A recent report by Nielsen, titled The Changing Value of Sponsorship : 2021 Sports Marketing Trends, suggests that the sponsor media value generated by athlete advocacy posts on social media could reach $1.2 billion by 2023. According to the study, 95 percent of the athletes who have more than five million followers used their digital platforms to support a social cause last year and collectively generated around $314 million in media value in 2020, an increase of 80 percent as compared to 2019. This figure is expected to quadruple by 2023, Nielsen forecasts. In addition to the growing popularity of athletes as influencers, the analytics firm cited other global sports marketing trends for 2021 including new sponsorship entrants, new channels and new fan necessities. Among the other findings, the report indicates that virtual and physical sports events are somehow merging in the consumer’s mind. Data showed that 53 percent of fans are now more likely to consider brands that improve the way sports can be viewed at home. The report was compiled based on thousands of client conversations and Nielsen Sports data analysis, the company said.