FOS PM: NFL sponsorships nearly $2 billion

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Serena Williams just broke her own women’s sports card record. His 1999 Sports Illustrated for Kids Series 4 rookie card sold on the PWCC Marketplace for $117,000, more than double the previous record of $44,280.



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Matt Sullivan

National Football League sponsorship revenue increased 12% year-over-year from $1.62 billion to $1.8 billion in the 2021-22 season and soared $1.47 billion in 2019, according to an IEG study.

NFL franchises only brought extra 4% revenue for rights fees, while league-wide sponsorship spending increased 23%.

IEG Global Managing Director Peter Laatz says the sponsorship boom “is coming from emerging categories.”

  • Run by Microsoft roughly $100 million per year, technology sponsors brought in the most money for the season.
  • Sportsbook, casino and lottery sponsorships brought in the second highest dollar figure, with fees up 140%. DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars — which bought the naming rights to the New Orleans Superdome for $138 million — signed five-year deals to become the league’s official sportsbook with a combined value of nearly $1 billion.
  • Alcoholic beverages contributed the third highest amount, with Anheuser Busch paying more than $250 million a year and Diageo paying out $30 million each year. The league’s wine and champagne rights are still on sale.

The NFL also spent its first full season with Hyperice, signed a new partnership with Cisco, and extended its Verizon partnership for 10 years.

Future income opportunities

One emerging category that hasn’t been seen in the league is cryptocurrencies – the league has had discussions about potential opportunities there, but remains skeptical of the market.

Additionally, for the first time, 18 NFL clubs have the opportunity to increase revenue through 26 international markets including Canada, Mexico and Germany.

Microsoft/Design: Alex Brooks

Microsoft has boasted strong earnings for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2021, as its gaming mega-acquisition looms.

The tech giant posted revenue of $51.7 billion, up 20% year-on-year. Net income similarly increased, up 21% from a year ago to reach $18.8 billion.

As supply chain issues slowed Xbox sales, the company again posted gains in games.

  • Xbox console sales were up 4% compared to the same period last year, when the supply of devices was also quite limited.
  • Revenue from Xbox content and services jumped 10% year over year.
  • Revenue across Microsoft’s More Personal Computing segment, which includes its games, Surface hardware and search products, increased 15% to $17.5 billion.

acquisition blizzard

Earnings boost Microsoft after agreeing to acquire gaming giant ActivisionBlizzard in one $68.7 billion, all-cash transaction. Microsoft ended 2021 with $125.4 billion cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer allayed gamer concerns last week when he said the company would honor previous deals made by Activision Blizzard and make the next three.”Call of Duty” games available on Sony PlayStation as well as Xbox.

Microsoft, however, isn’t obligated to continue working with its gaming rival on the wildly popular game series beyond Activision Blizzard’s existing deals.


Agitation/Design: Alex Brooks

Signa Sports United generated $278 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 10% over the same period a year earlier.

The German bicycle and tennis equipment retailer attributed its revenue growth to strong consumer demand in its verticals, despite bicycle supply shortages.

  • Signal signaled 5.1 million active customers in Q4 2021, a 32% year-over-year increase.
  • Annual turnover achieved $983.7 million, up 24% from fiscal 2020.

In June 2021, Signa went public through a merger with Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation, a blank check company run by the Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner. Ronald Burkel. Signa raised $484 million in the transaction, valuing the company at $3 billion.

Signa took advantage of the new capital in December 2021 with the acquisitions of online bike store Wiggle and Tennis Express. Wiggle has annual sales of approximately $500 million.

US expansion plans

Signa is reportedly close to securing an investment worth more than $370 million of a group that includes Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public investment fund.

The funding would be used to expand Signa’s presence in the United States

Signa generates approximately 10% of its total revenue in the United States, primarily through its acquisitions of Tennis Express and Midwest Sports in February 2021.

  • In The Leadoff, MLB job talks heat up, Olympic sponsors weigh diplomatic boycotts and risk of losing customers, Everton owner invests $135m to increase stake in club and Athletes Unlimited announces its inaugural basketball season. Click here to listen.
  • Carissa Moore won this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing contest, the first time a woman has won the highest prize ($66,500) in 39 years.
  • Athletic Greens recently raised $115 million at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The deal is another indication of the shift to wellness branded beverages and consumer staples in place of more traditional products in the beverage space. Check out our FOS Insights report for more on the subject.


(Note: all at market close 01/26/22)

The PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open brings together the world’s best golfers in Torrey Pines.

Last year, Patrick Reed won the tournament by a controversial five-stroke, taking home $1.3 million. Now the players will be vying for an $8.4 million purse this week in San Diego.

How to watch: 12 p.m. ET on ESPN+ / Stream all of the Farmers Insurance Open on ESPN+*

Who do you have? Respond to this newsletter with your prediction for the winner of the Farmers Insurance Open. We can’t wait to see this tournament on one of the best courses in the world.

*Sponsored content. Game availability differs by market, check your local listing.


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