Sports

The 15 Companies with the Widest Sports Advertising Reach

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One of the biggest places to advertise for any global brand is during a sporting event. Whether it’s a regular-season game, championship, or the Super Bowl, advertising during sports guarantees an existing audience. Brands like Coca-Cola, Gatorade, and Nike are staple names in the sporting world, so you can expect plenty of advertisements.

However, a few names among the top most active global sports property brands will surprise you. If anyone placed a bet on Chick-fil-A being on this list, according to SponsorUnited, you’d be walking away a winner. Using data from 82,000 brands, 160,000 sponsorship deals, and 75,000 social posts between January and October 2023, SponsorUnited compiled its list of active sporting brands with the widest advertising reach in descending order.  

Why Are We Covering This? 

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Sports is a multi-billion dollar industry that brings in marketers by the truckload.

There is a good reason why 24/7 Wall St. is covering this: many of these brands are publicly traded. Not only are many of these brands public companies, but they are also among some of the most important we cover on this website in general. You’ll see car brands and multiple Fortune 500 staples, which makes this list fall perfectly in our coverage area. 

15. Puma

PUMA NETFIT Launch Event
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Puma is a household name that you can find across multiple sports.
  • Sponsorship deals: 198

Founded by the brother who established Adidas, Puma is a staple of the sports world. It sponsors some of the world’s most popular football clubs, including Manchester City, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland, and a half-dozen other national soccer teams. Along with national teams, Puma also works with individuals like international superstar Neymar Jr. and multiple other soccer male and female phenoms. These relationships have helped establish Puma as a premier name in soccer. 

14. Chick-fil-A 

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Chick-fil-A is a definite favorite fast-food brand.
  • Sponsorship deals: 213

Although Chick-fil-A is a surprising name on this list, it is still a major part of the sporting world. The fast-food company has long had a strong strategy with college sponsorships, introducing its food to events like the Peach Bowl, Sacramento Kings basketball games, and various other teams around the country. 

13. Budweiser 

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It should come as no surprise to see Budweiser on this list.
  • Sponsorship deals: 230

Budweiser is everywhere as the title sponsor of multiple NASCAR teams, such as Hendricks Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s also the official beer of the World Cup during the 2026 men’s tournament, which will take place across North America. Overseas, Budweiser has a strong sponsorship deal with the English Premier League, one of the most popular soccer leagues in the sport. 

12. Powerade

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Powerade is working hard to replace Gatorade as the sports drink of choice.
  • Sponsorship deals: 231

As the official sports drink of the Olympic Games in 2024, Powerade is set to give Team USA everything it needs to bring home a giant bag of gold medals. Owned by Coca-Cola, Powerade has plenty of marketing money behind it to try and compete with its larger rival, Gatorade. Expect to see Powerade on the PGA Tour, at NASCAR races, and hundreds of NCAA events. 

11. Michelob Ultra

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Michelob Ultra is a popular beer in sports stadiums.
  • Sponsorship deals: 245

As one of the official sponsors of U.S. Soccer, the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, and several MLS teams, Michelob Ultra is everywhere in sports. Michelob’s focus on soccer is bound to pay massive dividends as it’s the most popular sport in the world. When you add in a deal with Lionel Messi, the sport’s most popular athlete, Michelob Ultra is on the right track with sports. 

10. Ford Motor Company

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Ford has long been involved in sports marketing across different leagues.
  • Sponsorship deals: 250

It hardly comes as a surprise to see Ford appear on any list highlighting brands with major sports sponsorship deals. Over the last two years, Ford has locked up deals with the LPGA, Basketball Australia, multiple PGA golfers, and to make powertrains for the best-in-class Red Bull Formula 1 team. As this builds on the company’s outstanding sports success, expect to see far more from Ford. 

