This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of US Sponsorships and Sports Marketing including the sports sponsorship market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for Sponsorships and Sports Marketing market in the US.


US Sponsorships and Sports Marketing Statistics

Sports sponsorship opportunities remain in high demand from brands and advertisers. These are some statistics and insights into the US sponsorships and sports marketing industry.


How big is the sport sponsorship market?

Sports fandom creates such deep connections that half of fans consider their favorite teams part of their personal identity, forging a connection between fans and their favorite players and teams that can actually improve the affinity for brands that partner with them. Hence, the deep value of sports sponsorships. Nearly half of fans like a brand more simply by that brand appearing on the jersey of their favorite team through a jersey sponsorship.


How much revenue does sponsorship bring in sports?

Sports entities can generate more revenue with the added inventory and brands have more options for camera visible advertising to reach fans.

Current market landscape

Half of sports fans consider their favorite sports teams to be part of their personal identity, demonstrating just how deep fans’ passion for sports runs. That connection can carry over and improve consumer affinity for brands that partner with those teams, as nearly half of fans like a brand more simply by that brand appearing on the jersey of their favorite team.

Sports sponsorship, like many parts of the sports industry, faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IEG data, an estimated $14 billion in sponsorship value went unrealized in 2020, through canceled games and lack of impressions from fans in attendance. In 2021 and heading into 2022, demand is up from brands for sports inventory and marketing campaigns, and interest is unlikely to decrease anytime soon. Brands still understand the power and allure sports offers for consumers around the country and across demographic groups.

Future trends in the sponsorship market in sports marketing

However, nearly two in five sports fans are looking to cut back their spending on sports as well as sports merchandise. With a notable share of fans focused on saving money, sports partnerships with activations in the form of physical items and experiences need to prove their value to fans even more.

While sports sponsorship has been disrupted over the past couple of years, the sports betting industry has seen tremendous growth over the same period, both from a consumer perspective and from a sports marketing perspective. Sports betting was a long dormant, untapped sports marketing industry simply waiting to be sanctioned. Now that it is permissible, all corners of the sports industry have gotten involved.

Read on to discover more about the US Sponsorships and Sports Marketing consumer market, read our US Marketing to Sports Fans Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Leisure Time market research reports.

Quickly understand the sports marketing market

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the sports sponsorship market.
  • How sports fans engage with and follow sports and how to cultivate fandom.
  • Breaking through the crowded sports sponsorship landscape.
  • The opportunities for brands when choosing what type of sports sponsorship is right for them.
  • Examples of successful sports sponsorship activations.
  • The impact of sports sponsorships on fans’ purchase behavior and brand affinity.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Yahoo! Sports, BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, Prudential, Tide, Proctor & Gamble, Ruffles, UGG, Subway, FTX, Hertz, Tesla, Nordstrom, Sleep Number, Calm, Whoop, Hyperice, Clorox, Chipotle, Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Zenni, Pacifico.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Colin O’Brien, a leading analyst in the Sports sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis  of the sports marketing industry to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Sports sponsorship opportunities remain in high demand from brands and advertisers. Sports fans present a massive audience of deeply engaged consumers, well suited for brand integration and marketing. Sports sponsorships will continue to utilize star players, ethical and charitable components and reach fans across a variety of mediums in the future as the industry sustains growth.
Colin O’Brien, Sports AnalystColin O’Brien
Sports Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • COVID-19 created new inventory and sparked creativity among brand activations
    • Television remains the number one method fans use to follow sports, with digital continuing to grow in importance
    • The sports halo effect demonstrates the power of sports sponsorships
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Sports fandom, by sport, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 2: Sports sponsorship and industry outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Sports betting offers a new, rapidly growing industry in sports sponsorships
    • NIL creates new possibilities for college sponsorship, especially for female athletes
      • Figure 3: Female NIL partnerships
    • Sports sponsorships should embrace ethical components
    • Key consumer insights
    • Gen Z fandom is a critical focal point across sports
      • Figure 4: Sports fandom, select methods for following sports, select social media platforms used, by generations, 2021
  3. The Sports Market

