• 1A person or organization that pays for or contributes to the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.

    ‘the production cost £50,000, most coming from local sponsors’
    • ‘The funny thing is, many sponsors just do not realize that they can get a lot more mileage sponsoring women's events.’
    • ‘Most blues festivals are funded, in part, by corporate sponsors, local businesses, and individual contributors.’
    • ‘The torture of such evenings is deliberately prolonged because awards are divided into as many categories as possible so each can attract a sponsor to add to the event's income.’
    • ‘For example, be a sponsor of a local art contest or an artist award.’
    • ‘It was the presenting sponsor of The Ballunar Festival's balloon extravaganza in August in Dallas and Houston.’
    • ‘It had been a small, arts and crafts affair with no outside sponsors and, apart from petrol money for a few of the performers no one had been paid for their work.’
    • ‘The festival is living its own life in peace, dealing with ordinary problems - sponsors, audience, public opinion.’
    • ‘For the third year, it is the presenting sponsor of the Farm Aid concert.’
    • ‘You may also have to pay a ‘hanging fee’ on top of your entry fee; on top of everything else, competitions are big money makers for their sponsors.’
    • ‘And if Ford was a sponsor, at least the festival was free.’
    • ‘The Water Tower sponsors such events as art classes, auctions and a local film festival, in addition to housing gallery space for cutting-edge artworks.’
    • ‘All big publishing houses were sponsors of the Book Fair and competed in attracting visitors to their stalls.’
    • ‘For example, if you donate a framed piece to a charity auction, be sure to attend the auction and ask to be recognized as a sponsor in the program, in any public relations efforts or with a personal introduction at the event.’
    • ‘The competition was such a positive experience because it was so well organized and because everyone involved - volunteers, sponsors - was excited about the event.’
    • ‘When no sponsor was found to plug the gap, it pulled the concert, forfeiting a substantial deposit.’
    backer, financier, subsidizer, underwriter, guarantor, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor
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    1. 1.1A person who pledges to donate a certain amount of money to another person after they have participated in a fundraising event organized on behalf of a charity.
      benefactor, benefactress, humanitarian, patron, patroness, donor, contributor, giver, backer, helper, altruist, good samaritan
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    2. 1.2US A business or organization that pays for or contributes to the costs of a radio or television programme in return for advertising.
      ‘NBC found a sponsor willing to put the election up on prime time’
      • ‘Although we are told at the beginning of each episode that the crew may only spend $3000, a great number of freebies from sponsors show up to make things easier.’
      • ‘The last thing the media want is something with any hint of reality, any threatening sound or sentiment that disturbs the cosy world of MTV, sponsors and commercial radio.’
      • ‘The ReelWorld Film Festival isn't yet a hurricane, although it continues to absorb more sponsors, expand its programming and attract a growing audience base.’
      • ‘Would the sponsors and the television network be happy with do-overs?’
      • ‘Finally, I need to state once again my very dim view of including commercial sponsors in the middle of an extra features documentary aimed at kids.’
      • ‘When they returned, flat broke, he worked as a waiter and approached potential sponsors for the money he need to put the film together.’
      • ‘Fear and discrimination by sponsors, abetted by commercial broadcasting's need for operating revenue from ad sales, could not be ignored.’
      • ‘The BBC promises to drop its plugs for the sponsors.’
      • ‘The bonus menu - which is really nothing more than ads for sponsors and websites - is completely blank.’
      • ‘Someone co-ordinated with the radio or TV producers and sponsors, and held a larger vision of the whole than either performer or listener could.’
      • ‘Another announcer replaces the first and mentions the corporate sponsor of the station's programming: Colet and Company.’
      • ‘NBC is promising sponsors to drive traffic with hourly plugs during its prime time Olympic coverage in September, plus mentions on MSNBC and CNBC.’
      • ‘Even the program's sponsors get excellent treatment, with short documentary featurettes available about them too!’
      • ‘There are also TV promotional spots for the series and two filmed messages from Day in which she addressed the series' sponsor and affiliates in lieu of making a personal appearance.’
      • ‘The broadcaster was one of those who lead the charge, using private money when the television sponsors refused to finance their programme.’
      • ‘Hitchcock has satisfied his advertising sponsors.’
      • ‘CBS, our sponsors, and I want to thank everyone here in the audience, and those of you who allowed us into your living rooms.’
      backer, patron, promoter, subsidizer, benefactor, benefactress, guarantor, underwriter, supporter, friend
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  • 2A person who introduces and supports a proposal for legislation.

    ‘a leading sponsor of the bill’
    • ‘The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, the sponsor of this bill, states that hundreds, if not thousands, of people are affected annually by pesticide exposures.’
    • ‘Eventually, the lead sponsor of the bill, and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee testified to the Senate Agriculture Committee.’
    • ‘The primary sponsors of five of the six bills are Democrats.’
    • ‘Cooperatives can help bring stability, economic development and democracy according to a principal sponsor of the legislation.’
    1. 2.1A person taking official responsibility for the actions of another.
      ‘they act as sponsors and contacts for new immigrants’
    2. 2.2A godparent at a child's baptism.
      • ‘Sir Walter's involvement as a sponsor for his own child would not have required his own adult baptism or re-baptism.’
    3. 2.3(especially in the Roman Catholic Church) a person presenting a candidate for confirmation.
      ‘Paul has asked me to be his sponsor for confirmation next month’


  • 1Provide funds for (a project or activity or the person carrying it out)

