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The latest developments in company sports tickets and client entertainment.

A Partnership Legacy Nearly a Century in the Making

A Partnership Legacy Nearly a Century in the Making

Fair warning that today’s post contains no insights into how to wring additional value out of sports partnerships. Nor does it uncover any interesting trends or share much in the way of practical takeaways for sports marketing practitioners. Instead, it shines a light...

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Looking Back at the NFL’s Big Game #58: Viva Las Vegas

Looking Back at the NFL’s Big Game #58: Viva Las Vegas

This year’s NFL Championship in Las Vegas exceeded all the lofty expectations set in the lead up to the Big Game. Advertisers, broadcasters, and fans alike all expected a championship for the ages, and they received more than they could’ve ever wanted. The NFL’s 58th...

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Unsolicited Advice for Super Bowl Advertisers

Unsolicited Advice for Super Bowl Advertisers

From its inaugural visit to Las Vegas to the never-ending interest in the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift romance, and from an overtime nail-biter of a game to near-certain record ratings, Sunday’s NFL championship game definitely delivered for avid fans, casual viewers and...

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Sponsorship Activations Surrounding the Big Game

Sponsorship Activations Surrounding the Big Game

We are just a few days away from the 2024 NFL Championship game! The 49ers and Chiefs will face off in Las Vegas this Sunday. With the year’s biggest sporting event comes countless activations from the team and league sponsors looking to capitalize on the hype and...

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Will U.S. Presidential Campaigns Seek to Sponsor in 2024?

Will U.S. Presidential Campaigns Seek to Sponsor in 2024?

Politicians are brands, and as such there is a compelling case that just like other marketers they can benefit from the power of affiliating with sports and entertainment properties. Political campaigns have long seen the value in reaching mass audiences by...

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The Growth of Sports Sponsorship in 2023

The Growth of Sports Sponsorship in 2023

2023 was a financially arduous year for most brands, but that did not stop the continuous advancement of the sports sponsorship space. Sports sponsorship saw sizeable growth for all four of the major professional sports leagues in the United States, despite many...

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Hawks, Knicks Take Divergent Paths to Patch Deals

Hawks, Knicks Take Divergent Paths to Patch Deals

NBA jersey patch partnerships continue to produce intriguing case studies and valuable lessons for sponsorship practitioners, students and anyone else interested in the sports marketing space. Consider news that broke last week courtesy of the U.K.’s SportBusiness. In...

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Latest Partnership Developments Prompt Big Questions

Latest Partnership Developments Prompt Big Questions

The past week in sports marketing was full of interesting deals, not to mention a conscious uncoupling of one of the most notable and successful relationships between a brand and an athlete. Some of the headlines that started off 2024 provoke some intriguing questions...

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Unconventional Activations and the Power of Virality

Unconventional Activations and the Power of Virality

The entire sports business space is constantly evolving. New technology, trends, and best practices force every aspect of the industry to innovate, and sponsor activation is no different. We are in the midst of the “Social Media Era.” Traditional sponsorship practices...

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Did Wingstop Really Win While Pistons Lost?

Did Wingstop Really Win While Pistons Lost?

Media reports this week would have you believe the biggest beneficiary of the Detroit Pistons’ historic 28-game single-season losing streak is not any of the other NBA Eastern Conference teams. Instead, they say, it is Pistons sponsor Wingstop. The chain’s Detroit...

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Is Clock Running Out on TikTok Partnerships?

Is Clock Running Out on TikTok Partnerships?

As sponsorship announcements go, the statement earlier this month touting Guinness as the new title sponsor of the Women’s Six Nations Rugby tournament was strange. It’s not that the Irish brewer was an odd choice to partner with the nearly 30-year-old international...

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The MLS’ Skyrocketing Growth

The MLS’ Skyrocketing Growth

Major League Soccer (MLS) was once an afterthought in the grand scheme of American professional sports. But now, the league is propelling itself into the forefront of sports fans’ minds. The 2023 season was a great one for Major League Soccer. MLS commissioner Don...

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Shohei Ohtani Is Not a Role Model (Just an Inspiration)

Shohei Ohtani Is Not a Role Model (Just an Inspiration)

MLB unicorn Shohei Ohtani shocked the sports world twice within days by first signing the largest player contract in professional sports history and then deferring 97 percent of its value for a decade. There are many reasons why the unusual payment structure should...

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Hey Big Spenders: Don’t Ruin It for Everyone Else

Hey Big Spenders: Don’t Ruin It for Everyone Else

Having studied sponsorship since shortly after it was defined as a discrete form of marketing, I remain perplexed by certain conditions that seem never to improve despite better intelligence, more useful tools and the overall increased sophistication that surrounds...

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Digging Deeper into Latest Sponsorship Trends Report

Digging Deeper into Latest Sponsorship Trends Report

Following up on my last post regarding “The Evolution of Sponsorship” study from The World Federation of Advertisers and sponsorship consultancy Lumency, the report contains additional noteworthy findings beyond the headlines regarding how little progress has been...

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Women’s Sports Revenue Set to Hit $1 Billion in 2024

Women’s Sports Revenue Set to Hit $1 Billion in 2024

Our friends and partners at Deloitte released their 2024 TMT (tech, media, and telecom) predictions, including projections for women’s elite sports revenue, and the outlook is very bright. Like, over $1,000,000,000 bright! Deloitte predicts that women’s elite sports...

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“Evolution of Sponsorship” Study Finds Anything But

“Evolution of Sponsorship” Study Finds Anything But

The World Federation of Advertisers, in association with sponsorship consultancy Lumency, last week released a report titled “The Evolution of Sponsorship,” which includes findings from a survey of multinational brand sponsors. The results are enlightening, even if in...

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Las Vegas: From Sin City to Sports City

Las Vegas: From Sin City to Sports City

When you think about Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind may be gambling, parties, or just excessive indulgence. But in less than a decade, the city of Las Vegas has made real and continuous efforts to change that. Sin City is on its way to becoming the...

