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A Guide to Sponsorship for the 2023-24 NFL Season

Your guide to navigating sponsoring current NFL players, retired NFL players, and College Football Players during the 2023-2024 season.

Sponsorship guide NFL 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Sponsor?

Things to consider about pricing - the average costs are for social media deals. As the requirements go up, so does the cost of sponsorship and endorsement deals. When brands request more extensive deliverables, such as custom content creation, multiple posts, appearances at events, or exclusivity agreements, the cost of the deal typically increases. Additionally, the popularity, influence, and public image of the athlete can also impact the price, with high-profile individuals commanding higher fees for their endorsement services. 

The average starting cost to work with an active NFL player is $8,500. 


Active NFL Players
The average starting cost to work with a retired NFL player is $8,000.


Retired NFL Players
The average starting cost to work with an active College Football player is $1,000.


Active College Players

Types of Sponsorship Deals

Below are the most common types of deals between brands and football players. Click on a title to expand on the topic.

Social Media Posts

NFL players can do brand deals on purely social media in the form of a post. The player promotes the brand's products or services on their social media channels, such as Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, creating content that aligns with the brand's message and target audience. These brand deals help the brand reach a broader and more engaged fanbase through the player.

UGC Development

Another sponsorship method is curating user-generated content. In these partnerships, the brand showcases the player’s content related to their products or services - without having the player post it on their own social feed. The content may include videos and photos.  These collaborations enable brands to tap into the player's authenticity and credibility, fostering a positive association with their products and strengthening their marketing efforts.

Event Appearances

Event appearances with football players involve partnering with brands and having players attend various events on behalf of the brand - in 2023 this can be in-person or virtual attendance. These events can range from product launches and promotional campaigns to charity functions and public appearances. The athletes act as ambassadors for the brand, lending their star power and popularity to generate interest and excitement around the event. Their presence helps create a positive association between the brand and the player's image, enhancing the brand's reputation and visibility. Additionally, such collaborations allow brands to tap into the vast fanbase and reach of NFL athletes, effectively connecting with their target audience.

Long-term partnerships

Long-term partnerships between brands and athletes involve extended contractual agreements where the athlete becomes an ambassador or spokesperson for the brand over an extended period. These collaborations typically span several years and involve multiple marketing campaigns. For instance, an NFL player like Patrick Mahomes has a long-term partnership with Adidas, where he serves as a brand ambassador, promoting their sportswear and engaging in various marketing initiatives to strengthen the brand's association with his image and success as a football star.

Game Day Activations

Game day activations are short and sweet moments that players have agreed to with a brand. There are a TON of opportunities for brands to make their statement with a player during the pre and post-game moments. One example would be the classic quote after a Super Bowl win - “I’m going to Disneyland”. This is a premeditated brand deal. One that has appeared more recently is brands having players wear certain apparel items during their walk into the stadium. The only limit here is your creativity (and some of the restrictions put in place by the NFL and NCAA).

Sponsorship guide NFL 2023_tom brady


Social Stats

The primary social media platforms of Football players are Instagram and TikTok. College players have a larger presence on Tiktok and Retired players tend to have a larger presence on Facebook and Instagram. 

When having a player post as part of your campaign with them, it's important to play into their strengths - the easiest way is to make sure they post on their most prominent social media account.

Graphic NFL post

NFL Sponsorship Restrictions

College, professional, and even retired NFL football players have stipulations against sponsorships with certain types of products to protect the integrity and reputation of the sport and its athletes. Restrictions would apply to the following:

  • Drug/Alcohol Products - Only retired players
  • CBD Products - Only retired players
  • Betting/Gambling Products - Only retired players

It is important to first take a look at the code of conduct for the NFL, NCAA, and athletes’ previous deals before pursuing any of them for sponsorship. In 2023, the NBA and the NBPA both agreed to allow active players to endorse CBD products. Changes like this come fast and they may be changed mid-season.

Sponsorship guide NFL 2023 sponsorship restrictions

Find the Right Player for Your Brand

Coming into a sponsorship, many times brands will want to go for the most popular player - Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, etc. However, this is often not the best way to approach the player selection process. To find the best fit for your brand you’ll want to review the following: 

How many social media followers does the player have? On what platforms do they have influence - make sure this aligns with your brand. 

