NFL ticketing deals fuel 15% sponsor revenue increase

Featured Image: Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

The National Football League’s (NFL) 32 teams generated an estimated $2.35bn (£1.8bn/€2.1bn) this season with the ticketing sector leading the growth.

The figure, from a study by sports intelligence platform SponsorUnited, represents a 15% rise from last season’s $2.05bn, which also puts the NFL 50% ahead of the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

Ticketing sponsorship revenue boomed as it went up by 95%, mainly spearheaded by the league’s renewal with Ticketmaster.

According to Bob Lynch, chief executive of SponsorUnited, the deal had ramifications that saw individual teams also benefit, including the New York Jets and New York Giants.

SeatGeek has also invested into the NFL with multiple team deals including the Dallas Cowboys. Those ticketing partnerships are now worth a combined $253m annually.

That represents the biggest category of sponsors ahead of financial at $225m, alcohol at $180m, healthcare with $160m and technology at $120m.

“This NFL season was a landmark one in commercial success, with team sponsorship revenues climbing 15% to $2.35 billion, fuelled by key sector growth in the ticketing, gaming, auto, and healthcare industries,” said Lynch.

“And while the Dallas Cowboys continued their 15+ year run in leading overall team sponsorship revenues, the largest year-over-year percentage growth came from the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos. Additionally, the four playoff teams collectively generated over a quarter billion dollars in sponsorship revenue, highlighting the immense commercial potential of NFL success. These figures reflect not just the financial health of the league, but the strategic prowess of these teams in capitalising on their off-field success.”

The SponsorUnited report presented analysis of more than 2,100 brands, 3,500 sponsorship deals, and 49,000 sponsorship assets involving the NFL and its teams, athletes, and brands.

It found that beer brand Bud Light had the most in-venue sponsorship deals, followed by Ticketmaster, Verizon, Pepsi, and Miller Lite.