We all know that when economic times are bad, one of the things that individuals and organizations cut back on is spending and giving. The 2008 recession hit everyone hard, and the world of sport sponsorships was no exception. Prior to the housing bust, sport entities were seeing annual double-digit growth in corporate sponsorships, but that fell drastically to a mere 2.2% growth for 2009. Now, as the economy is continuing to rebound, so are the growth rates and dollar amounts spent each year by corporations on sponsorships.
It is no secret that the NFL is a beast when it comes to securing corporate backing. And why wouldn’t it be? Recent data shows that it still reigns supreme as that most watched sport in the US with 31 of the 32 most watched games in 2012 coming from the league and 98% of their available tickets being purchased by fans. IEG, “the global authority on sponsorships,” shows that the NFL received over $1.07B in sponsorship revenues in 2013 alone. That is a 5.7% increase from 2012. While the growth is still in the single digits for most sport organizations, growth at that rate puts the NFL ahead of others who are fighting for the same budgeted dollars.
While the usual suspects are still giving a great deal to the league (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Budweiser), one of the shocking facts that IEG found for the 2013 season was that insurance companies are now 5X more likely to provide support than to the NFL than the average of all of the others combined.
Forbes may have European soccer dominating the top three spots in their World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Team list, but the NFL had more league teams represented overall. 30 of the 50 teams ranked all came from the NFL. No surprise, Forbes’ list of top NFL teams are also the same teams that IEG reports had above average corporate sponsorships…Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, and Redskins were the top NFL teams and in top 10 overall.