Sponsorship spending on the National Football League and its 32 teams reached $1.39bn (€1.2bn) in the 2018-2019 season, according to a new sport industry report.
According to research by the IEG group, sponsorship income grew by 5.1 per cent year-on-year. This follows a 5.9-per-cent gain last year, outperforming the industry which averaged 4.1 per cent year-on-year gains, the report said.
The growth was driven by a number of new league-wide sponsorships, including Intuit, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Sleep Number.
A major spike in casino/gaming income also contributed to the surge in sponsorship income, including the NFL’s recently-announced deal with Caesar’s Entertainment – its first-ever ‘Official Casino Partner’.
Media reports have put the deal at $25m or $30m per year. Caesar’s also has deals with seven NFL clubs.
In the lottery and gaming category, the number of deals made was similar to the 2017-18 season, but spending in the category increased significantly. While casinos are signing top-tier deals with NFL properties, daily fantasy providers are cutting back their spending with NFL teams or dropping deals completely.
From a category perspective, beer companies were the biggest NFL investors, the report said, spending 4.3 times more than any other category.
Automotive and telecoms spent four times more, while soft drink and technology companies spent 2.9 times as much on football as any other sports category.
Medical companies comprised the most active category, averaging at 2.4 times more likely to sponsor football.