By the Numbers: Reviewing the Impact of Sports Sponsorships Last Year

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Photo credit: Hookit

(*HookIt is a Proud Partner of FOS)

The new year is off and rolling, and some in the digital sponsorship space are already looking to get a jump on 2020. Before we completely close the book on 2018, however, let’s take a look back at the past year and examine some of the ways that teams and brands built value for their sponsors thanks to HookIt’s 2018 Year in Review report.

A pioneer in the sponsorship and tech spaces, Hookit is the leading single-source platform for quantifying sports sponsorship value across all forms of media. Hookit works with brands and rights-holders to expand their sponsorship intelligence, allowing them to buy and sell sponsorships more effectively.

To derive brand metrics, Hookit considered more than 5,000 brands who sponsored various sporting entities (athletes, teams, leagues and events) across all major social media platforms in 2018.

One of the first things Hookit examined is earned media value — the monetary value that a brand sponsor received from promotions by its sponsored properties on social media. This can include mentions, use of brand hashtags, or use of brand logos by the sports property. Of the brands Hookit examined, Adidas had the highest-earned media value with $232 million in 2018. Nike was second at $198 million.

In total, sports properties generated $32 billion for their sponsor brands in 2018 on social media. This is a 45-percent increase from $21 billion in 2017. A great benefit outside of the promotional value that brands earn from sports sponsorship comes in the form of an increased social media following of their own. Online e-commerce company Wish gained 20 million new followers across all platforms thanks largely to its first full calendar year as the jersey patch sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers. This was a 108-percent increase in its following from the previous year. This was also the largest such increase among the brands HookIt examined.

When it came to which sport created the most value for brands on social, there was a clear winner: Soccer. The average value driven to brands by global soccer players generated an average of $11 million in value for brands worldwide. Compare that to an average of $3 million generated by basketball players, $2 million from motorsports drivers, $2 million from American football players, $1 million from baseball players, and less than $100,000 by ice hockey players.

In total, soccer teams, leagues, and athletes drove $21 billion in value for brand partners in 2018. This is nearly double the value for brand partners that all other sports combined generated ($11 billion) for brand partners in 2018.

Moving into 2019, we can expect some of these trends to continue, particularly in terms of soccer creating immense value for brands.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins this June in France. Additionally, the average cost of purchasing a Major League Soccer team has risen from $40 million to $300 million. Brands will continue to look heavily to this sport and other sports to increase their value and digital footprint for years to come.

Get the full report from Hookit to see the latest from the brand sponsorship space within sport.

Join us for a webinar on March 28 where Hookit Chief Revenue Officer Kimberly Cook and Cleveland Indians Sr. Manager, Service Corporate Partnerships and Premium Hospitality Julie Weaver will join FOS CEO Adam White to discuss best practices for activating partnerships from both the team and brand side as well as achieving brand goals with more than an outfield sign.