A centralized sales process and growing focus on nontraditional categories is paying dividends for Major League Baseball.

The pro sports league secured seven new sponsors in the 2015 season: Amazon Web Services, DraftKings, Esurance, Falken Tire, The Hartford, Maytag and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

Those new ties helped lift sponsorship spending for the league and its 30 teams an estimated 12 percent —the largest year-over-year increase among the four major U.S. sports leagues.

Overall sponsorship spending on Major League Baseball totaled $778 million in the 2015 season.

MLB League/Team Sponsorship Revenue
MLB League/Team Sponsorship Revenue

Among notable activity, New Era replaced Anheuser-Busch InBev as the most active sponsor of baseball. DraftKings is the second most active sponsor with Anheuser-Busch in third.

MLB Most Active Sponsors (League/Team)
MLB Most Active Sponsors (League/Team)

Ninety-four percent of properties with a sponsor in the headwear category report a partnership with New Era.

Food and retail replaced alcoholic beverages as the most active categories sponsoring baseball. Food brands are 4.9 times more likely to sponsor Major League Baseball than the average of all sponsors, according to IEG research.

MLB Most Active Categories (League/Team)
MLB Most Active Categories (League/Team)

Food brands are 4.9 times more likely to sponsor MLB than the average of all sponsors.

MLB Team Sponsorship Revenue Rankings
MLB Team Sponsorship Revenue Rankings

2015 MLB Sponsors & Categories
2015 NFL Sponsors & Categories