Linking Sports to Entertainment: Major Club and League Activations as a Growth Driver

December 2019

To grow their global fanbases sports properties are increasingly tapping into audiences beyond typical sports fans and by doing so blurring the lines between sports and entertainment. This report discusses key strategies in drawing consumers to sports, such as using celebrities as global ambassadors, transforming into lifestyle brands, harnessing social media and using untraditional sponsorships to fuel interest and engagement both locally and globally.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

The power of celebrity and the growing influence of hip hop on culture and consumerism

With Generation Z and Millennials being more likely to be influenced by sports and entertainment personalities than older generations, sports properties are using people in the public eye as a way to unlock new fans in various markets. Hip hop’s global appeal and its cultural significance is expanding further among younger generations of consumers, affecting a number of industries from apparel and footwear to sports.

Top sports clubs are diversifying their product to appeal to broader audiences

In an increasingly competitive media landscape, top clubs understand that to compete successfully in the battle for global attention it is necessary to look beyond the typical sports fan. Professional sport, at least at the top level, is becoming a multi-faceted business not limited to sport itself.

Using digital as a vehicle to win time and attention of fans around the world

Western sports powerhouses’ expansion in growth markets is among the strategic priorities ensuring a growing global fanbase and commercial revenues. Improved connectivity helps sports brands to tap into global audiences through the stories they tell in the content they produce. A consistent and coherent message is key when activating new partnerships in new markets, while cultural translation of sports brands’ values helps to convey authenticity and build trust among new fanbases.

US sports properties show cautious but positive attitudes towards new non-traditional sponsorship


With recent legislative changes, new sports sponsorship categories have emerged in the US, such as sports betting, CBD and more relaxed policies on alcohol sponsorship. Besides providing new revenue streams, these categories offer additional channels to reach untapped audiences. As both local and international betting firms set their sights on the US, and consumers’ attitudes towards cannabis become more positive, US sport is set to reap the gains.

Introduction and scope of the report
Key findings
Sports and entertainment personalities as a way to unlock new fans
The overlap of sports and entertainment worlds
Surge of music streaming and hip hop dominance
Product placement in hip hop lyrics
The most endorsed brands by popular hip hop artists
Car choices in hip hop songs
Hip hop’s role in apparel and footwear
Acknowledging rappers’ taste-making power
Hip-hop and sports: Toronto Raptors and Drake
Hip-hop and sports: Philadelphia 76ers and Meek Mill
Practice what you preach
Will NFL’s deal with Jay-Z prove to be a change the league needs?
Building authentic partnerships and choosing right communication
From sports team to a lifestyle brand
New York Yankees: the story of success, legends and iconic city
New York Yankees: only US team to make top 10 in Club Index
Can love for Paris and Jordan translate into love for PSG?
Plethora of collaborations to grow a global lifestyle brand
Juventus: the “black and white” and more
Juventus capitalising on Ronaldo’s fame
How are sports harnessing digital to establish a global reach?
Significance of different customer-brand interactions
Celebrity endorsement and effect it has on different consumers
NFL’s partnership with local stars to grow its presence in China
Power of celebrity helping to connect the dots
Targeted social media: meeting fans where they are active
Its all about localised content and sustained presence
Western sports properties’ digital fan activations in India
NBA is slowly but surely building its brand in Africa
MLB hits a home run with London Games in 2019
Interactive and immersive experiences to attract foreign fans
New opportunities for sports sponsorships
Rolling the dice with sports betting
Football’s betting partnerships: a sign of what’s to come?
Betting firms can help grow reach of US sports at home and abroad
Cannabis and a wave of global legalisation
World cannabis regulatory status February 2019
US cannabis regulatory status February 2019
The path to legalisation: what drives public support
Cannabis in products and services of some sports sponsors
Understanding and following the consumer
First movers in CBD sponsorships
Regulations loosen, but hurdles remain for cannabis sponsorships
Standing behind the Science
Bringing an element of sports branding back into the product sphere
Key takeaways


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