NFL Sponsorship Spending Up 4.3% Last Season

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Sponsorship spending on the National Football League and its 32 teams rose 4.3% to $1.25 billion in the 2016-2017 season, according to WPP’s IEG research.

The increase is a bit higher than the 4.2% increase in overall sponsorship spending for the period, but trails the 4.7% gains in overall sports spending IEG reports. Spending on the NFL rose 4.4% in the previous season.

“The NFL remains the undisputed leader in the U.S. sports marketplace, but declining TV ratings and lingering concerns over off-field controversies have taken a toll on sponsorship revenue,” said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report senior editor.

The NFL secured one major new partner for the just-concluded season: Ford Motor Co. The company serves as the official truck of the NFL in a deal that splits the auto category with Hyundai Motor Co. (cars, SUVs, crossovers and luxury passenger vehicles).

The beer category remains the biggest spender on NFL sponsorships, spending an average 5.5 times more on the NFL than the average category last season per IEG research.

While beer was the biggest spender, insurance was the most active category. Insurance companies were 3.3 times more likely to sponsor the NFL than the average of all sponsors.

The New England Patriots didn’t just prove their superiority over the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl 2017—the team also was victorious in terms of sponsorship revenue.