Over the course of the NFL season to date, we at Zoomph have highlighted some of the top sponsorships across the league from a valuation perspective. And while those successful ones deserve to be recognized, some of the smaller ones on an individual team basis are just as effective on the local level.
Below are 32 examples of partnerships between individual teams and brands that work well together. Some of these might not bring in the most money or have the highest engagement rates but they are all thought-out and creative examples that can hopefully inspire you on either the team side or the brand side.
Water & energy company Salt River Project (SRP) sponsors the “Power Performer of the Week” for the Cardinals. Honoring a player that does well in a game, it has the potential to draw high engagement numbers & responses, especially after a win, in a way that the messaging relates to the brand. On top of that, SRP is awarding grants to local teachers depending on team performance & sharing that on social, therefore not just relying on the Cardinals to carry their marketing.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $30,805
ATLANTA FALCONS: Emory Healthcare
Emory Healthcare, the official team healthcare provider of the Falcons, sponsors the weekly injury reports & inactive player announcements on gameday. This allows them to connect with fans in content that relates to medical issues, which is something potential consumers could turn to them for. They also will be opening a facility around sports & spine medical treatment in Atlanta in conjunction with the Falcons, which garnered local social media attention.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $208,009
For larger franchises that tap into many areas of the country, it might be smart to create social accounts that allow you to get involved on a local level. That’s what Papa John’s is doing with the Ravens, as the team account tags them in their promotions & co-branded content. This includes the “Stat Of The Week” and discounts on pizza for team wins.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $76,423
A QSR with close ties to the team and Buffalo community, Tim Hortons activates with the Bills in many ways. From giving food & coffee to fans in the lots before games to helping raise money for the community through sales to a video content series with product placement, their content approach covers all bases.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $65,753
Fast-food chain Bojangles, founded in Charlotte, NC, activates with and around the Panthers and is not afraid to hide their fandom as a brand. They get fans to post on social media during games, specifically at the stadium, through their #BringMeBojangles activation with the team. This ties in their physical presence at Bank Of America Stadium to social media in an organic way.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $163,732
Consumers often want to see products in action before buying. Also, for sports teams, giving control of social handles to players or shining light on players opens the door to higher engagement. The Bears fuse these two ideas together very well with Motorola, using both photo and video content shot on a Motorola phone, especially in the hands of players.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $143,290
GEICO sponsors the “Inside The Locker Room” video series, giving fans access to the players regularly every week the same way the press would normally deliver. Content like this is often in high-demand and while it does not necessarily tie in directly with GEICO, it certainly draws lots of eyeballs on a regular basis.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $211,668
Regional healthcare facility University Hospitals works closely with the charitable wing of the Browns. They were the entitlement sponsor of the Browns’ “Crucial Catch” game against Seattle and Browns players have also stopped by UH facilities to meet with patients, which have been documented on social media. Showing the players as more than just players is a good community builder.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $153,231
DALLAS COWBOYS: WinStar World Casino & Resort
When you go to a casino, you hope to “win.” That’s why, when it comes to co-branded content, sponsoring “Cowboys Win” announcements for a team with high hopes and running giveaways tied with the team helps associate positive attitudes toward WinStar World Casino. On top of that, they also sponsor their digital pregame show as well as their “Rank ‘Em” content series.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $847,483
The Denver Broncos are known year after year for their defense. So when it comes to recognizing that defense when the Broncos pull off a win, what better sponsor than a brand like OtterBox, a brand whose product is built to defend phones.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $64,624
When working on getting healthier, people often need reminders to get to the gym daily. That’s why it’s smart that Planet Fitness sponsors the Lions’ Practice Notebook every day, which gets a daily push on Twitter. It’s an organic way to appear in people’s feeds and plant the thought of the gym in their minds, especially those focused on fitness.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $107,194
The Packers are the #1 team for Chevrolet sponsorship across the NFL on social media and they get involved in a variety of content. From game recaps to the “Drive Of The Week”, Chevy plays a role in Packers content every week. This has expanded to philanthropic efforts as well, with Chevrolet donating to the American Cancer Society in conjunction with the Packers based on social activity.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $141,284
Regional department store Palais Royal wants to make sure Houston residents know where to turn for the best in fashion. That’s where gameday and the “Player Arrival” photo series comes into play. As players arrive at games dressed to impress, Palais Royal appears on social media alongside them, tying positive fashion views to the department store before anything happens on-field.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $207,926
Win or loss, “Players Of The Game” and highlighting the achievements of an individual player draw in positive engagement. That’s what Gaylor Electric is trying to do, associating themselves with “electrifying” players.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $45,913
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Miller Electric Co.
