-caller.