    • Market overview
      • Figure 5: Sports fandom, by sport, 2021 vs 2020
    • The ethos of sports fandom
      • Figure 6: Sports fandom passion, 2021
  4. Market Factors

    • Sports betting is the hottest new industry in sports
    • Sports content is a key opportunity for sports betting partnerships
    • Brand partnerships can help sportsbooks attract new users
      • Figure 7: Bud Light sponsored bet on FanDuel Sportsbook
    • The pandemic created new inventory – and concerns – for brands
    • COVID-19 sparked creativity for sports activations
    • Sports sponsorships should embrace ethical components
      • Figure 8: New Jersey Devils, Prudential Buy Black campaign
    • Sustainability continues to be a focal point
      • Figure 9: Tide cold water laundry NFL initiative
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Utilize star power in a variety of ways
      • Figure 10: Sports halo effect – Impact on purchase behavior, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 11: LeBron James Ruffles ad
    • Tom Brady ups his game off the field
      • Figure 12: Tom Brady Subway ad
    • NIL created limitless possibilities for new college sponsorship
      • Figure 13: Local NIL dentist ad
    • Major brands choose women for inaugural NIL deal
      • Figure 14: Female NIL partnerships
    • Enhanced brand activations look to elevate fans’ in-person, pre-game experience
    • Fans look to take care of their body like the pros
      • Figure 15: Take care of body like athletes, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 16: Wellbeing products proof of efficacy through sports
  6. The Sports Fan: Top Ten Fast Facts

  7. Exploring Sports Fans

    • Greater women’s sports investment contributes to increases in female fandom
      • Figure 17: Sports fandom, by sport, by gender, 2021 and change vs 2020
    • Gen Z fandom remains a focal point across sports
      • Figure 18: Sports fandom, by sport, by generation, 2021 and change vs 2020
    • Continue to promote underrepresented demographics in sports
      • Figure 19: Sports fandom, by sport, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021 and change vs 2020
    • Offer ways to teach consumers about sports to showcase the fun and excitement of games
      • Figure 20: Barriers to sports fandom, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 21: Barriers to sports fandom, by generation, 2021
  8. Following the Action on the Field

    • Television remains dominant method to follow sports but digital provides additional channels for mass reach and multiple touchpoints
      • Figure 22: Methods for following sports, by year, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 23: Methods for following sports, by generation, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 24: Multichannel use while following sports, by generation, 2021
    • Social media’s importance to sports fans continues to grow
    • Social media benefits for following sports
      • Figure 25: Top three reasons for using social media to follow sports, 2021
    • Social media platforms used to follow sports
      • Figure 26: Social media platforms used to follow sports, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 27: Social media platforms used to follow sports, by gender and select generations, 2021
  9. Cultivating Fandom

    • The sports halo effect illuminates value of sports partnerships
      • Figure 28: Sports halo effect on personal identity and brand affinity, by gender and generation, 2021
      • Figure 29: Sports halo effect – Purchase behavior, by generation, 2021
    • Sports offer brands from all industries great opportunities to engage fans
      • Figure 30: Marketing in sports, by generation, 2021
    • Food and drink
      • Figure 31: Dallas Cowboys Miller LiteHouse tailgate experience
    • Clothing and accessories
      • Figure 32: Ralph Lauren MLB collection
    • Entertainment
    • Gaming
      • Figure 33: Ancillary games, by gender and generation, 2021
      • Figure 34: Pacifico Tony Hawk livestream
    • Fans are looking to cut back sports spend
      • Figure 35: Fans cutting back sports spend, by generation, 2021
  10. Marketing to Create a Lasting Impact

    • Breaking through to sports fans
      • Figure 36: Sports marketing, 2021 vs 2020
      • Figure 37: Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl
    • Jersey sponsorship provides increases in visibility and brand affinity
    • A linked component of partnership can create memorability
      • Figure 38: Sponsorship connections between brand and sports entity
  11. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us