Aug 15, 2018 at 12:00 AM
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Eight Sponsor Categories To Keep An Eye On This Fall

It may not feel like it outside yet, but fall is right around the corner. With the change of season upon us, today we're taking a look at a few sponsor categories that are likely to pick up with the change of season:

  • Dental: Dental may not be top of mind when you're thinking of big sponsor categories to fill, but consider that back-to-school is the peak marketing time for most dental practices across the U.S. Then consider that this category has seen some seismic shifts over the past couple of years with well-heeled nationwide chains now such as SmileDirectClub, Aspen Dental and The Smile Generation, now competing with your local down-the-street dentist... and in doing so ramping up brand awareness efforts for rapidly expanding footprints with major new sponsorship deals.
  • Office Supplies: Similarly, back-to-school season is peak spending season for office supplies retailers like Office Depot and Staples, and a major marketing event for big box retailers in general such as Walmart and Target. Expect increased activations over the next 90 days.
  • Meditation and Mental Health: This is a relatively new category that is riding a wave of national press on the topic of mental health to spur on innovative new start-ups like Headspace and Talkspace. Meditation app, Headspace, has had partnerships with New York City Marathon and the NBA, while therapy app Talkspace recently signed a deal with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
  • Meal Delivery: Meal delivery is perhaps the most surprising growth category in our fall report. Trifecta Nutrition's $10 million sponsorship with the UFC, Clean Eats first team sponsorships and Blue Apron's increasing emphasis on experiential marketing are all indicators that category fragmentation is pushing key players within this category to seek sponsorships that can differentiate, create awareness and capture market share.
  • Gambling / Sportsbook: As predicted in our last quarterly forecast, the legalization of sports gambling in many states is already creating new revenue opportunities for teams and leagues. WIlliam Hill's deal with the Las Vegas Lights and the NBA's 3-year, $25 million alliance with MGM are just the tip of the iceberg so look for more deals headed into the fall.
  • Cannabis: Along those same lines, loosening legislation is creating new opportunities for cannabis companies to create national brands. One such company, MedMen, is doubling ad spend to $4 million in its largest advertising push to date. Even though cannabis is rapidly gaining social acceptability, influencers and properties are understandably still anxious about doing weed tie-ups, which means there's a great opportunity for less discerning sponsorship seekers.
  • Security: From home security companies like Vector Security to fast pass systems at stadiums and airports like Clear and IdentoGO, this was one of the most active categories over the summer and clearly a top of mind category for properties and sponsors, alike. Even the Department of Homeland Security itself is partnering with festivals to promote the important "See Something, Say Something" campaign.
  • Films: With September and October being the run-up to the all-important (and increasingly crowded) holiday movie season, we see more and more studios seeking to standout and create awareness for upcoming blockbuster films using sponsorships during this fall time period. Take for example, iHeart Music Festival in September which has partnered to promote two upcoming releases: Lionsgate's A Simple Favor and Warner Bros.' A Star is Born. Depending on the target audience for each individual film, music festivals and professional sports teams can be a good fit so checkout upcoming releases and the studios promoting them.

    Now before you go, take a look back at a few of our categories to watch for Summer 2018.