London, UK – 20th September, 2021


Global sportswear giant tops SportsPro’s second annual list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Brands powered by Hookit

Adidas, Emirates, Santander and Red Bull complete this year’s top five

Brands ranked according to Hookit’s SportGraph™ and computer vision technology

Sportswear giant Nike has been ranked as the most marketable brand in international sport according to SportsPro’s second annual list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Brands powered by Hookit.

The Oregon, USA-based company, which has more than 16,000 athletes and sports organisations promoting its brand worldwide, was found to have received the most value of any entity invested in sports sponsorship, coming in ahead of Adidas, Emirates, Santander and Red Bull.

With more than 8.77 billion engagements on social media posts promoting its brand in a single year, Nike’s total sponsorship value received surpassed US$616.5 million – over US$270 million more than closest rival Adidas. That total represented a 58 per cent increase in branded engagements and 34 per cent increase in sponsorship value received by the Swoosh compared to last year.

Hookit’s proprietary methodology for assessing sponsorship value is built upon its SportGraph™ and computer vision technology, which tracks the social activity of every major professional athlete, team and league, totalling over 500,000 accounts. To arrive at the total value received by each brand, Hookit examines two key metrics – potential value and promotion quality – which are multiplied together to determine a discounted Adjusted Ad Value (AAV).

For this year’s ranking, all social and digital posts from professional athletes, teams, leagues, events, and venues between 15th August 2020 and 15th August 2021 were examined for brand promotion. Over 30,000 sports organisations and athletes posted during this period, promoting over 8,000 brands across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, VK, Weibo and YouTube.

Now in its 12th year, SportsPro’s 50MM platform enables sports marketers to make sponsorship decisions more quickly and intelligently than ever by objectively assessing where true value lies in sports marketing through the application of in-depth data analysis, social media monitoring, and consumer insights.

After their successful expansion in 2020, this year once again sees the release of separate global top 50 lists for athletes, brands and properties, including leagues, teams, governing bodies and major events across the globe.

The 2021 list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Brands powered by Hookit has been released in full today via a dedicated 50MM content hub containing interactive tables and graphics, individual commercial profiles, features, podcasts and more. There are 14 new brands shaking up the top 50 this year, including a new entrant in the top ten. Also, top ten rankings for 14 major industries have been included, providing an inside look at over 150 brands across sports.

“SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable lists are an institution in the world of sports and, at Hookit, we are pleased to bring our trusted methodologies and data to power the 50 Most Marketable Brands list again in 2021. The brands on this list are truly getting the most out of their sponsorship investments,” said Scott Tilton, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Hookit.

“Our focus on social media sponsorship measurement allows us to leverage the power and depth of data across all the social media channels to remove any subjectivity from these rankings, built on over five billion data points. Brands are getting smarter and more data-focused in their marketing and this list has become a trusted benchmark for brands to know how they compare to competitors or peers, especially with the top tens by segment included in this year’s rankings.

“It’s no surprise to see Nike still at the top, but there’s a significant shake up in this year’s rankings compared to 2020 due to sporting events coming back, like the Euros and Summer Olympics. Looking forward to 2022, data, machine learning and AI will continue to drive the sponsorship industry forward and look out for major sponsors of the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and others to see a massive increase in exposure and value.”

Michael Long, Editorial Director at SportsPro, added: “As in 2020, this year’s ranking clearly illustrates the effectiveness of social activation around sports sponsorships and the extent to which leagues, teams and athletes can drive significant value for all types of brand partners.

“Notably, the list also speaks to the continued cultural relevance and unparalleled marketing nous of Nike, which has weaved itself not only into the fabric of professional sport, but in the everyday lives of global consumers and the social causes they support.”

To view the full list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Brands powered by Hookit, head over to SportsPro’s dedicated 50MM content hub at Join in the conversation using the hashtag #SP50MM.

The list will also be explored in depth during a dedicated virtual event, titled ‘Inside the 2021 Most Marketable Brands’, on Thursday 7th October. Register to access the event  for free at

World’s 50 Most Marketable Brands powered by Hookit – the top ten:

  1. Nike
  2. Adidas
  3. Emirates
  4. Santander
  5. Red Bull
  6. Puma
  7. State Farm
  8. Monster Energy
  9. Dream11
  10. Heineken

See The Full 50
About SportsPro
SportsPro is the world’s leading international media company for the sports industry in print, digital and events. Launched in 2008, SportsPro is our highly respected flagship magazine combining in-depth reporting and analysis with diverse features and top-level interviews. Since 2014 SportsPro has also hosted annual conferences across the globe providing outstanding content, access and networking opportunities to top-level executives from the leading rights holders, broadcasters and content distributors. For more information about SportsPro, or to contact a member of the team today, visit

About Hookit
Hookit is the leading AI-powered sponsorship technology platform empowering brands to evaluate & optimize their athlete & sports partnerships. The best CMOs & sports marketing executives realize that social media is now central to maximizing the value of sponsorship marketing spend. As a pioneer in the Spontech space and strategic partner of the world’s largest brands, Hookit empowers marketers to impact the bottom line by measuring sponsorship spend and partnerships against a standardized set of KPIs. We combine real-time dashboards with insights and recommendations that can be leveraged across your organization to positively impact your sponsorship strategy and results. To learn more, visit

For more information contact:
Roger Breum, Head of Marketing & Insights, Hookit
Paul Guest, Commercial Director, SportsPro