Top Car & Auto Athlete Endorsements and Sponsorships

AutomotiveEndorsements_Blog

There are many automotive brands in today’s marketplace, all consistently vying for your attention. With a car purchase being a major life event and one that comes with much careful consideration, it’s no surprise that the athletes on this list so proudly vouch for the auto brands (and services) that are featured. They use these products on a near-daily basis. It’s no wonder that they strategize about the automotive sponsorships that, considering these exclusive partnership opportunities simply do not come around every day.

Here are the top 18 athlete automotive endorsements in terms of social following:

Jaguar

Total Athlete Following: 315 thousand

Ash Barty | WTA

Instagram Following: 223,000

Twitter Following: 92,000

Facebook Following: N/A

Total Following: 315,000

Barty shows off her Jaguar on social media. She references it for when she golfs in her free time as “the only warm-up drive I need before the first tee.”

Dodge

Total Athlete Following: 457 thousand

Leah Pruett | NHRA

Instagram Following: 249,000

Facebook Following: 163,000

Twitter Following: 45,000

Total Following: 457,000

Pruett, like many of the drivers featured on this list, reps her car’s brand both on and off the raceway. Yet, Pruett differentiates herself by taking a more personalized approach to her endorsement deal. 

She is quite active in incorporating Dodge within her social media, providing custom captions that break the mold of cookie-cutter ad copy. Whether it is “skrt skrt… 3 days left to grab those presents. What’s everyone sleighing these days in?” or showcasing her own massive Dodge collection, Pruett sets herself apart with the authenticity that she displays when highlighting the Dodge brand.

Castrol

Total Athlete Following: 969 thousand

Christian Ramirez | MLS

Instagram Following: 20,000

Twitter Following: 10,000

Facebook Following: 1,000

Total Following: 31,000

As an endorser of Ford, Ramirez recently teamed up for a digital activation with the brand. In lieu of COVID-19, the Houston Dynamo player previewed the new 2021 Ford F-150 with the help of AR technology. The post even includes the opportunity for a fan to win a truck for themselves!

Joey Logano | NASCAR

Twitter Following: 510,000

Instagram Following: 219,000

Facebook Following: 209,000

Total Following: 938,000

Logano has been with the Ford family for years. As he drives the Ford Mustang on the track, he also involves himself with the brand away from the course. 

Recently, he teamed with fellow driver Hailie Deegan to help deliver 350 holiday hams and 5,000 face masks to local charities. The items were courtesy of Ford and it allowed Logano and Deegan to interact with fellow Ford drivers as they swapped stories about their shared love for their favorite car brand.

Toyota

Total Athlete Following: 2.3 million

Aljamain "Funkmaster" Sterling | UFC

Instagram Following: 221,000

Twitter Following: 102,000

Facebook Following: 24,000

Total Following: 347,000

When your nickname is “Funkmaster”, your whip is going to be pretty smooth. 

And that’s exactly what Sterling delivered to his fans when he teamed with Vegas dealership Findlay Toyota to get his hands on the Toyota Camry Hybrid. He claimed on Instagram he found a ride that is “reliable, efficient, has a good sound system” not to mention one where he doesn’t have to make as many gas station stops during a busy fight camp.

Kyle Busch | NASCAR

Twitter Following: 931,000

Facebook Following: 523,000

Instagram Following: 346,000

Total Following: 1.8 million

Busch proudly reps his associate with the #18 Camry car that he drives on racedays in both his Twitter and Instagram bios. Recently, he highlighted the different M&M’s paint schemes throughout this past year.

Nissan

Total Athlete Following: 8.7 million

Mark Ingram II | NFL

Instagram Following: 622,000

Twitter Following: 607,000

Facebook Following: 228,000

Total Following: 1.4 million

Ingram II is one of many NFL superstars who has an endorsement contract with Nissan that takes part in the brand’s “Heisman House” campaign. Ingram recently highlighted the blooper segment of the brand’s campaign as he was unable to shake off Tim Tebow’s scientific naming of various plants and foliage.

Kyler Murray | NFL

Instagram Following: 1.2 million

Twitter Following: 285,000

Facebook Following: N/A

Total Following: 1.4 million

In many of the “Heisman House” commercial spots, which are additionally displayed on social media, Murray can be seen showcasing his ability to predict and anticipate situations as displayed by answering Tim Tebow’s phone call questions before they even occur.

