Gambling Companies Help the NFL Set New Sponsorship Record

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The cat’s out of the bag and there’s no going back. Sports betting means money for sports leagues. If they had realized this in 1992, they would have had 20 additional years of enhanced revenue. The NFL’s sponsorship figures from 2021 show how much more. The league took in $1.8 billion through sponsorship deals, a significant portion of which came from the sports betting industry.

The NFL Wins Through Sportsbooks

Gambling was a major contributor to the NFL’s $1.8 billion in sponsorship revenue for the 2021-22 season, according to a United Press International report. IEG, a sponsorship firm, stated that the league set a record in partnership revenue for this season. This is more than any other professional league and represents a 12% increase on the 2020-21 season. The league made $1.42 billion in 2019.

According to IEG, gambling sites and technology companies were major contributors to record revenues.

Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director, told CNBC, “It’s not coming from traditional places. Not only are we seeing emerging talent on the field; we’re seeing emerging categories.”

The majority of the take for the NFL was earned through tech partnerships. However, these were followed closely by sponsorships with gambling companies and alcohol companies. FanDuel and DraftKings became partners of the NFL in 2021. BetMGM, WynnBET, Fox Bet, and PointsBet have also joined.

IEG stated that the biggest increase in NFL sponsorship deals was due to lotteries, sports gambling, and casinos, while tech deals were responsible for the greatest absolute dollar contribution.

Verizon is the largest sponsor of the league, with a value exceeding $300 million a year. In September, the carrier signed a 10-year contract with the league. Microsoft has a $100 million-per-year deal and Anheuser-Busch gives more than $250 million annually.

More Growth on the Horizon, Teams to Benefit

The league scored a touchdown with sponsorship deals, but the teams didn’t. League-wide sponsorships increased 23%, but only 4% more revenue was earned by the NFL teams in rights fees each year. That could be about to change this year.

The NFL is following the lead of the NBA and allowing clubs to tap international markets in order to increase revenue streams. The NFL granted 18 teams permission to market their intellectual properties in 26 countries, including Canada, Germany, and Mexico, last month. This will undoubtedly drive revenue higher for the clubs while increasing the focus on NFL-targeted sports betting on the international stage.

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