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Scaling New Heights with Partner Summits

Scaling New Heights with Partner Summits

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to participate in, present to and host many sponsor summits and have become a big proponent of what they can accomplish for both rights holders and their brand partners when the conditions are right. Bill Burke,...

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Netflix Takes a Half Swing at Sponsorship

Netflix Takes a Half Swing at Sponsorship

Netflix’s first foray into live sports programming, The Netflix Cup, had both elements to love and elements to hate, and unfortunately its sponsorship component falls into the second bucket. Although the event was full of fun twists on match play golf and showcased...

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Could CBS-Turner-NCAA Relationship Be Replicated for NWSL?

Could CBS-Turner-NCAA Relationship Be Replicated for NWSL?

Last week’s announcement that the NWSL had secured the largest media rights deal in women’s sports history sparked an idea that may be far-fetched but is nonetheless intriguing and worth exploring, at least theoretically. In advance of its championship game—which put...

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NBA x Playback: The Future of NBA Broadcasts

NBA x Playback: The Future of NBA Broadcasts

In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that the decline of linear TV has disproportionately impacted the league’s reach. “We recognize that, in some ways, the decline of cable has disproportionately impacted the NBA,” Silver said....

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Did Fanatics Just Score the Deal of a Lifetime?

Did Fanatics Just Score the Deal of a Lifetime?

For 43 years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has been synonymous with creating moments of joy for critically ill children. This week, sports products manufacturer and retailer Fanatics announced that the nonprofit organization’s sports-related wishes will be...

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KC Current Stadium Naming Deal Is on the Right Track

KC Current Stadium Naming Deal Is on the Right Track

Kansas City’s NWSL team announced a ten-year agreement last week making railway giant CPKC the naming rights partner for its under-construction stadium for an undisclosed price. Typically carrying much higher price tags than official sponsor packages, the ability of...

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The WNBA is Expanding To The Bay With More On The Way

The WNBA is Expanding To The Bay With More On The Way

The WNBA has seen unprecedented success this season. TV viewership was up 21 percent over the previous season, making this the most watched regular season in 21 years. Attendance was up 16% compared to last year and the average attendance of 6,615 fans per game was...

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Can Lenovo Leverage Its F1 Quick Hit for Long-Term Gains?

Can Lenovo Leverage Its F1 Quick Hit for Long-Term Gains?

Technology companies that are B2C as well as B2B marketers often face a challenge in activating sponsorships. Budgets must be spread across highly targeted communications and hospitality offerings for a select few corporate customers and prospects in addition to mass...

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Apple and Amazon Are Changing Sports Marketing’s Dynamics

Apple and Amazon Are Changing Sports Marketing’s Dynamics

The proposition has been a familiar one for as long as commercial television has existed. Advertisers and sponsors wanted to associate their brands with particular programming—sports, entertainment, news, etc.—that their customers and prospects were interested in....

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Time to Change the Definition of Sponsorship

Time to Change the Definition of Sponsorship

Sponsorship came into its own about 40 years ago. It had existed for decades in various forms—Coca-Cola began supporting the U.S. Olympic team in the ‘20s, Winston put sports marketing top of mind for many when it first titled NASCAR’s top series in the ‘70s—but only...

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Sponsorship Value Lies in Being Invaluable

Sponsorship Value Lies in Being Invaluable

As sports fans’ eyes have done their annual turn to the Flushing Meadows tennis courts for the US Open, the role of longtime USTA partner IBM again comes into focus. Just as it does at The Masters golf major each spring and Wimbledon, another tennis grand slam event,...

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Turning the Table: Sports Properties as Sponsors

Turning the Table: Sports Properties as Sponsors

Every so often a team, league or event will turn up as a sponsor of another sports or entertainment property. Such partnerships are infrequent enough that they typically make news, helping to justify the investment by adding additional eyeballs and buzz. So far in...

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Time to Get Over Sports Marketing’s Inferiority Complex

Time to Get Over Sports Marketing’s Inferiority Complex

When will the sports marketing sector finally decide that it is no longer necessary to repeatedly promote the fact that the medium works, i.e., that it delivers value to brands, properties, fans, etc.? I'm not making an argument that we should stop talking about...

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How Will Inter Miami and Yankees Sleeve Deals Be Tailored?

How Will Inter Miami and Yankees Sleeve Deals Be Tailored?

Over the course of about 40 hours this week, two of the most valuable team uniform assets in U.S. sports came off the market. Monday afternoon, Swiss freight forwarder and logistics service provider Fracht Group was unveiled as the club’s new sleeve sponsor, replacing...

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Streamers as Sponsors Is a Smart Move

Streamers as Sponsors Is a Smart Move

The relationship between sports properties and the companies that produce and/or deliver content for us to watch on our myriad devices is typically a straightforward exchange of broadcast/streaming rights for cash or other consideration. But every so often deals of a...

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SToK Cold Brew and Wrexham A.F.C.: Sponsorship or Stunt?

SToK Cold Brew and Wrexham A.F.C.: Sponsorship or Stunt?

Despite some high-profile outliers, stadium naming rights deals are far less frequent in Europe than in North America. So last week’s signing of Danone North America’s SToK Cold Brew brand as title sponsor of an English Football League club’s home grounds would be...

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When Sponsorship May Be Better Than Partnership

When Sponsorship May Be Better Than Partnership

It’s fair to say that “We’re looking for partnerships, not sponsorships” has become the most over-used phrase in sports marketing, but with good reason. We can all agree that the thinking behind the statement is sound: The idea of partnership being based on two...

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Sponsorship’s Best Asset Is Also Its Biggest Liability

Sponsorship’s Best Asset Is Also Its Biggest Liability

Among the many presentation decks in my content library, there is an evergreen slide that has existed since the days when it was an actual 35 mm cardboard-mounted transparency that I hauled around in a Kodak carousel. In the image on the slide, sponsorship is...

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Will Liquid Death Breathe Life into Partnerships?

