IEG's report said that gambling sites and technology companies heavily contributed to the record revenues.
"It's not coming from traditional places," IEG global managing director Peter Laatz told CNBC. "Not only are we seeing emerging talent on the field; we're seeing emerging categories."
Sports betting companies like DraftKings and FanDuel contributed a great share of the NFL's sponsorship revenues in 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Tech partnerships earned most of the $1.8 million for the NFL, followed by sponsorships with gambling and alcohol companies. Betting sites DraftKings and FanDuel became partners in 2021.
IEG said that lotteries, casinos and sports gambling accounted for the largest increase in NFL sponsorship deals, while tech deals contributed the most in absolute dollars.
One of the league's largest sponsorship deals is with Verizon, worth more than $300 million a year. The carrier signed a new 10-year deal with the NFL in September. Microsoft has a $100 million dollar per year NFL agreement and Anheuser-Busch pays the league more than $250 million each year.
The Tennessee Titans' Ryan Tannehill (R) takes photos with football fans before facing the Cincinnati Bengals
in an NFL Divisional Playoff game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on January 22, 2022. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo