Sporting tournaments are some of the most watched events in the world. As a result, they have become advertising magnets, with the names of sponsors plastered in every possible strategic space. From rear spoilers of Formula One vehicles and the front of shirts of European football teams to the top of the backboards of NBA stadiums and the helmets of NHL teams, advertisers are always present to take advantage of the event’s high visibility.
Here are the 10 biggest sponsors of events and sports in the world. Some numbers may even be underestimated, as it does not yet include the money it pays out to athlete endorsers.
10. Sprint – $205 million
Sprint is the main sponsor of NASCAR’s premier series, which is called the Sprint Cup Series. It also sponsors the Sprint Center in Kansas City, SB Nation and Fantasy Sports Ventures. It is also associated with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the U.S. Tennis Association. It also sponsors six major league baseball teams, seven NFL teams and five collegiate athletic programs.
9. Yum! – $210 million
Yum! Is a fastfood conglomerate that owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. Yum itself sponsors the Kentucky Derby. KFC is behind the Yum Center at the University of Louisville and sponsors the Tennessee Titans in the NFL, the Seattle Marines in baseball and the Real Salt Lake in MLS. It also has tie ups with the U.S. Amateur Softball Association and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. Pizza Hut sponsors the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, baseball’s Royals, NBA’s Mavericks and Spurs, NFL’s Colts, NHL’s Penguins, WNBA’s Silver Stars and soccer’s FC Dallas. Taco Bell has the arena in Boise, Idaho, as well as two MLB teams, nine NBA teams, two NFL teams and one NHL team.
8. AT&T – $226.7 million
AT&T sponsors arenas and stadiums in Oklahoma, San Antonio, Chattanooga, San Francisco and Lubbock in Texas. It also sponsors the Cotton Bowl, as well as several golf tournaments. It also has a partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, as well as with the federations for soccer, fencing, diving and gymnastics. It supports 13 MLB teams, six NBA teams, six NFL teams, seven NHL teams and 32 NCAA schools.
7. Verizon – $228.2 million
Verizon sponsors stadiums in New Hampshire, Washington DC, Mankato in Minnesota and Richmond in Virginia. It supports 14 NFL teams, 17 MLB teams, 17 NBA teams and five NHL teams. It is also connected with a WNBA team, an MLS team and 18 NCAA programs. It sponsors several collegiate leagues and is a partner of U.S.A. Luge.
6. Toyota – $245.5 million
Toyota lends its name to arenas in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kennewick in Washington and Irwindale in California. It also has sponsorships with NASCAR and the Indycar series. It supports 13 MLB teams, eight NBA teams, six NFL teams, 10 NHL teams, five WNBA teams, one MLS team and 14 NCAA programs. It also sponsors the Orange Bowl, PGA golf tournaments and the New York City Marathon. Its sister company, Lexus, is behind three MLB teams, six NBA teams, three NHL teams and three NCAA programs. Lexus also supports the U.S. Open tennis tournament, U.S. Open Women’s Golf and the British Open.
5. MillerCoors – $272 million
MillerCoors is behind Miller Light, Coors Light and Molson Coors Canada. Miller Lite has naming rights to a stadium in Milwaukee and is a sponsor to nine MLB teams, three NBA teams, 12 NFL teams, three NHL teams and five NCAA programs. Coors Light has 10 NFL teams, three MLB teams, four NBA teams and an NHL team. Molson Coors has six NHL teams and is a partner of Hockey Canada.
4. Anheuser Busch InBev – $309.2 million
Anheuser Busch InBev sponsors 26 MLB teams, 25 NBA teams, 28 NFL teams and 20 NHL teams. It also advertises in the Super Bowl, the BCS, CFL and NASCAR. It was also a sponsor in the World Cup and has partnerships with the PGA, the LPGA and Major League Lacrosse.
3. General Motors – $388.4 million
Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC Truck Division are all parts of General Motors. Chevrolet has sponsorships with 12 MLB teams, 10 NFL teams, three NBA teams, three NHL teams, one MLS team, one WNBA team and one CFL team. It also has a partnership with NASCAR, specifically with several teams and nine speedways. Cadillac sponsors a PGA golf tournament and the coverage of the Tour de France. The GMC Truck Division has naming rights in an arena in Vancouver. It also sponsors eight MLB teams, one NBA team, one NFL team and two NHL teams. The truck division also has partnerships with a college football bowl and road racing. It also sponsors the U.S. Fencing Association and the CONCACAF football tournament.
2. Adidas – $498 million
Adidas has several athlete endorsers under its wing. It also sponsored the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London where it paid $200 million in a deal that lasted for five years. It also paid $298 million to the football federation of Germany for the right to sponsor the German national football team. The deal will last for 10 years and is considered a major achievement in the football-mad nation.
1. Barclays – $525.5 million
Barclays is the main sponsor of the English Premier League, which is probably the most popular football league in the world. With a worldwide audience tuned in at least once a week, and sometimes even twice a week, Barclays views its partnership as well worth the $27.5 million it paid each year for three years. The company also paid $400 million in a deal that will last for 20 years for the naming rights of the arena of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. The deal was actually signed when the team was still based in New Jersey. The value certainly has gone up even more now that the team has transferred to Brooklyn in New York.
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