Will Liquid Death Breathe Life into Partnerships?

Whether you consider Liquid Death a stunt marketer, shock marketer or anti-marketer, the self-described “funny beverage company who hates corporate marketing as much as you do” is marketing driven, which is not surprising given its primary product is canned water. And...

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Sponsorship Valuations’ Importance Beyond Deal-Making

Sponsorship Valuations’ Importance Beyond Deal-Making

What corporate partners should or will pay for a bundle of sponsorship rights and benefits has long been one of the critical questions for rights holders and brands to answer. The usual context for the question is agreeing on the price to be paid during contract...

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Brand Partners and Boxing Tanked a Golden Opportunity

Brand Partners and Boxing Tanked a Golden Opportunity

One of the most anticipated boxing matches in recent history took place Saturday night when Gervonta “Tank” Davis defeated Ryan Garcia by seventh-round TKO before a sold-out crowd peppered with A-list sports and entertainment celebrities at T-Mobile Arena in Las...

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No Reward Without Some Risk in Product-Based Activations

No Reward Without Some Risk in Product-Based Activations

Not too long ago, I was involved in a discussion with a prospective sports event sponsor regarding how the company would activate the partnership if the initial conversations with the property went well and ultimately resulted in an agreement. The company’s products...

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Sponsorship Bans Hurt the Messenger, Not the Message

Sponsorship Bans Hurt the Messenger, Not the Message

A recent post discussed the American Gaming Association’s self-imposed prohibition on “college partnerships” and the financial implications for schools that have or are considering agreements with sports betting companies. Restricting who can sponsor, or conversely...

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What The Masters and LIV Golf Remind Us about Sponsorship

What The Masters and LIV Golf Remind Us about Sponsorship

The Augusta National leaderboard battle between PGA Tour players and those who have joined LIV Golf certainly dominated barroom and family room conversations during this weekend’s broadcast of The Masters, even as such discussion was studiously avoided by ESPN and CBS...

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New Gambling Rules Pinch Collegiate Revenue Opportunities

New Gambling Rules Pinch Collegiate Revenue Opportunities

Sports betting operators are getting out in front of legislative and other efforts to curtail their marketing efforts by self-imposing a ban on “college partnerships that promote, market or advertise sports wagering activity” and “sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and...

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T-Mobile Adding New Pitch to MLB Repertoire

T-Mobile Adding New Pitch to MLB Repertoire

If a recent Sports Business Journal report proves accurate, wireless service provider T-Mobile has renewed its decade-long partnership with Major League Baseball for another five years. Although that news comes as no surprise, SBJ reports an addition to the...

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Everyone Loves a Cinderella Story, Except Sponsors

Everyone Loves a Cinderella Story, Except Sponsors

Each March they are known by the term “Cinderella story.” College basketball teams that pull off stunning upsets in the NCAA men’s and women’s championships. This year we have two New Jersey schools on the men’s side who fit the bill. Fairleigh Dickinson—a No. 16 seed...

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Chris Rock: Great Comedian; Lousy Marketer

Chris Rock: Great Comedian; Lousy Marketer

Calling a monumentally successful comedian who just appeared in Netflix’s first-ever live broadcast (which went on to be the streamer’s most watched show of the past week) lousy at anything is clearly my own attempt at humor. However, in the opening minutes of...

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It’s Not About You: Reminders to Focus on the Fan

It’s Not About You: Reminders to Focus on the Fan

A conversation and a news item last week reinforced one of sponsorship’s foundational elements: Brands must keep their eyes on the prize, and the prize is not the attention of fans—which is relatively easy to earn—but rather their goodwill, loyalty, and support. The...

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MoneyLion, Kroger Deals Could Revive Good Activation Ideas

MoneyLion, Kroger Deals Could Revive Good Activation Ideas

Two news items from the past week might signal a return to some successful sponsorship practices of the past. Marking the beginning of its second year as a sponsor of the 23XI Racing NASCAR Cup Series team, financial services app MoneyLion launched MoneyLion Hot Pass,...

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BMO Stadium Partnership Is a Roadmap to Dealmaking

BMO Stadium Partnership Is a Roadmap to Dealmaking

The agreement to put the BMO banking brand on Los Angeles FC’s stadium—as well as a separate sponsorship with Angel City FC—offers some valuable lessons to other sports and entertainment marketers. In particular, the reported 10-year, $100-million deal with LAFC for...

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Potential Playoff Change Could Test the Will of NFL Sponsors

Potential Playoff Change Could Test the Will of NFL Sponsors

Thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals’ win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday, we now know that the NFL playoffs will not feature a neutral-site AFC Championship Game this weekend. But the possibility has prompted a great deal of discussion about whether the NFL would consider...

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Is This New Deal an Imprudent Partnership or a Free Ride?

Is This New Deal an Imprudent Partnership or a Free Ride?

Those of you who keep up with the daily news of the sports business likely saw a headline last week that ONE Championship, which bills itself as the world’s largest martial arts organization, signed a first-time sponsorship agreement with insurance company Prudential...

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Will There Be a Winner in AS Roma Kit Sponsorship Mess?

Will There Be a Winner in AS Roma Kit Sponsorship Mess?

It’s not often that sponsorship announcements are made within a judge’s ruling rather than a celebratory media release and/or press conference, but that is what will happen February 11 when an Italian court will declare which of two companies will produce the official...

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How Cigna, Verizon and WESCO Are Unlocking Partnership Value

How Cigna, Verizon and WESCO Are Unlocking Partnership Value

At TicketManager’s Partner Summit in New York City this fall, brand marketers that have implemented a ticket management system discussed the benefits their companies were realizing. Below are edited remarks from three of those sports and entertainment marketers. Seth...

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The Cautionary History of the Man United Jersey Sponsorship

The Cautionary History of the Man United Jersey Sponsorship

Regardless of its recent troubles on the pitch, English Premier League soccer club Manchester United remains one of the most well-known and valuable sports franchises in the world. Valuations as high as $8.45 billion have been floated in the month since its American...

