Wilson and Ekeler top social media
Alcohol brands remained at the top of the pack for total ad spend as well as number of sponsorships in 2022, with a whopping 333 deals recorded by SponsorUnited across both the NFL and its individual teams in the league’s most recent season.
The report found that the Jacksonville Jaguars ranked No. 1 in total sponsorship deals for the fifth consecutive year, despite the team’s location in the fourth smallest NFL market in the nation, according to Sports Media Watch, which notes that only New Orleans, Buffalo, New York and Green Bay, Wisconsin are smaller.
“Excuse the pun, but they’re way out-kicking their coverage” considering how many brand dollars the Jaguars rake in relative to the size of their media market, Lynch said. “They have to get so much more creative with delivering value to their partners.”
SponsorUnited’s report also found that the league’s most-endorsed athlete on social media is quarterback Russell Wilson, who joined the Denver Broncos in 2022 but had spent the previous 10 years playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson had 22 distinct branded social deals in the 2022-2023 season; he has stumped for a number of other advertisers throughout his career including Nike, Microsoft and Alaska Airlines.
Austin Ekeler, a running back for the Los Angeles Chargers, came in just behind Wilson with 21 social media brand deals, though it’s worth noting the significant difference in their audiences: Wilson has a total of approximately 14 million followers across the various social platforms he’s active on, while Ekeler has just 320,000 followers, SponsorUnited found.
“The deal volume for Ekeler reflects that brands are eager to partner with him due to his on-field performance and ability to reach new audiences through his strong influence in the esports space,” the report said.
Earlier this week, Ekeler posted on Instagram that he was named a brand endorsement partner of the year by consumer electronics retailer Newegg.