US major professional sports teams have seen their collective sponsorship revenue increase by 17.5 per cent to US$6.7 billion in 2023, according to research from.
- Major League Baseball (MLB) teams saw the biggest increase in sponsorship revenue, with earnings increasing 23 per cent year-over-year (YoY)
- National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises were the biggest earners in jersey patch sponsorships, with 25 of its 30 teams netting US$216 million over the 2022/23 season
- The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) also scored the highest number of sponsorship deals of any female sports league, ahead of Liga MX Femenil and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
- Coca-Cola had the highest number of sponsorship deals with global sports properties (938), while Nike had the most number of athlete endorsement deals with 280
MLB franchises benefited from being able to sell jersey patch sponsorships for the first time, which accounted for US$129 million in revenue across the league. Fourteen teams have yet to sell their jersey patch inventory, leaving the door open for further gains next year.
Increased fan engagement and attendances were also credited for the growth in sponsorship earnings for MLB, with the league seeing its regular season ballpark attendances grow by 9.6 per cent YoY.
Meanwhile, SponsorUnited also acknowledged the surge in commercial deals for women’s sports leagues, which grew by 35 per cent YoY. In addition, 550 new brands agreed name, image and likeness (NIL) deals over the past year, with the likes of college basketball star Angel Reese expanding their personal brands significantly.
The influx in revenue that MLB teams are enjoying thanks to jersey patch deals may be of note to the National Football League (NFL), which has yet to open up this sponsorship inventory to its franchises. A study by sponsorship valuation platform Turnstile in September estimated that the NFL would earn up to US$673 million in revenue should it introduce a jersey patch programme.
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SOURCE : www.sportspromedia.com