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Eagles Winning Off the Field with Support for Resale

Eagles Winning Off the Field with Support for Resale

As the NFL heads into the last three weeks of the regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles are a league-best 13-1, with many predicting the team will ride its current success all the way to the Super Bowl. But the Eagles are also leading on the business side of the...

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Unpacking U.S. Ski Team’s New Title Sponsorship

Unpacking U.S. Ski Team’s New Title Sponsorship

Just before Halloween, investment services firm Stifel Financial Corp. announced a comprehensive four-year partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body that fields teams in seven disciplines: alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle,...

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Sports Partnership Investments Primed for Growth in 2023

Sports Partnership Investments Primed for Growth in 2023

Along with gingerbread, eggnog and peppermint bark, ‘tis the season for advertising and marketing industry spending forecasts outlining what to expect in the year ahead. The outlooks published thus far are in consensus that 2023 should see an overall slowdown in...

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The ABCs of Sponsorship Success: Always Be Customizing

The ABCs of Sponsorship Success: Always Be Customizing

By now, any sports or entertainment organizations that have recruited and retained sponsors understand that one-size-fits-all asset packages and activations don’t cut it. Brand partners need to have rights and benefits tailored to their objectives, along with ideas on...

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Will Social Media Advertisers Win the World Cup?

Will Social Media Advertisers Win the World Cup?

As FIFA World Cup 2022 opening matches got underway in Qatar amid multiple controversies, soccer’s world governing body issued a press release announcing it had sold out of all of the tournament’s sponsorship packages, with YouTube, Visit Las Vegas and Fine Hygienic...

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Momentum Continues to Build for Women’s Sports Investments

Momentum Continues to Build for Women’s Sports Investments

It has been difficult to keep up with the torrent of recent good news regarding growth in financial strength and fan support for women’s sports. Reports of soaring team valuations, higher earnings for athletes, new sources of investment for leagues and record-setting...

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Sponsorship Activity Heats Up Among Insurance Brokerages

Sponsorship Activity Heats Up Among Insurance Brokerages

Insurance companies in the property/casualty and healthcare fields have long been among the most active sponsors across sports, entertainment and other types of corporate partnerships. And while the presence of major providers in the U.S.—Allstate, Cigna, GEICO, State...

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Takeaways from the TicketManager Customer Summit

Takeaways from the TicketManager Customer Summit

While we look forward to sharing more of the information and insights shared by the many panelists and guests at last week’s TicketManager Summit in New York City, below are a few highlights in the immediate wake of the event. Commitment to Measurement. As a longtime...

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Partners Pick from Pack of Pickleball Prospects

Partners Pick from Pack of Pickleball Prospects

Online used car buyer and seller Carvana announced last week that it would become the title sponsor of the Professional Pickleball Association beginning in 2023. That agreement was followed the next day by news that Molson Coors had signed a deal making its Vizzy,...

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The Metaverse Has Discovered Naming Rights

The Metaverse Has Discovered Naming Rights

LootMogul, a company that is creating 180 “sports cities” in the metaverse, announced last week that it had reached its first naming rights deal. Hoop Culture, an online retailer of basketball lifestyle apparel and accessories will affix its name to an arena in...

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U.S. Leagues See Lands of Opportunity Overseas

U.S. Leagues See Lands of Opportunity Overseas

The NBA heads to Japan this weekend for two preseason games while the NFL returns to London for a regular season matchup in London. Sunday’s game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the first of five international games this NFL season, with two more in London in October,...

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Here Comes Aaron Judge, But Where Are the Brands?

Here Comes Aaron Judge, But Where Are the Brands?

The public fascination with record-setting dates back to the late 19th century, as documented in many reports from the era about new achievements in sport—particularly bicycle racing—as well as new feats of engineering and technology—tallest building, longest bridge,...

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Valuation Remains the Achilles Heel of Sports Partnerships

Valuation Remains the Achilles Heel of Sports Partnerships

As they have for decades, the questions of what a company should pay, would pay, could pay and ultimately did pay for a sports partnership underlie every deal in our business, as they have for decades. Setting prices and valuing opportunities in the sponsorship...

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Do Sports Marketers Need a Trade Association?

Do Sports Marketers Need a Trade Association?

Companies and individuals who are part of the North American sports and entertainment marketing ecosystem don’t lack for opportunities to join trade groups. Brands have the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), agencies have the American Association of...

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Unsettled Economy Creates Opportunity to Build Relationships

Unsettled Economy Creates Opportunity to Build Relationships

The extent to which economic uncertainty impacts marketers’ spending on sports and entertainment partnerships becomes a hot topic each time there is fear of an impending recession. Although there will never be a universal response from brands during a downturn—some...

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Time to Take Fans and Consumers Back to School

Time to Take Fans and Consumers Back to School

With tens of millions of parents and guardians stocking up on supplies and otherwise preparing their kids for a new school year, it’s a suitable time to consider how sports properties and sponsors can do some educating of their own in terms of ensuring that fans and...

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Making a Case for Category Exclusivity

Making a Case for Category Exclusivity

Last week’s post questioned whether category exclusivity would remain a prominent element of sponsorships and outlined a number of the factors that have chipped away at its importance to brands over the last few decades. But even though the tide is turning against...

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Voyager Digital Files for Bankruptcy

Voyager Digital Files for Bankruptcy

Voyager Digital, the U.S.-based crypto firm that offers broking services, has filed for bankruptcy. The company was a model for easy access to loans not commonly offered by traditional banks and advertised high-interest rates appealing to most investors. The opposite...

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Will The NFL’s Data Collective Be a Tipping Point?

Will The NFL’s Data Collective Be a Tipping Point?

As consumers, we have grown accustomed to, and perhaps weary of, being asked to share data with apps, websites and the occasional Nigerian prince. But a recent, out-of-the-ordinary data request is one to pay particular attention to, as it has the potential to...