    ‘Joe is being sponsored by a government training scheme’
    • ‘I'm putting the finishing touches to a government sponsored awareness campaign that'll change public perception.’
    • ‘And the co-op is actively involved in sponsoring educational activities in local schools.’
    • ‘The evaluation can be conducted by the workshop instructor or by the group sponsoring the workshop.’
    • ‘The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs.’
    • ‘Now, instead of the state sponsoring all tuition, students are expected to pay half the costs.’
    • ‘The Drop-In Center was not a project sponsored by a rich corporation to boost its reputation for philanthropy.’
    • ‘The school also sponsors artists' residencies.’
    • ‘She performed at the Proms in the summer of 1945, and she was invited to appear the next year at the Prague Spring Festival that the Czechs were planning, the British Council sponsoring the British contingent.’
    • ‘He sponsors the project and watches the costs rocket to over a million above the original budget.’
    • ‘It has a competitive grants program for research, conducts interdisciplinary research, and sponsors education programs.’
    • ‘This year the US Embassy has sponsored essay competitions for undergraduates and postgraduates.’
    • ‘The Pew Charitable Trusts sponsored the study.’
    • ‘This was a festival of Danish arts that took place in the fall of 1999 in New York City, sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Culture.’
    • ‘The grant will sponsor research into questions about how the brain perceives architecture and how humans respond to their surroundings.’
    • ‘The Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art sponsored the art project and exhibited the photo in August.’
    • ‘He was the person who had sponsored her studies and she stays with him as a proof of her gratitude.’
    • ‘The project was sponsored by the US Government and cost more than $1,000,000.’
    • ‘We are sponsoring educational speakers and providing seminars for framers at no cost.’
    • ‘What is lacking is initiatives that sponsor research into the Australian city that can in turn impact and benefit the practice of city making.’
    • ‘Music clubs published lists of American composers and compositions; they also sponsored competitions for American composers and performances of American music.’
    finance, put up the money for, fund, subsidize, underwrite, back, promote, lend one's name to, be a patron of, act as guarantor of, support
    foot the bill for, pick up the tab for
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    1. 1.1Pay some or all of the costs involved in staging (a sporting or artistic event) in return for advertising.
      ‘the event is sponsored by Cathay Pacific’
      • ‘This year's competition was sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Field magazine.’
      • ‘Growmark and FFA have sponsored the contest for the past 9 years.’
      • ‘We are delighted that KITT, manufacturers of quality equestrian products and safety items, are sponsoring these events.’
      • ‘The arts events will be sponsored by Catamount Arts, a major presenter of regional artistry.’
      • ‘The last two years screenings took place at the Horse Hospital and at the Channel 4 cinema, respectively (Channel 4 also sponsored the event).’
      • ‘The funny thing is, many sponsors just do not realize that they can get a lot more mileage sponsoring women's events.’
      • ‘He uses the money to enter Lisa in a beauty pageant sponsored by a tobacco company, where, through a technicality, she wins.’
      • ‘One tongue-in-cheek ad was primarily a promotion for an auction being sponsored by ABC, but it served a double purpose, promoting Alias in the process.’
      • ‘Suppose a rifle manufacturer wanted to sponsor a sporting game show.’
      • ‘Those businesses that don't host an artist will often sponsor the events.’
      • ‘More than 125 businesses and individuals joined in sponsoring the event last August, which raised $35,000.’
      • ‘This will take you to an essay contest sponsored by Universal.’
      • ‘Greek antiquities were also seen in Atlanta in 1996 (in a large exhibition sponsored by IBM) and will no doubt be a central focus at the 2004 Games in Athens.’
      • ‘The exhibition was sponsored by Bentley Systems, whose software Foster and Partners had adopted for presentation and design.’
      • ‘Dance Magazine is proud to sponsor an event dedicated to the education of dance teachers.’
      • ‘The contest is sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Field magazine.’
    2. 1.2Pledge to donate a certain sum of money to (someone) after they have participated in a fundraising event for charity.
      ‘she wishes to thank all those people who sponsored her’
    3. 1.3Pledge to donate money to a participant in (a fund-raising event)
      ‘they raised £70 by a sponsored walk’
      • ‘The Japanese don't have a tradition of raising money by sponsored walks, nor generally of giving to charity, unlike in the West.’
  • 2Introduce and support (a proposal) in a legislative assembly.

    ‘a Labour MP sponsored the bill’
    • ‘Kaptur sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives to toughen the Agricultural Fair Practices Act, which protects farmers in bargaining groups from retribution.’
    • ‘The Senators sponsoring this legislation held the same views.’
    • ‘Kuhn sponsored a failed amendment to the Iowa bill that would have given counties the right to establish limited zones prohibiting bioengineered plants.’
    • ‘A bipartisan coalition of some 50 members backs the House bill, sponsored by U.S. Reps.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, McCain and Joseph Lieberman sponsored a bipartisan bill calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.’
    • ‘They are often contentious, depending on the sensitivity of the site, as is the case with this proposal, sponsored by the Jordanian ministry of tourism and antiquities, in the magical city of Petra.’
    1. 2.1Propose and organize (negotiations or talks) between other people or groups.
      ‘the USA sponsored negotiations between the two sides’
      • ‘At the end of last month the US held talks with North Korea in a meeting sponsored by China.’


Mid 17th century (as a noun): from Latin, from spondere promise solemnly. The verb dates from the late 19th century.