May 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM
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Seven Sponsor Categories for Summer 2019

Summer is no time to slouch if you're in sponsorship sales. In fact, while it's true that it may be harder to get in touch with sponsors between Memorial Day and Labor Day, many sponsorship categories pick-up activity in a big way over the summer months. Here are seven sponsorship categories to keep on your radar as you're looking to add new sponsors over the summer months...

Solar - Solar is top of mind as summertime temps rise, but the truth is the category has been growing for years. While one of the category's most active sponsors, DC Solar, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, there are plenty of other active sponsors in the category looking to make a name for themselves with sports sponsorships such PowerHome and Hanwha Q Cells.

Cannabis - A regular on our quarterly list, CBD shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to sponsorships with recent high profile sponsorships in motorsports, golf and even an official partnership with UFC, the first of its kind. Leading the charge is cbdMD, which is using sports sponsorships to acquire customers in the land grab stage of this fast-growing industry. The big question - will teams open up to cannabis deals?

Alternative Nicotine Products - While very controversial in nature, there's no question that alternative nicotine products (think e-cigarettes) offer a potential windfall for properties that are open to a sponsor in this category. With the industry expected to reach $42B in the next 5 years, heavyweights like Juul are spending big bucks to grow the market and gain market share by encouraging smokers to make the switch. That said, the industry is bigger than vaping. For instance, Swedish Match's tobacco-free nicotine pouch, ZYN, has sponsored four high-profile music festivals in the past month alone and other newcomers will likely be looking to make a mark in this growing category through sponsorships.

Sunscreen - There's no more endemic category for outdoor sports in summertime than sunscreen and it's becoming essential that health-conscious properties play a role in advocating for summer skin care. While you may think this category is tapped out, it's not just Banana Boat and Coppertone anymore. Relative newcomers like Art of Sport and Crown Laboratories' Blue Lizard have cut signifiant sponsorship deals in the run-up to summer 2019.

Eye Care - Increased competition and innovation from the likes of Zenni, Eyemart Express, Eyecarrot and Warby Parker are shaking up a traditional category with Novato, California-based Zenni leading the pack in terms of sports and music partnerships.

Wine & Spirits - This one's an easy one. If you plan on visiting any major music festival or sporting event this summer, chances are you'll be seeing plenty of hard seltzer heavyweights like Mike's White Claw, wine brands like Barefoot and Italian apertif, Aperol.

Food Delivery - DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub Seamless and Postmates are all increasingly using high profile experiential sponsorships to differentiate and increase market share within the crowded food delivery space. While UberEats recently signed a partnership with the NCAA, Postmates has opted for major music festivals through a partnership with AEG and DoorDash is deploying some of its $400 million in fresh capital into a new summer integrated marketing campaign.