Local electrical contractor Miller Electric, based out of Jacksonville, sponsors “Teal Friday” for the Jaguars, which gets fans tweeting at the Jaguars & Miller Electric photos of them in Jaguars gear. This encourages local pride and ties it back to a local company. On top of that, they post about the Jaguars themselves and get their audience excited for the Jaguars on a regular basis as well.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $165,486
For a quick-service restaurant, especially for one that has social accounts outside of their main one with a geographic focus. That’s what McDonald’s (and their Kansas City account) is doing with the Chiefs. Thanks to a limited-time engagement as well as ongoing season promotions that rely on the results around games, this gets people in the store and gets them anticipating activations as well.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $74,901
Injury reports are such an easy and organic way for a team and a medical-related company to come together on co-branded content. So Select Physical Therapy and the Chargers work well together as they sponsor their practice injury report during the week. They also post photos from their own handle of the Chargers that fit along with their overall brand messaging.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $76,423
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a non-profit hospital in Los Angeles, sponsors two different content series with the Rams that make sense to the brand: 1.) Weekly Injury Report; and 2.) Precision Play Of The Game. On top of those, Cedars-Sinai documents when the team & players come to visit staff and patients. That strong relationship online pays off in terms of sentiment with fans, especially for a relatively new team to a new city.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $44,131
You can use digital co-branded content to promote ticket sales and ticketing services outside of just plugging an app. That is what Ticketmaster and the Dolphins are doing during the lead-up to home games. Videos promoting the history of the Dolphins and the matchups they have each week along with content series showcase the excitement of home games, even if the team might not meet expectations on the field.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $280,547
Even as a league-wide partner, Sleep Number does special work specifically with the Vikings. They sponsor the Game Changers video series, which highlights staff members that might not get the most press, such as athletic trainers who coach players on things like proper sleep and training. There also is plenty of product showcases at U.S. Bank Stadium, which get documented on social media.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $33,454
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Dunkin’
Dunkin’ and Boston/New England go hand-in-hand and this is an example of a partnership where both parties contribute. Dunkin’ sponsors the Patriots’ “Pregame Social” digital show before kickoff on gamedays while also promoting gameday specials for fans from their Boston-specific handles. This way, fans will start to associate going to Dunkin’ before the game starts every Sunday morning.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $152,611
Gamedays are a great opportunity for automotive brands or auto insurance partners to sponsor digital content. GoAuto Insurance, a Louisiana-based insurance company, does this with the Saints for both on-field and off-field news. From drive summaries to traffic reports, anything showing off successful drives of all kinds works for the auto insurance brand.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $285,586
Primepoint, the New Jersey-based payroll and HR management company, partners with the Giants on content that does not traditionally have a sponsor across many teams: roster updates and transactions. While this is not something you can necessarily schedule or plan out in advance, sometimes the unexpected moments can lead to the peak of engagement.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $230,004
Bethpage Federal Credit Union, based in Long Island, is active in community initiatives offline and works with the Jets to promote those on social media as well. While they sponsor drive summaries during games, they work with local schools to reward students who are role models in the classroom, specifically around anti-bullying initiatives.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $59,393
This offseason, the Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs, one of the top prospects. Jacobs won the starting job and showed that the running game would prove important for the Raiders’ success and that he’ll need to log lots of “miles” every week. So Chevron sponsors the “MVP of MPG” graphic after wins, honoring the running effort, helping fans to recognize a new face of the franchise as they prepare to move cities, and tying a brand in a positive way with his success.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $39,437
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Xfinity
The Eagles produce a daily, thoroughly detailed, recap of everything Eagles-related shared natively right on Twitter called “Eagles 360”. Xfinity, a brand synonymous with Philadelphia, sponsors these, as they market their full circle of services (internet, cable, phone). On top of that, they also have the naming rights to Xfinity Live, a popular destination for fans outside of the stadium.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $511,624
Trades and roster moves are often a high point of engagement, especially for a team like the Steelers who have made some high-profile moves during the year so far. And in dealing with the terms and fine print of deals, who better to sponsor these pieces than a law firm, especially a local one like Bordas and Bordas. On top of that, Bordas and Bordas donate to the Ronald McDonald House based on team performance, which they document on social.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $180,747
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Cisco
Putting a microphone on players during a game, hearing how they are during games, and feeling the emotion they convey can be a great story to tell. This especially works well with the 49ers, who have started undefeated and have personalities like George Kittle & Richard Sherman on the roster. This is a good opportunity for Cisco to jump in on a sponsorship opportunity, whose tagline is “The bridge to possible.” What better way to show that than hearing from those who make wins possible?
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $77,002
Players on teams do more than just play football. What better way to show that off than by doing something everyone can do (or in my case, attempt to): get in the kitchen! Seahawks players, in conjunction with Safeway, show off some of their favorite recipes in videos. On top of that, certain products at Safeway stores get sold at discounted rates depending on team performance, which is broadcasted on social media every week.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $186,109
Capitalizing on in-season momentum is important for quick service restaurants working in sports, especially in a limited window of 16 games. The Buccaneers and regional chain PDQ work together to do that, giving fans free food depending on performance. Also, PDQ has a stand at Raymond James Stadium and interacts with the team themselves on social, creating a nice two-way relationship between brand and team.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $29,941
Injury reports are very easy access points for medical-related brands to jump into sponsored content to reach a fanbase’s digital audience. That’s what Farm Bureau is doing with the Titans and their injury reports on a weekly basis. On top of that, they sponsor a segment of Titans Radio every week. Just because you’re not sponsoring a digital asset (radio) doesn’t mean you’re not getting digital exposure.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $51,957
Inova Health and the Redskins have a strong relationship that goes beyond the naming rights to their Performance Center at their training facility. From sponsoring collaborative blood drives with the team to being the entitlement partner of the Redskins’ Crucial Catch game, Inova does a lot of digital sponsorship work that is relevant to both parties.
SOCIAL VALUE THROUGH 6 WEEKS: $21,472