A wise philosopher once said that the rush of attending a sporting event can be compared to the thrill of driving a giant truck through a muddy jungle or cruising at 120 miles per hour around a dusty ocean-side trail at midnight. In retrospect, that wise philosopher may have been a commercial I saw while watching the Warriors sweep the Cavaliers last month but the sentiment is immaculate in its veracity. There is a feeling of exhilaration involved with both watching a joust and whipping a luxury car, and the automotive and sports industries are fully aware of it. So aware are these adjacent industries that they have quartered it out like it was draft season, with companies partnering up with their respective leagues in anticipation of the playoffs. Listed below are some of the major players in the sports world, in addition to an analysis of their prestigious sponsors.
- NHL – Honda
The game is cold out there on the ice, both figuratively and literally. To warm things up in the frigid arena, car behemoth Honda has peppered National Hockey League games with lively diversions at the most opportune times. All-Star Games are a particularly exciting event, in no small part due to the awe-inspiring ritual of trotting a model out onto the playing field and giving it away to a lucky fan. Commissioners have noticed a spike in attendance after this practice became known and more widespread, prompting the motor vehicle giant to step its production game up. These days, the bond between the car company and the NHL is stronger than ever.
- NFL – Hyundai
The partnership between the National Football League and Hyundai may come as a surprise to some. After all, the commercials that tend to play during regular season games skew towards folks of the truck persuasion. Perhaps the NFL is covertly attempting to make tailgates a more environmentally friendly affair. After all, if one truck with a grill attracts three more trucks worth of diners, wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce emissions by swapping the non-grill trucks with gas-efficient hybrids? No matter the case, $100 million dollars a year makes for some pretty prolific Super Bowl commercials and a plethora of perks on the side.
- NBA – Kia
The National Basketball Association is as popular as ever in this modern world of sports. It should come as no surprise that the contest for the title of Official NBA Sponsor was an urgent scrimmage, one that was carried out with intensity and deliberation. In the end, automotive titan Kia found itself tasked with sponsoring the greatest league on the planet. Interestingly enough, the partnership between Kia and the NBA has become so strong that the league has its own official model, the Optima.
In summation, it would definitely be a safe bet to say that the world of sports would be nowhere near as successful as it is without the aid of sponsors.