70 Brands x MLB Sponsors Planning in Q2 2023

March 8, 2023

Even though only three full months have passed since the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies to claim the 2022 World Series title, MLB sponsors are already gearing up for the 2023 season. Keep reading for incredible insights on three of these big spenders planning in Q2 2023. And download the full list of 70 brands planning below.


1)  Honda shuffles marketing team, increases spend

Phil Hruska became the senior manager of Honda marketing in January 2023. Hruska joined the automaker in February 2014 and most recently served as the media department head of Honda and Acura. Now, he leads Honda’s general and multicultural marketing. Hruska succeeds Jessika Laudermilk, who was named as the marketing AVP at parent company American Honda in November 2022. Laudermilk replaced Ed Beadle, who, as marketing and customer experience VP, leads marketing and PR for both brands.

Honda will likely:

  • Shift its strategy.
  • Continue increasing spend.
  • Conduct brand-specific agency reviews.

Target demographic: A wide but male-skewed audience ranging from Gen-Z through Gen-X. Honda has also started ramping up its sustainability efforts, which will appeal to eco-friendly consumers and likely lead to cause marketing initiatives. To support these efforts, it named James Reeves as the senior manager and lead of its sustainability strategy in January 2023.

Spending insights:

  • Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance): Honda allocated $142.7m toward national TV commercials last year, 11% more than the $128.7m allocated in 2021. Its 2022 commercials targeted male sports enthusiasts watching NFL Football, NBA Basketball, College Football, NHL Hockey, and SportsCenter.
  • Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance): In 2022, parent company American Honda spent $34.9m on digital ads, up 7% from the $32.5m spent in 2021.

Agency insights:

  • Get in touch to see if these new DMs are in search of new brand-specific agency partners for Honda.
  • Current agency roster: Publicis.Sapient: Digital AOR; RPA: Creative, media, digital, and social agency partner; Orci: Multicultural agency partner

2)  Levi Strauss taps CDO ahead of CEO transition

Levi Strauss named Jason Gowans as its SVP and CDO, effective February 2023. Gowans joins from Nordstrom where he was most recently its digital commerce SVP. Now, Gowans will lead Levi Strauss’ engineering, data, artificial intelligence, and digital product functions, spearheading a digital transformation designed to bolster the company’s D2C revenue by improving productivity, service, loyalty, and e-Commerce.

Gowans reports to Michelle Gass, who will become Levi Strauss’ CEO in the next 18 months. As of January 2023, Gass manages Levi’s brand, along with its international digital and commerce operations. She will succeed Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss’ president and CEO of over a decade. Levi Strauss recently detailed during an event that it has plans to ramp up investment in D2C, stores, e-Commerce, and other digital functions with the goal of reaching up to $10b in revenue within the next five years. The company has been ramping up PR and brand partnerships for its Beyond Yoga brand.

Levi Strauss will likely:

  • Ramp up D2C awareness initiatives
  • Further shift its strategy, especially its digital strategy
  • Increase spend, especially for its Levi’s brand
  • Conduct agency reviews

Target demographic: Gen-Z and millennials

Spending insights:

  • Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance): Out of its brands, Levi Strauss only advertises Levi’s via national TV
  • Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance; note that this includes data for all LS brands): In 2022, Levi Strauss ended up spending roughly $14m on digital ads. The company earned 2.2b digital impressions last year via desktop video (36%), Instagram (27%), desktop display (18%), Facebook (10%), Twitter (6%), mobile display (3%), and mobile video (1%) ads.

Agency insights:

  • Gowans may conduct agency reviews, so get in touch soon to remain top-of-mind. ​​​​​​​His digital duties and background make digital hires especially likely.
  • Current agency roster: Droga5​​​​​​​: Creative AOR; FCB West: Creative AOR; Universal McCann: Media AOR; Deloitte Digital’s Heat: Media AOR; Kenna: Digital agency partner; Matterkind: Programmatic agency partner; and Syndicate Sub Rosa: Creative agency partner

3)  Nike targets younger consumers in new campaign

In its newest campaign, Nike encourages young people to pursue sports. The campaign also includes activations that support the communities that help remove barriers separating people from sports. This initiative also involves partnerships with influencers such as LeBron James and Zendaya.

Nike will likely:

  • Keep shifting spend, including an increase in digital spend since Nike is working to reach younger potential athletes.
  • Pursue influencer relationships.
  • Seek additional new agency partners following a recent AOR appointment.

Target demographic: Gen Alpha and Gen-Z. Nike traditionally targets millennial and Gen-X men, especially male sports enthusiasts, but this new campaign is geared toward younger audiences.

Spending insights:

  • Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance): In 2022, Nike spent $34.1m on national TV. Its 2022 commercials targeted male sports enthusiasts watching the 2022 Winter Olympics, NBA Basketball, the FIFA World Cup 2022, MLB Baseball, and NFL Football.
  • Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance): The company allocated $88.6m toward digital ads last year, a significant decrease from the $122m allocated in 2021.
  • Additional channel insights: The company utilizes print, OOH, local broadcast, radio, Google Ads, TikTok, and online video ads.

Agency insights:

  • Get in touch soon to offer PR and/or digital analytics services.
  • Current agency roster: PMG: Media AOR; Wieden + Kennedy Portland: Creative AOR; Critical Mass: Creative AOR; R/GA: Digital AOR; and AnalogFolk: Digital AOR.


Subscribe to the Winmo blog to receive actionable insights you can use now.

Related Content
Breaking News
Unlocking Efficiency with Winmo Compose, Your AI Writing Assistant
Salespeople spend on average 21% of their day emailing prospects, and increasingly, those emails go unanswered. Crafting the perfect message...
Breaking News
5 Brands Surging on Digital & Social: How Winmo Plus Helps Capture Marketing Budgets
In the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, staying a step ahead isn’t just an advantage — it’s a necessity....
Breaking News
SXSW 2024: Winmo’s Top Industry Takeaways
What a week in Austin. Despite the common skepticism about the festival’s relevance, SXSW showcased its adaptability and innovation, staying...