Baker Mayfield| NFL

Instagram Following: 1.6 million

Twitter Following: 743,000

Facebook Following: 185,000

Total Following: 2.5 million

Mayfield was an active participant in the “Heisman House” campaign. He showed his “everyman” vibe and lighthearted nature even as Charles Woodson was constantly berated him whilst barbequing or parking a Nissan Sentra.

Lamar Jackson | NFL

Instagram Following: 1.6 million

Twitter Following: 743,000

Facebook Following: 185,000

Total Following: 2.5 million

Mayfield was an active participant in the “Heisman House” campaign. He showed his “everyman” vibe and lighthearted nature even as Charles Woodson was constantly berated him whilst barbequing or parking a Nissan Sentra.

Kia

Total Athlete Following: 40.9 million

Rafael Nadal | ATP

Twitter Following: 15.7 million

Facebook Following: 14.9 million

Instagram Following: 10.3 million

Total Following: 40.9 million

In one of the most immersive and inspirational campaigns you’ll see, Kia worked with the tennis superstar’s fans to truly show their support for the living legend.

In conjunction with the Rafa Nadal Foundation, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary, Kia Motors Worldwide encouraged fans to support Nadal’s pursuit of his 20th Grand Slam victory while simultaneously aiding the Foundation in support of the effects from a long 2020. 

Fans were able to show their support by painting customized arts on their Instagram stories and incorporating the hashtag #TakeOn20. These works of arts were then printed out and featured in the form of physical fliers throughout the Paris area where the 2020 French Open was taking place so that Nadal can see them on the way to his matches. Additionally, the night before the final, large electronic billboard were displayed that cycled through some of the most popular art submissions.

Ultimately, the campaign culminated in five children from the Rafa Nadal Foundation taking part in an exclusive meeting with the champion. They were able to share a private moment with the champ where they asked him questions about his career and talked candidly about the hardships that 2020 brought.

The tennis player showed his appreciation for the entire campaign as Kia put the icing on the cake with a framed poster that displayed various art submissions from the #TakeOn20 campaign.

Mercedes-Benz

Total Athlete Following: 71.1 million

Lewis Hamilton | Formula 1

Instagram Following: 21.4 million

Twitter Following: 6.1 million

Facebook Following: 5.3 million

Total Following: 32.8 million

As one of the brand’s premiere endorsers, Hamilton reps Mercedes both on and off the track. When he is not driving the #44 Mercedes-Benz car, he is showcasing the brand’s attire on social media. Recently, he featured the different helmets he wore in 2020, all prominently featuring the iconic Mercedes-Benz logo.

Roger Federer | ATP

Facebook Following: 18.2 million

Twitter Following: 12.7 million

Instagram Following: 8 million

Total Following: 38.9 million

As part of his athlete endorsement, Federer narrated Mercedes-Benz’s newest campaign where he lent his narration for the new V-Class, imploring fans to “Make your Move.”

Audi

Total Athlete Following: 170.6 million

Erik Fedko | BMX

Instagram Following: 81,000

Twitter Following: N/A

Facebook Following: N/A

Total Following: 81,000

Fedko incorporates the Audi brand throughout his lifestyle, prominently displaying the iconic looped rings logo within his training course as well as within shout outs on his Instagram.

Lukas Knoff | BMX

Instagram Following: 341,000

Twitter Following: N/A

Facebook Following: N/A

Total Following: 341,000

Knoff shouts out Audi’s German following on his Instagram as he recollects on past road trips and memories made along the way.

Virat Kohli | Cricket

Instagram Following: 87.2 million

Twitter Following: 39.8 million

Facebook Following: 43.3 million

Total Following: 170.3 million

Kohli is one of the most marketable and influential athletes on the planet and his endorsement deal with Audi showcases that to a T. He teamed with Audi India to help launch the Audi Q8. In nearly a year since he posted the launch on Instagram, the post has amassed over 1.2 million likes.

The athletes featured on this list combine for a staggering 296+ million social following. Considering that the brands on this list range from family-friendly to supreme luxury, it is fascinating to see the athletes that fit each style and how each utilize different methods in order to ultimately activate these brands on their social media accounts.

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