Biggest sports sponsorship deals in the USA

Sponsorship in sport is big business, and the overall size of the market took us by surprise.  It’s estimated that around $60 billion was spend on sports sponsorship in 2019!

And in North America where everything is bigger that includes this market, The USA and Canada accounts for a sports sponsorship spend of approximately $24.2 billion.  Europe is a distant second to this with a spend

The biggest sponsors in the North America are beverage, auto, sport apparel and telecommunications companies.  Most of the marketing budget goes into partnerships with the NFL, NBA and MLB.  But the spend in Major League Soccer is increasing every year, while golf, tennis and motorsport soak up billions too.


Pepsi is the name that holds the number 1 position on this list in North America for sports sponsorship.  And that’s because the company has massive sponsorship deals with the top 3 sports tournaments in North America.  The drinks company has a mammoth deal with the NBA and NFL and is also a big sponsors of the NHL.

The biggest athlete sponsorship deals in sport

Outside North America, Pepsi Pepsi are global sponsors of cricket and partly sponsor the  UEFA Champions League and Europa League in 2018 for the next three years.


Probably a shock to most that Nike is not top of the list, but globally they are the number one.   Nike are by far the world’s biggest sports brand so when it comes to individual athlete sponsorship deals they blast everyone off the field globally and in North America.  Tiger Woods and LeBron James are just 2 of the many massive names on Nike’s book in the US.

Exact numbers are impossible to get but some example of expenditure are – the contract with the NFL is rumoured to be around $220 million per year, they are reportedly paying the NBA $125 million a year and pay the MLB over $100 a year.

The biggest TV rights deals in sport

AnheuserBusch InBev

Anheuser-Bush and Heineken are leading the pack when it comes to global annual spend by alcohol brands on sports sponsorship.  But it’s in North America where the Bud and Bud Light brewer spends the big bucks.  The brewer has had sponsorships with the National Basketball Association, National Football League and Major League Baseball for years, they also have has individual team deals with 24 NHL clubs.

Coca Cola

While Pepsi has a piece on the MLB, it’s arch rival Coca Cola has a much bigger slice and has 18 MLB Club partnerships.  Coca-Cola has also long been involved with stock car racing and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998.

The drinks brand is also one of the biggest sponsors in the eSports world, sponsoring the League of Legends World Championship, one the largest eSports competitions on earth.

The Others

The above are the global sponsors but in the USA the picture is quite different, most of the global sport sponsorship spend is concentrated in North America with brands like the big banks, AT&T, Ford, Toyota, Verizon and General Motors.

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