Sports Sponsor of the Year
ABI broke new ground with the “Bud Light Fridges” activation around the Cleveland Browns and through deals with the players associations for the NBA and MLB that made the company the first beermaker in 60 years to feature active players from those leagues in its ads.
Buoyed by its strong presence at the Orange Bowl and NCAA Tournament, Capital One made a big splash with the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup title run. With special deals and experiences for cardholders, the company even featured a mashup of its logo with the Capitals wordmark across all of its platforms.
Geico signed on as a corporate sponsor of the NCAA, the patch sponsor of all three Monumental Sports & Entertainment basketball teams and title sponsor of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. As a long-standing partner of the NHL, it activated around the league’s biggest events.
Pizza Hut made the most of its opportunities by stepping in as the NFL’s official pizza sponsor and extending its partnership with the NCAA through 2021. It also became the official pizza of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams.
Massive naming-rights deals put the company’s name on two big league venues — State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and newly renovated State Farm Arena in Atlanta. State Farm also debuted double-box advertising during the NFL season, with its commercials on half the screen and a break in the game on the other half.