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Qatar Airways Flies Into Leadership Sponsorship Lane of PSG

Qatar Airways Flies Into Leadership Sponsorship Lane of PSG

Qatar Airways, in association with Paris Saint-Germain, has agreed to upgrade its shirt sponsorship deal to €60m – €70m per season. Qatar Airways is the state-owned airline of Qatar that employs over 43,000 people worldwide to support its more than 150 international...

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Boston Marathon Runs to ESPN and WCVB Channel 5

Boston Marathon Runs to ESPN and WCVB Channel 5

A new national and local media rights deal has been announced for the Boston Marathon. Beginning in 2023, the race will be televised on ESPN and locally in the Boston metro area on WCVB Channel 5. Sister stations in the New England region will simulcast WCVB Channel...

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Orange and French Football Federation Extend Partnership

Orange and French Football Federation Extend Partnership

Orange S.A., the French multinational telecommunications corporation formerly known as France Telecom S.A., and the French Football Federation (FFF) have extended their partnership an additional four years. The new agreement will run through 2026. The initial 2018...

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Will an Apple Every Day Be Good for MLS Partners?

Will an Apple Every Day Be Good for MLS Partners?

Among the many sports business headlines of the past week the news that generated the most discussion and speculation was word of the ten-year deal to stream all MLS matches on a new subscription service from Apple. While most commentary focused on whether the...

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Former Univision Exec Conrad Joins Sportradar

Former Univision Exec Conrad Joins Sportradar

Sportradar, a global sports technology & data provider, revealed it intends to hire Eric Conrad to manage & oversee its North American sports content and partnership efforts. His official title will be Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships & Content,...

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Fendi to dress AS Roma

Fendi to dress AS Roma

Continuing a pattern of convergence between fashion houses and athletic teams, Fendi has reached terms to outfit AS Roma. It is Fendi’s first-ever sponsorship with AS Roma and will cover the 2022-23 and 2023-24 campaigns. The official launch is scheduled for the end...

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Indy 500 and Gainbridge Extend Sponsorship

Indy 500 and Gainbridge Extend Sponsorship

Investment advisor Gainbridge and Penske Entertainment & The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, host of the eponymous Indy 500, have mutually elected to extend their partnership for multiple years to come. The new term length has not been announced; the original...

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Major League Cricket Secures Major Funding

Major League Cricket Secures Major Funding

Major League Cricket has revealed some major players in the business and tech communities intend to spearhead funding for the recently launched league. Led by Microsoft, a Series A and A1 totaling €42 million (approximately US $44 million), plus an additional €72.6...

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NIL Chaos Offers Rare Opportunities for Brand Marketers

NIL Chaos Offers Rare Opportunities for Brand Marketers

Although the dust-up between Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher was an entertaining midweek diversion from similar squabbles in politics and more dreary news about the war in Ukraine and falling financial markets, it was a sideshow to the legitimate...

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EPL’s Chelsea and WhaleFin Sign Sleeve Deal

EPL’s Chelsea and WhaleFin Sign Sleeve Deal

English Premier League’s Chelsea Football Club and cryptocurrency digital investing platform WhaleFin intend to sign a sleeve deal at a reported £20 million cost. Hyundai has been the primary logo featured for the past four years. Tentative plans are for WhaleFin’s...

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MLS and Socios.com Score Partnership

MLS and Socios.com Score Partnership

Major League Soccer (MLS) and Socios.com have scored a partnership for years to come. 26 teams – out of a possible 28 – are on-board with the deal. Only DC United and Charlotte FC declined based on existing sponsorship contracts that might have presented a possible...

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WNBA Predicament Makes Case for Targeted Sponsor Funding

WNBA Predicament Makes Case for Targeted Sponsor Funding

At the same time it is riding a swelling tide of interest in women’s sports, the WNBA is also experiencing significant growth pains, not the least of which is the ability of teams to field a full roster of players while meeting the terms of the league’s hard salary...

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2032 Olympics Officials Hold Meeting

2032 Olympics Officials Hold Meeting

Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have started meeting to show a vision for future sponsorship, marketing, branding opportunities ahead of the 2032 Summer Olympiad. 2032 in Brisbane will mark the first year Australia has played the role of host...

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In Sports Marketing, the Personal Is the Professional

In Sports Marketing, the Personal Is the Professional

The ability to access volumes of data has changed the game for sellers of sponsorships and other sports marketing opportunities. Pitches and presentations are loaded with statistics, insights and information regarding audience fit, consumer behavior, content...

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Under Armour and Jordan Spieth Renew

Under Armour and Jordan Spieth Renew

Jordan Spieth is renewing his decade-plus partnership with Under Armour. The agreement will provide coverage until December of 2029 at which time the golfer will be 34 years old. Effectively, it is a four-year extension of his previous deal. Spieth first rose to...

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Portion of Frontier League’s Rights Sold

Portion of Frontier League’s Rights Sold

The combined entity behind Yakkertech and BaseballCloud has agreed to a deal to control the Frontier League's distribution and motion capture rights. The two merged in the fourth quarter of last year at a period when advanced performance metrics continue to...

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Boston Red Sox to Become First Carbon Neutral MLB Facility

Boston Red Sox to Become First Carbon Neutral MLB Facility

The 2022 Major League Baseball regular season begins after a prolonged labor dispute between owners and players and could benefit from some positive press. One example is Albert Pujols’s return to the St. Louis Cardinals. Another is the Boston Red Sox reinforcing its...

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March Madness Is Great for Brands, NIL Madness Is Not

March Madness Is Great for Brands, NIL Madness Is Not

With history-making storylines including St Peter’s Cinderella run and the final games of Coach K’s legendary career, this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship has delivered almost everything fans could want, with the exception of having anything near a perfect...

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The Opportunity Costs of Questionable Partnerships

The Opportunity Costs of Questionable Partnerships

For many legitimate reasons, the focus of sponsorship proposals, discussions, negotiations, media coverage, gossip, etc. is on the cash value of the agreement. But while that amount is typically the most important deal element for the sponsored property, it is far...

