A Big Year for the Sponsorship World

With a new year on the horizon, there is no better time to talk about the powerful impact many sponsorship deals had on a variety of industries this year. Although there was a lot of choices to choose from, here are my picks for the top 5 most impactful sponsorship deals of 2013.

Rogers and the NHL

The partnership that made the biggest splash this season was none other than the $5.2 billion sports deal between one of Canada's largerst media companies and the NHL. The 12 year deal finds Rogers locking in the mutimedia broadcast rights for some of Canada's most coveted content, NHL hockey. Although the partnership will not begin until next year, it will have an incredibly large impact on the Canadian sports landscape. The deal will provide Rogers with national broadcasting to all NHL regular season and playoff games, leaving competitor TSN struggling for new content. The deal will eliminate local blackouts, allowing for fans to watch their favourite team no matter which side of the country they are on. Due to a sub-licensing deal with CBC, the popular “Hockey Night In Canada” will continue to air for the next few years which will certainly satisfy fans, atleast until they notice a potential rise in cable fees down the road.

FC Barcelona and Intel

One of the most creative partnerships this year was between FC Barcelona and the multinational technology company, Intel. The company will become the club's official technological sponsor, and they will work with the club to improve the fan experience at Camp Nou. Despite all the technological advances Intel will assist with, the most interesting part of the partnership is reflected through the Intel logo being featured on the inside of each FC Barcelona jersey. Most companies would find more value with their logo on the front of jerseys, but Intel highighted the importance of referencing to their “Intel Inside” slogan instead. The logo will likely be only seen when a player scores a goal and lifts his jersey up in celebration. Despite the unusual nature of their jersey sponsorship, look out for FC Barcelona becoming one of world's leading technological clubs with the help of Intel.

Samsung with the NBA

There is no doubt that tablet technology will have a wide impact on the sports world in the next few years. This three year, $100 million dollar deal between the South Korean giants and the National Basketball Association will see referees utilize Samsung tablet technology for re-watching plays between games and at halftime. As the official handset, tv provider and tablet of the NBA, Samsung will have an opportunity to build a stronger connection with the sport's young demographic. After building partnerships with Lebron James and Jay-Z earlier in the year, it has become clear that Samsung is looking to find new ways to stay innovative and create meaningful partnerships with a lasting impact on their target audience.

Microsoft and the NFL

Similar to the Samsung deal, the NFL launched a partnership with Microsoft that will see tablet technology improve the decision-making and the on-field experience for players, coaches and referees. The partnership doesn't stop with an on-field presence, but rather has a heavy focus on improving the fan experience through exclusive content and fantasy football features on Xbox One and on Surface tablets. This multi-year deal was surely a game-changer in the industry and will redefine the way football fans experience their favourite game.

Twitter with nearly everyone

By providing an opportunity for real-time, digital sponsorships, Twitter has created an attractive opportunity for both the social media platform and various properties to generate additional revenue. Through promoted tweets, real-time highlights and exclusive content with related sponsorship messages, Twitter have been able to bring aboard various partners throughout the year including the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA, BBC America, Fox, and ESPN to name a few. Brand advertisers finally can leverage popular media and sports properties through an integrated digital platform that will allow them to play a role in the social conversation.