Paint companies are putting a new sheen on the sports and entertainment landscape.

Looking to engage customers and mine business from rightsholders, paint companies are expanding their portfolios like never before.

Business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies have signed a number of deals over the past two years ranging from professional soccer teams to PGA Tour events and motorsports leagues and teams.

Recent deals include The Sherwin-Williams Co. and MLS Orlando City SC and Valspar Corp. and the Valspar Championship PGA Tour event, a partnership the company recently extended through 2020.

The ties follow a flurry of activity in 2015 including Axalta Coating Systems and the NFL Philadelphia Eagles; Rust-Oleum Corp. and the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers; and Sherwin-Williams and the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The sponsorships come amid a backdrop of increased competition and industry consolidation. Fueled by an 8.3 percent reduction in the cost of raw materials, global paint sales rose 3.5 percent in 2015 to $128.2 billion, according to the World Paint & Coatings Industry Assn.

The trade group categorizes the paint industry into three primary segments: architectural, industrial and special purpose coatings. Sales of architectural coatings accounted for 49 percent of total sales in 2015.

Sherwin-Williams proposed $11.3 billion merger with Valspar is expected to drive even more activity as the newly-formed company expands its global finishing business in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The merger will create the second-largest paint company in the world behind Amsterdam-based Akzo Nobel based on 2015 sales. The deal is expected to close by 2Q 2017.

Sherwin-Williams is the most active sponsor in the paint category while Valspar is the fourth most active sponsor, according to IEG research. Fifty-four percent of properties with a sponsor in the category report a sponsorship with Sherwin-Williams while 10 percent report a partnership with Valspar.

Sponsorship Activity In The Paint Category
Sports receive the lion’s share of sponsorship spending in the paint category followed by associations and causes, according to IEG research.

Sports account for 47 percent of spending, associations 32 percent, causes 10 percent and arts/entertainment 8 percent.

Local, regional and national apartment associations account for the majority of spending in the association sector. Sherwin-Williams, for instance, has partnerships with the National Association of Residential Property Managers and a slew of other associations.

WHERE PAINT COMPANIES SPEND MONEY (GLOBALLY)
WHERE PAINT COMPANIES SPEND MONEY

With a portfolio that spans pro sports, motorsports and a healthy dose of associations, Sherwin-Williams is by far the most active sponsor in the paint category.

THE MOST ACTIVE PAINT COMPANIES (BY NUMBER OF DEALS)
THE MOST ACTIVE PAINT COMPANIES
Fifty-four percent of properties with a sponsor in the paint category report a partnership with Sherwin-Williams.