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OLG and the NHL Reveal Multi-Year Partnership

OLG and the NHL Reveal Multi-Year Partnership

This week the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced a partnership with the NHL to promote its PROLINE+ sportsbook across Canada. Key components of the relationship that will span five years include granting OLG the rights to cross promote and...

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Utah Jazz and CoinZoom Announce Partnership

Utah Jazz and CoinZoom Announce Partnership

The NBA’s Utah Jazz and the cryptocurrency platform CoinZoom announced a new partnership this week. Exact transaction terms including dollars paid was not disclosed. The Jazz see it as an opportunity to further engage with its fans in several innovative, new ways....

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UFC and Thorne Health Tech Reveal Multi-Year Partnership

UFC and Thorne Health Tech Reveal Multi-Year Partnership

UFC the mixed martial arts competitive fighting behemoth and Thorne Health Tech the wellness brand revealed a multi-year partnership that will keep them working in concert with one another for the foreseeable future. Thorne remains an official partner of the UFC...

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Red Bull F1 Racing Team Secures Large Sponsorship

Red Bull F1 Racing Team Secures Large Sponsorship

This week Oracle, ranked #82 on Fortune’s top companies with business roots in hardware, cloud, services, and licensing cemented a five-year title sponsorship with the Red Bull Formula One racing team. Initial reports are the deal is worth approximately $500 million –...

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Denver Broncos Sale Anticipated to Fetch Record Price

Denver Broncos Sale Anticipated to Fetch Record Price

A Trust in the name of former Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen who passed away in 2019 has put the team up for sale. Early indications are the team could garner a record price – not only for the NFL but all major North American professional team sports. The news comes...

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The Super Bowl Is a Lost Opportunity for Sponsors

The Super Bowl Is a Lost Opportunity for Sponsors

The Bengals were not the only ones who came away from Super Bowl LVI with nothing to show for their season-long efforts in getting there. With the notable exceptions of Pepsi’s association with the halftime show and brands with sideline presence such as Nike, Bose,...

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The Good, Bad & Ugly of Sports Marketing in Just One Week

The Good, Bad & Ugly of Sports Marketing in Just One Week

The new year is off to quite a start in the sports business, with a number of noteworthy sponsorship deals, issues and controversies arising in just a few days last week during what is typically a slower time of year for our industry. The Bad After rejecting the...

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Rakuten Renews Sponsorship With Golden State Warriors

Rakuten Renews Sponsorship With Golden State Warriors

The Japanese tech giant Rakuten has renewed its sponsorship deal with the Golden State Warriors, which started in 2017. The amount paid - $20 million a year. That figures to be one the larger team jersey collaborations for a long time. Rakuten’s interest belies the...

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Sponsor Category of the Year? Fintech

Sponsor Category of the Year? Fintech

For quite a while now, technology-focused companies have played a major role in sports sponsorship. But over the past few years, the focus has shifted from global B2B IT giants such as AWS, IBM, Oracle, SAP and others that have skillfully used sponsorship to showcase...

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The Perplexing Reality of Stadium Monikers

The Perplexing Reality of Stadium Monikers

Shocking the city of Los Angeles and the sports and entertainment landscape, the era of the Staples Center is coming to an end. Since opening its doors on October 17, 1999, the Staples Center has been home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks, while...

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League Naming Rights Not on the Horizon

League Naming Rights Not on the Horizon

When French soccer’s Ligue 1 renewed its title sponsorship agreement with Uber Eats last month for a reported $37 million over two years, it bucked a trend by continuing to co-brand its top-flight league. The vast majority of professional sports leagues and...

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New Deals Reinforce the Four Rs of Sponsorship

New Deals Reinforce the Four Rs of Sponsorship

Four distinct partnerships announced within a 24-hour span last Thursday and Friday stood out from the list of other sports business news items and press releases in the email inbox. None of the quartet would be considered a blockbuster and individually would not have...

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Step Into a Sponsor’s Shoes and You May Not Like the Fit

Step Into a Sponsor’s Shoes and You May Not Like the Fit

Those of us who have never worked full-time on the corporate side of sponsorship marketing may find ourselves daydreaming about what it would be like to have one of the most coveted roles in sports business. From the outside—and perhaps especially for the salesperson...

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Time for Sports Properties to Focus on Their Brands

Time for Sports Properties to Focus on Their Brands

In the vernacular of sports and other partnerships, corporate sponsors are often referred to as “brands,” while sponsored organizations are typically called properties or rights holders. While this works as industry shorthand, it partially negates the consideration of...

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What’s the Best Partnership Sales and Servicing Structure?

What’s the Best Partnership Sales and Servicing Structure?

In recent conversations with two sports properties, each shared that it was revamping the way it solicits, sells and works with corporate partners. And each was doing the exact opposite of the other. One was adopting an “account-management” structure, eliminating its...

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A Multi-Legged Barstool Raises Plenty of Questions

A Multi-Legged Barstool Raises Plenty of Questions

For someone who teaches a graduate-level university course in sponsorship, the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl—at just over a month old—is already shaping up as a welcome case study from which to explore a number of relevant sports marketing topics, including:  The value...

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What You’re Missing about Pricing and Selling Sponsorship

What You’re Missing about Pricing and Selling Sponsorship

With the announcement that the NHL is introducing sponsor jersey patches for the 2022-23 season, along with word that Monumental Sports & Entertainment is bundling jersey logos for the NBA Wizards, WNBA Mystics and its G League and esports teams into a single...

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Sports Marketers Still Must Fight for R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Sports Marketers Still Must Fight for R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It’s purely coincidental that this post is being written the day the new Aretha Franklin biopic hits theaters. The theme of respect for what sports marketing professionals do is unfortunately not a new one making its debut in an office near you.  Over my nearly 34...

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Time to End Sweepstakes as a Primary Activation Program?

