5th December 2018Posted by: Michael Flynn


—Results Released by Sponsorship Industry Benchmarking Service, The POWA Index—

US sports league brands lead the global sponsorship table, with five of them in the top 10 league brands worldwide, according to the POWA Index, the world’s first real-time sponsorship evaluation engine.  

The NBA is the no.1 league brand (and also the top-ranked sponsorship rights-holder overall in the POWA Index), The NFL is the no.2 league brand (no.4 in the overall POWA Index), The MLB is no.6 on the leagues list (no.11 overall), WWE no.9 (20th overall), and The UFC is no.10 (21st overall).  The NHL finished outside of the top 10 leagues and is 28th overall.  While the MLS is 81st in the overall POWA Index.   

POWA Index analysis uses artificial intelligence to rank the impact of sponsorship rights-holders.  Through its proprietary algorithm, the POWA Index analyses trillions of data points across social media reach and engagement, on-field performances and online searches to provide an overall score for each rights-holder.

In the domestic market all five of these competition rights-holders are ranked as more powerful platforms for sponsors than the club brands.  The highest placed US-clubs are the New England Patriots (6th in the US sponsorship table and 22nd in the overall global POWA Index) and the Golden State Warriors (7th in the US, 24th overall).

Beyond the American leagues the dominant force is European soccer, which makes-up 65% of the rights-holders in the POWA Index top 20.  

POWA Index CEO, Michael Flynn, commented:

‘The American professional sports model is unique in the way that it has structured so much of its fan engagement and commercial activity centrally.  This has been of real benefit to sponsors and has helped the leagues create distinctive brands worldwide, and effective marketing domestically, with each of the clubs benefitting equally from sponsorship income.

‘Digital technology is creating more opportunities for the American leagues to generate sponsorship revenue in overseas markets.  This is now a fluid and fast-moving environment. So in the next few years they are likely to be both collaborators and competitors with each other and with the European soccer rights-holders.  

‘It’s a fascinating era for the sponsorship market, which is why we created the POWA Index as a real-time scouting system to help our subscribers monitor the competition and learn lessons right across the global sports landscape.’

 To follow the POWA Index top 20 in real-time visit  Throughout the year, the POWA Index releases a range of analysis graphics and tables exploring the sponsorship potential of the world’s rights-holders – from the elite through to the minor leagues – including the most searched rights-holders online, and the top performers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

POWA index Top 10 Global Leagues

POWA index Top 10 US Sport

POWA index Global Top 20