9. TicketSmarter

NASCAR Xfinity Series Tennessee Lottery 250 - Qualifying
Source: 2022 Getty Images / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
TicketSmarter is the least-known name but is working to change that.
  • Sponsorship deals: 286

Arguably the least-known name on this list, TicketSmarter racked up 286 sponsorship deals during 2023. Where TicketSmarter does well is creating relationships and brand partnerships with colleges and then reselling tickets to their events. It also doesn’t hurt that TicketSmarter partnered with ESPN Events in 2022 as the official reseller for over 40 collegiate sporting events. 

8. McDonald’s 

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McDonald’s needs no introduction as a popular brand with sports marketing.
  • Sponsorship deals: 307

While 307 sports-related sponsorships in 2023 might seem small for McDonald’s, it’s still good enough to place it 8th on the SponsorUnited list. One of the biggest news in 2024 was McDonald’s becoming the premiere sponsor of the men’s and women’s FIFA CUP through 2026. The company is also reportedly signing a deal with Ligue 1, the French premier soccer league. 

7. Bud Light

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Bud Light is another hugely popular beer in the sports world.
  • Sponsorship deals: 330

As the official beer of both the UFC and the NFL, it’s no surprise to see Bud Light have 330 sports activations in 2023. Bud Light’s NFL deal is reported to cost around $300 million per year to be the official beer of the NFL, which means it’s available at every game in every stadium. Add this to a six-year deal with the UFC, and Bud Light will be a staple of many major sporting events. 

6. Toyota

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Toyota’s sponsorship of the last few Olympic games gave it plenty of sports cachet.
  • Sponsorship deals: 440

One of the world’s best-known brands, Toyota, is still a bit of a surprise on the sports advertising side. However, in October 2023, Toyota became the NFL’s official automotive partner in a multi-year deal. Toyota has long been the official automotive partner for the last few Olympics, ferrying athletes back and forth from events. This includes marathons, Grand Prix events, and many more sports activations. 

5. Nike

Nike headquarters
Source: Natalie Behring / Getty Images News via Getty Images
Nike has long been involved in the sports marketing world.
  • Sponsorship deals: 448

Nike’s somewhat surprising fifth-place finish hides the fact that its brand remains everywhere. It’s easy to think that Nike would be number one with its scale, and in 2023, Nike had 448 sponsorship deals. Nike is even equipping the German, Canadian, Japanese, and French teams for the Olympics and currently has around 17,000 individual athlete brand deals in 2024. 

4. Adidas 

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Adidas is one of the most popular sports shoe and clothing brands.
  • Sponsorship deals: 456

A brand that started with a focus on sports, the history of Adidas is everything you need to know about its position on this list. Dating back to 1924, Adidas shoes helped German athletes win gold medals in 1928; the rest is history. Today, Adidas clothing and shoes adorn athletes globally, and its sponsorship deals are more present than ever. Adidas is everywhere between tennis, soccer, track & field, and fashion. 

3. Gatorade

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Gatorade has long been the sports drink of choice for athletes.
  • Sponsorship deals: 493

Gatorade is a sports drink staple, which is not surprising on this list of the most active brands in sports. To be fair, Gatorade was first developed in 1965 for the University of Florida’s student-athletes. Suffice it to say, sports are truly in everything Gatorade does, and its marketing is a complete reflection of its 58 years of promoting itself across 80 countries and hundreds of sports leagues. 

2. Pepsi

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Pepsi is one of the most popular soft drink brands in the world.
  • Sponsorship deals: 499

Pepsi is second among the most active sports brands, a name that likely elicits few surprises. Most importantly, Pepsi attributes much of its success to its creative marketing strategies, including those it has used in the sports world. With a huge global and demographic reach, Pepsi’s sports partnership runs leagues, including IPL, MLB, NFL, NBA, UCL, and many more. 

1. Coca-Cola

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It comes as no surprise that Coca-Cola is the most popular sports marketing brand.
  • Sponsorship deals: 938

According to the SponsorUnited data, with 938 total brand deals between January and October 2023, Coca-Cola is the most active brand in sports. This won’t come as any surprise, considering Coca-Cola has been involved in celebrity marketing since 1900. Coca-Cola has been a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games since 1928, which only validates its position as the largest sports brand.

 

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