Time to End Sweepstakes as a Primary Activation Program?

It has long been my role to share examples of successful sponsorships and the ways brands bring them to life through promotional programs. Common questions I ask of summit and round-table speakers, podcast guests, etc. are: “Can you share an example of how you are...

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Undue Pressure on Athletes: Are Sports Marketers Culpable?

Undue Pressure on Athletes: Are Sports Marketers Culpable?

Simone Biles has become the latest, and arguably most prominent, example of the sometimes crushing pressure elite athletes face.   As a society, we are shifting from Billie Jean King’s assertion that “pressure is a privilege” (repeated without irony in Tokyo last week...

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A Key Link in the Sponsor-Fan Chain Is Breaking

A Key Link in the Sponsor-Fan Chain Is Breaking

As host of MLB All-Star Week, Coors Field was unsurprisingly awash in T-Mobile magenta for last Monday’s Home Run Derby. But viewers of the ESPN broadcast could be forgiven if they were turned off by the overt branding because it was lacking the context of the...

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Job Descriptions Provide Prospective Partner Insights

Job Descriptions Provide Prospective Partner Insights

When evaluating sponsorship opportunities, smart marketers go beyond assessing the assets, rights and benefits that a rights holder commits to delivering. They also seek information on whether the property will be a good partner. In addition to due diligence that...

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Restricting Sponsorship Categories Can Cause a Riot

Restricting Sponsorship Categories Can Cause a Riot

Little did we know when FTX and the Miami Heat announced their naming rights deal in March that the cryptocurrency exchange would be in the news for an even bigger partnership just a few months later. One of the largest sponsorships in esports’ brief history, the deal...

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Sponsors’ Balancing Act: How High Can the Wire Go?

Sponsors’ Balancing Act: How High Can the Wire Go?

The sponsorship equation used to be fairly simple. Brands supported teams, athletes, events and other organizations that their consumers and customers were passionate about. Stepping up to become an official sponsor—rather than simply an advertiser or ticket...

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Team USA Sponsors Face an Uphill Battle

Team USA Sponsors Face an Uphill Battle

If the already postponed Tokyo Olympic Games are able to take place this summer—a matter in some doubt with two months to go before the scheduled opening—they will have overcome the enormous obstacle of Japan’s COVID crisis simply to face a more mundane, but still...

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The NWHL Discovers A True Partner

The NWHL Discovers A True Partner

The terms “partner” and “partnership” have become synonymous with “sponsorship” in the vernacular of sports marketing. Too often though, they are merely just words. So when either a sponsor or rights holder actually lives up to the ideal of being a partner, it...

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Defending the Value of Live Attendance

Defending the Value of Live Attendance

With most of the sports world excited about and focused on the return of fans to live games, the experience of buying a ticket and attending an event took a couple of unexpected, if not necessarily intentional, knocks recently. First, Triller Fight Club purchased the...

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Will Your Next Brand Partner Buy Now, Pay Later?

Will Your Next Brand Partner Buy Now, Pay Later?

This post is not about structuring sponsorship payment schedules, as interesting and important as that topic may be. No, the headline refers to an emerging category that may become an active player in sports and entertainment partnerships—buy-now-pay-later (BNPL)...

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From Top Shot to Vaccine Shots, All Signs Are Pointing Up

From Top Shot to Vaccine Shots, All Signs Are Pointing Up

It has been hard for anyone in the business of sports to avoid talk of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recently, mostly attributable to the eye-popping figures attached to NBA Top Shot moments, but also extending to other...

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How COVID Has Altered the Sponsorship Marketplace

How COVID Has Altered the Sponsorship Marketplace

In addition to the many long-term effects of COVID-19 on live events, the pandemic is having a near-term impact on sponsorships across sports, entertainment and other types of properties, most notably in downward pressure on the value of sponsorship rights. Compelled...

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Sports Doesn’t Have a Gen Z Problem

Sports Doesn’t Have a Gen Z Problem

Although on the radar screens of marketers for some time, the members of Gen Z—complete with consumer behavior radically different from their elders—have reached critical mass, with the oldest now entering their mid-20s. This is a critical time for sports to address...

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Roadmap to the Summer Games in Tokyo

Roadmap to the Summer Games in Tokyo

By Ken Hanscom Welcome to the Road to Tokyo! Today marks 18-months to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games officially kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on July 24th. While 18-months may seem like the distant future, many family, friends, and fans like you whom are...

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4 Reasons Companies Don’t Renew

4 Reasons Companies Don’t Renew

By Troy Tutt It’s every team’s worst nightmare: your client decides not to renew. What went wrong? Companies will give any number of excuses to be polite and soften the blow. The truth is, customers leaving almost always comes down to one of four reasons. 1. It’s a...

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5 Cold Hard Truths About Company Sports Tickets

5 Cold Hard Truths About Company Sports Tickets

By Tony Knopp Microsoft got sued last week after an employee stole $1.5 million including company Super Bowl tickets. (Check out the indictment here.) How often are employees stealing or abusing sports tickets? As we told the Wall St. Journal: A law is being broken at...

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Company Sports Tickets & GDPR: What You Need To Know

Company Sports Tickets & GDPR: What You Need To Know

by Derek Goodnature On May 25, 2018, the sweeping new rules known as GDPR went into effect. The regulations significantly change how companies must manage user data for individuals in the European Union, and companies are scrambling to make sense of it. The urgency is...

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Game Over: Sports Tickets & EPA’s Scott Pruitt

Game Over: Sports Tickets & EPA’s Scott Pruitt

By Peter Holzberger Few things can land government officials in trouble faster than getting comped or discounted sports tickets. While former EPA Adminstrator Scott Pruitt was no stranger to scandal, one of his final fumbles in the weeks leading up to his resignation...

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The New Tax Law & Company Sports Tickets

The New Tax Law & Company Sports Tickets

By Troy Tutt The Wall Street Journal‘s Ruth Simon published a piece today about how the 2017 tax law is causing companies to radically change the way they host client events. The problem? Companies can no longer deduct 50% of the cost of taking customers to live...

