The Business of Sports: Sponsorships, Endorsements, and Media Rights

The sports industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, and sponsorships, endorsements, and media rights are important sources of revenue for sports teams, leagues, and athletes.

This article will go into greater detail about the business of sports sponsorships, endorsements, and media rights, as well as provide insights into how these revenue streams work.

Sponsorships in sports

Sports sponsorships are agreements between businesses and sports teams, leagues, or athletes in which the business pays a fee in exchange for the right to use the name, logo, or likeness of the team, league, or athlete in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Sports sponsorships can help businesses reach a large and engaged audience. Sports fans are some of the most ardent consumers, and they are frequently more likely to buy products and services from companies that sponsor their favorite teams or athletes.

Sports sponsorships come in a variety of forms. Some common examples are:

  • Jersey sponsorships: Companies pay to have their logos displayed on sports teams’ jerseys.
  • Companies pay to have their names associated with sports arenas and stadiums through arena sponsorships.
  • Companies pay to sponsor specific sporting events, such as the Super Bowl or the World Cup.
  • Athlete endorsements: Businesses pay athletes to promote their goods or services.

Sponsorships in sports can be a very profitable way for businesses to market their products and services. For example, the average cost of a jersey sponsorship in the English Premier League in 2022 was more than $10 million.

Endorsements in Sports

A sports endorsement is a contract between a company and an athlete in which the athlete agrees to promote the company’s products or services in exchange for a fee.

Sports endorsements can help businesses reach a large and engaged audience. Sports fans are among the most passionate consumers, and they are more likely to buy products and services endorsed by their favorite athletes.

Athletes can endorse products or services in a variety of ways. Some common examples are:

  • Wearing branded clothing or equipment: Athletes may wear clothing or equipment with their sponsors’ logos.
  • Appearances in commercials or advertisements: Athletes may appear in commercials or advertisements for the products or services of their sponsors.
  • Giving interviews or testimonials: Athletes may give interviews or testimonials in which they discuss their experiences using the products or services of their sponsors.

Athletes can make a lot of money from sports endorsements. For example, LeBron James earned more than $50 million in endorsements in 2022.

Media Freedom

The rights to broadcast or stream sporting events are known as media rights. Sports teams and leagues are compensated by media companies for the right to broadcast or stream their games.

Sports teams and leagues rely heavily on media rights to generate revenue. For example, the National Football League (NFL) earned more than $10 billion in media rights deals in 2022.

Media rights agreements are complicated and can vary greatly in terms of terms and value. Some of the factors that can influence the value of a media rights deal are as follows:

  • The sport’s popularity: The more popular a sport is, the more valuable its media rights are.
  • The size of the audience: The larger a sport’s audience, the more valuable its media rights.
  • The level of rivalry: The greater the competition for media rights, the higher the price.

The sports sponsorship, endorsement, and media rights industry is complex and ever-changing. However, these revenue streams are critical to the sports industry’s survival.


Although the sports business is complex and ever-changing, sponsorships, endorsements, and media rights continue to be important revenue streams for sports teams, leagues, and athletes. These revenue streams enable sports organizations to invest in their operations, improve the fan experience, and compensate their players and employees.

Sponsorships, endorsements, and media rights are likely to continue to play an important role in the success of the sports industry as it grows and evolves.


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