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Big Four US Sports Enjoy Sponsorship Hike

SportsBusiness, November 19, 2010

By Matt Cutler

The four major North American sports leagues are expected to see sponsorship revenue increase by 7.6 per cent in 2010 according to IEG, the unit of advertising giant WPP.

The rise is partly down to the return of the financial and automotive sectors after a decline last year brought on by the weak US economy.

According to IEG, spending by companies backing the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) is projected to increase to more than $2.28 billion in 2010 from $2.12 billion last year.

The same leagues saw sponsorship revenue fall 3.9 per cent last year.

The NHL showed the largest gain, rising to an estimated $327 million this year from $299 million in 2009. The hockey league was followed by the NBA (up 8.5 per cent to $536 million), the NFL (up seven per cent to $870 million) and MLB (up 6.7 per cent to $548 million).