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Illinois Lawmakers Buy Over $1 Million in Sports Tickets

Illinois Lawmakers Buy Over $1 Million in Sports Tickets

By Matt Huff Illinois is back in the spotlight— this time for the enormous sums of money its lawmakers are spending on sports tickets. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s campaign spent over $700,000 on...

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Winter is Coming… for Company Sports Tickets

Winter is Coming… for Company Sports Tickets

by Sagar Jethani A recession may be coming, and that means company sports tickets are at risk. Defend your ticket program against budget cuts by proving they drive results. The US economy is long overdue for a recession. When that happens, companies are going to look...

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Bringing Client Entertainment Into the Light

Bringing Client Entertainment Into the Light

By Sagar JethaniHaving fun is serious business. Companies spend north of $600 billion each year taking their clients to sporting events, concerts, upscale restaurants, and a ton of other experiences in the hopes doing so will lead to new or increased business.With...

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5 Ways to Get Company Tickets Used NOW

5 Ways to Get Company Tickets Used NOW

“How do we get more tickets used?” We hear it nearly every day. One of the first conversations we have as we onboard new customers is how to set goals for their ticket usage.  Without goals, companies become disorganized, and waste, on average, 43% of their ticket...

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Ticket Admins Cost Teams Millions of Dollars Every Year

Ticket Admins Cost Teams Millions of Dollars Every Year

By Troy Tutt I started my career in sports as a sales guy. I sold season ticket plans and groups for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I soon started managing a book of clients and was responsible for servicing their needs, keeping them happy, and ultimately looking for ways...

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Say Goodbye to Printing Tickets at Home

Say Goodbye to Printing Tickets at Home

By Derek Goodnature Downloading and printing your Cubs tickets at home? That’s so 2016. The Cubs announced last week that ticket buyers will no longer be able to download and print tickets at home. Instead, fans will have two options: Order hard copy tickets to be...

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Why Companies Don’t Use All Their Tickets

Why Companies Don’t Use All Their Tickets

By Matt Huff I’ve seen many reasons why companies don’t use all of their tickets. Sometimes they simply lack awareness of just how many tickets they own and just how many go unused each year. Other times tickets lie dormant because employees have to embark upon a...

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The 5 Deadly Sins of Prospecting Events

The 5 Deadly Sins of Prospecting Events

By Tony Knopp, Co-founder and CEO, TicketManager I go to prospecting events— a lot of them. So I get to see what works and what doesn’t. Face-to-face marketing is an important part of business development because it cuts through oversaturated airwaves, overflowing...

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Put Your Client Entertainment in Your CRM

Put Your Client Entertainment in Your CRM

By Matt Ansis Ever wonder why companies are investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) more than ever? The reason is simple: nearly 80 percent of marketing leads fail to convert into sales, and effective customer relationship management helps companies...

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10 Signs Your Client Entertainment is Out of Control

10 Signs Your Client Entertainment is Out of Control

By Sagar Jethani Smart companies know that entertaining clients can generate positive business results. So why does it become a major headache for so many of them? And why are those results so hard to measure? Here are ten warning signs that your client entertainment...

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Why the U.S. Olympic Committee Chooses TicketManager

Why the U.S. Olympic Committee Chooses TicketManager

The 2016 Rio Olympics are entering day six, and aside from a couple of minor hiccups, the games are already being hailed as a great success. While the athletes occupy the limelight, the U.S. Olympic Committee is also enjoying some well-earned victories renewing...

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What We Do at TicketManager

What We Do at TicketManager

We make client entertainment easy & prove the ROI. Some companies claim they can do it all for you: venue sourcing, event marketing, expense reporting, customer surveys, website design, social media monitoring, online payments… and so on. Not TicketManager— client...

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Congress Takes Aim at Ticket Bots

Congress Takes Aim at Ticket Bots

By Sagar Jethani We are at our wits' end how to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers... So lamented Charles Dickens at the start of his US book tour in 1867. Ticket scalpers had followed his entourage from city to city, paying men to stand in line and purchase as...

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Spreadsheets are Dangerous

Spreadsheets are Dangerous

By Paul Kim When we ask companies how they track their client entertainment— everything from season tickets to company events —we often hear the same response: Spreadsheets. Putting it bluntly, this is a terrible idea. When it comes to managing information,...

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Salesforce Calls TicketManager a “Must-See App”

Salesforce Calls TicketManager a “Must-See App”

TicketManager has just been selected by Salesforce.com as one of its “Must-See Apps” for its upcoming Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. We’re thrilled to be recognized out of the 3,000+ apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange for this special distinction....

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TicketManager named Concur App of the Week

TicketManager named Concur App of the Week

At TicketManager, we’re always looking for more ways to make it easy for companies to take their clients out to events & experiences they’ll never forget. That’s why we’re thrilled to be selected by Concur Technologies as their App of the Week! Taking clients out...

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Yes, You Can Still Get Tickets For the Rio Olympics!

Yes, You Can Still Get Tickets For the Rio Olympics!

By Ken Hanscom, Chief Operations Officer, TicketManager Think it’s too late to plan a trip to the 2016 Olympics in Rio? It’s not — not by a long shot. Yes, most fans have already secured their plans for Rio 2016, but I want to share a little secret with you: Not only...

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Client Entertainment: Business or Boondoggle?

Client Entertainment: Business or Boondoggle?

Eight years after the financial crisis, corporations are still under intense scrutiny. Questions remain about the role financial corporations played in the crisis, and whether they were really held accountable for their actions. You expect some of this during an...

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Why Can’t I Get Tickets for the Rio Olympics?

Why Can’t I Get Tickets for the Rio Olympics?

By Ken Hanscom, Chief Operations Officer, TicketManager I believe in the power of experiences with others, both personally and professionally. That these experiences build great relationships and drive business. A recent article reminded me not only of the passion I...

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