Dec 03, 2019 at 12:00 AM
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Nine Sponsorship Categories to Watch this Winter

While Winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st, several sponsorship categories are heating up heading into the holidays. Here are nine categories you may want to consider adding to your sponsorship radar heading into 2020. 

Plant-based Products: The growing plant-based food products sector is looking to go from niche mom-and-pop retailers to mainstream supermarket aisles. Have you seen GameChangers? To accelerate product acceptance and awareness, companies like Beyond Meat, Lightlife Foods and OWYN have all signed high profile sponsorships in recent months. As consumers turn to diets after the New Year, look for these companies to up Q1 ad spending.

Wine and Spirits: While beer tends to lag in the winter months, wine and spirits naturally takes off typically between November and January. The NFL recently secured its first official wine, while the , Flyers, Lakers, Nascar, and Clippers are among the teams securing new spirits sponsorships in the past 60 days. 

Politics: Political campaigns, despite in some cases raising hundreds of millions of dollars in ad money, don't ordinarily turn to sponsorships, but in this topsy turvy political environment the one thing to expect headed into the 2020 election year is the unexpected. While not without precedent, the barrier has typically been that major properties either don't want to get involved in politics or would rather sell long-term deals, which obviously won't work for a campaign. With everyone and everything being dragged into the political discourse these days, whether they like it or not, and the increasing acceptance towards selling fragmented, short-term just-in-time sponsorship inventory, 2020 may be different.

Fitness Apps: While gyms have always been packed in January, this year look for a new breed of fitness apps to lead the way when it comes to getting us back in game shape led by recently public Peloton and recently acquired FitBit.

Meal Kits: Similarly, the popularity of meal delivery plans will no doubt skyrocket after the holidays as consumers look to make an easier transition to their annual diet tradition. Trifecta Nutrition, Clean Eats, DeliverLean and Blue Apron are a few of the companies in this category using experiential marketing to differentiate, create awareness and capture market share in an industry that some forecast will double to $10 billion by 2020.

Dental: Laser dentistry and the emergence of DTC dentistry products like SmileDirect, have created intense competition for brand awareness and share in what was traditionally a hyperlocal category. Some of the companies signing recently sponsorship deals in this category include InvisalignBiolaseSmileDirectClub and The Smile Generation.

Casinos/Gambling: The legalization and broader widespread acceptance of gambling in many states is creating massive new revenue opportunities for teams and leagues. This trend certainly shows no signs of slowing. Check out all the latest deals by going to and entering Gambling in the sponsorship category field.

Tax Prep: If you're like most, you'll probably wait until early April to scramble on taxes, but that won't stop tax prep companies like TaxActTaxSlayerH&R Block and Intuit from making an early (and earlier) play for your business with high-profile marketing and sponsorships.

Job Search: According to TopResume, January and February are the best times to search for long-term, full-time jobs as most companies receive updated budgets and sales forecasts at this time of year. With this in mind, it's not a bad time for properties with an upscale, professional audience to help search engines like Ziprecruiter and Indeed capitalize on this seasonality.