#1 Review their Reach

Using OpenSponsorship, you can see data about a Player’s social media following. The split between Male and Female fans, where those fans live, and more. This data is extremely important to make sure that player has an audience that matches your target.

#2 Review their audience data

Review the player's interests, their hobbies, and other activities they participate in outside of football. If you are a vegan health food company, you can look through players’ interests to find vegetarian or vegan players that will enjoy your products.

#3 Review their interests & personal brand

Player Availablity during the Season

NFL and College football seasons run short, with teams playing games once a week. However, throughout the week, teams undergo a set of robust training and practice sessions. With limited time throughout the season, you may be asking: When is there even time to work on these sponsorship deals?

When it comes to a player’s availability during the season, a brand must consider the appropriate deal. If the brand desires to have a player appear in person, then further notice is necessary. Brands must be attentive to the team’s travel schedule. If a brand located in New York is requiring a player from Florida to make an appearance, it is best to schedule the appearance when the team has an away game scheduled in New York. For this reason, we recommend planning in-person appearances before the start of the season.

Social media and UGC deals are more easily done during the season, as players can set aside time to create content on their own time without the burden of making an appearance midway through the season.

Team & Stadium Sponsorship

Want to be the official drink, clothing brand, or anything else of an entire NFL team - it's possible! On OpenSponsorship, teams have profiles much like Athletes where you can see their social media accounts, audience metrics, and more. You can send direct proposals to teams on the platform and their sales team will respond back to you on the platform with their offerings and prices. 

Pro tip! With a Full-Service level account on OpenSponsorship means that you have a dedicated account manager that will handle all conversations and negotiations with the team's representatives. 

Sponsorship guide NFL 2023 sponsorship restrictions
Sponsorship guide NFL 2023 sponsorship restrictions-1

Terms & Conditions

All terms and conditions are set on the OpenSponsorship platform when hiring a player. The Terms and Conditions set on an OpenSponsorship deal are legally binding and payments are held in escrow until both parties are satisfied with the work together.

  • How much will they be paid?
  • What are they required to do?
  • How long can my brand use the content?
  • How long will our partnership last?

    Terms and conditions are INCREDIBLY important for endorsements with large players in the NFL - it is important to set clear expectations and use the OpenSponsorship T&Cs system to make setting these terms easy to understand. Exposing yourself to a missing Term or Condition could mean disaster for campaign deliverables or deadlines.

Inspiration for your Campaign

Click below to expand on one of the campaigns or campaign types mentioned to review the details.

Levi's and Dick's Sporting Goods wanted to announce their new product offering together. OpenSponsorship brought together a portfolio of athletes including Brandin Cooks and Bud Dupree, to promote classic denim now available at Dick’s. For your own campaigns, this included the new style of deal called, “Game-Day Fit” in which an Athlete is wearing branded clothing during their walk in. This can often lead to extra exposure for the brand as these fits are covered by media outlets.

NFL sponsorship guide 2023-24_3


Walmart partnered with NFL Players Justin Fields, Micah Parsons, and Jamal Adams to boost brand awareness for their affordable but stylish Free Assembly clothing line. The athletes shared high-quality lifestyle content on their social media platforms, showcasing outfits from the Summer collection and encouraging their engaged audiences to visit Walmart for the collection. 



Large fast-food chain, Popeye’s, was looking to partner with well-known Chicago athletes to generate hype around the launch of their new chicken sandwich. Because sports are highly aligned with Popeye’s consumer market, they wanted to work with major athletes in each of Chicago’s sports teams across the NBA, NFL, and MLB. They utilized OpenSponsorship’s Amplification Program, allowing them to boost each athlete’s social media posts. 

NFL sponsorship guide 2023-24_2


Why NFL & NCAA Sponsorship?

From the CEO - why your brand should get involved in the 2023 season - be it NFL, NCAA, or with a retired Pro.

Ishveen Jolly_1
From The CEO

"In 2023-24 the NFL will continue its streak of being the most watched sport in America - there are limitless opportunities for brands to capitalize on the attention."

Ishveen Jolly

Work with Football Stars on OpenSponsorship

Looking to sponsor active NFL, retired NFL, or active College players - start for free on OpenSponsorship.