Definition of sponsor in US English:



  • 1An individual or organization that pays some or all of the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 the third year, it is the presenting sponsor of the Farm Aid concert.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The festival is living its own life in peace, dealing with ordinary problems - sponsors, audience, public opinion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The funny thing is, many sponsors just do not realize that they can get a lot more mileage sponsoring women's events.’
    • ‘All big publishing houses were sponsors of the Book Fair and competed in attracting visitors to their stalls.’
    • ‘Most blues festivals are funded, in part, by corporate sponsors, local businesses, and individual contributors.’
    • ‘It was the presenting sponsor of The Ballunar Festival's balloon extravaganza in August in Dallas and Houston.’
    • ‘For example, be a sponsor of a local art contest or an artist award.’
    • ‘And if Ford was a sponsor, at least the festival was free.’
    • ‘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.’
    backer, financier, subsidizer, underwriter, guarantor, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor
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    1. 1.1 A person who pledges to donate a certain amount of money to another person after they have participated in a fund-raising 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 program in return for advertising.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even the program's sponsors get excellent treatment, with short documentary featurettes available about them too!’
      • ‘The broadcaster was one of those who lead the charge, using private money when the television sponsors refused to finance their programme.’
      • ‘The BBC promises to drop its plugs for the sponsors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another announcer replaces the first and mentions the corporate sponsor of the station's programming: Colet and Company.’
      • ‘The bonus menu - which is really nothing more than ads for sponsors and websites - is completely blank.’
      • ‘NBC is promising sponsors to drive traffic with hourly plugs during its prime time Olympic coverage in September, plus mentions on MSNBC and CNBC.’
      • ‘When they returned, flat broke, he worked as a waiter and approached potential sponsors for the money he need to put the film together.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘CBS, our sponsors, and I want to thank everyone here in the audience, and those of you who allowed us into your living rooms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fear and discrimination by sponsors, abetted by commercial broadcasting's need for operating revenue from ad sales, could not be ignored.’
      • ‘Hitchcock has satisfied his advertising sponsors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Would the sponsors and the television network be happy with do-overs?’
      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’
    • ‘Cooperatives can help bring stability, economic development and democracy according to a principal sponsor of the legislation.’
    • ‘Eventually, the lead sponsor of the bill, and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee testified to the Senate Agriculture Committee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The primary sponsors of five of the six bills are Democrats.’
    1. 2.1 A person taking official responsibility for the actions of another.
      ‘they act as informants, sponsors, and contacts for new immigrants’
    2. 2.2 A 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.


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

    ‘Joe is being sponsored by his church’
    • ‘The Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art sponsored the art project and exhibited the photo in August.’
    • ‘Now, instead of the state sponsoring all tuition, students are expected to pay half the costs.’
    • ‘Music clubs published lists of American composers and compositions; they also sponsored competitions for American composers and performances of American music.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The evaluation can be conducted by the workshop instructor or by the group sponsoring the workshop.’
    • ‘And the co-op is actively involved in sponsoring educational activities in local schools.’
    • ‘He was the person who had sponsored her studies and she stays with him as a proof of her gratitude.’
    • ‘The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs.’
    • ‘We are sponsoring educational speakers and providing seminars for framers at no cost.’
    • ‘The Pew Charitable Trusts sponsored the study.’
    • ‘The grant will sponsor research into questions about how the brain perceives architecture and how humans respond to their surroundings.’
    • ‘The school also sponsors artists' residencies.’
    • ‘The Drop-In Center was not a project sponsored by a rich corporation to boost its reputation for philanthropy.’
    • ‘The project was sponsored by the US Government and cost more than $1,000,000.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm putting the finishing touches to a government sponsored awareness campaign that'll change public perception.’
    • ‘What is lacking is initiatives that sponsor research into the Australian city that can in turn impact and benefit the practice of city making.’
    • ‘This year the US Embassy has sponsored essay competitions for undergraduates and postgraduates.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Pay some or all of the costs involved in staging (a sporting or artistic event) in return for advertising.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This year's competition was sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Field magazine.’
      • ‘Growmark and FFA have sponsored the contest for the past 9 years.’
      • ‘This will take you to an essay contest sponsored by Universal.’
      • ‘He uses the money to enter Lisa in a beauty pageant sponsored by a tobacco company, where, through a technicality, she wins.’
      • ‘The arts events will be sponsored by Catamount Arts, a major presenter of regional artistry.’
      • ‘Dance Magazine is proud to sponsor an event dedicated to the education of dance teachers.’
      • ‘Those businesses that don't host an artist will often sponsor the events.’
      • ‘Suppose a rifle manufacturer wanted to sponsor a sporting game show.’
      • ‘The exhibition was sponsored by Bentley Systems, whose software Foster and Partners had adopted for presentation and design.’
      • ‘The last two years screenings took place at the Horse Hospital and at the Channel 4 cinema, respectively (Channel 4 also sponsored the event).’
      • ‘We are delighted that KITT, manufacturers of quality equestrian products and safety items, are sponsoring these events.’
      • ‘The contest is sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Field magazine.’
      • ‘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 funny thing is, many sponsors just do not realize that they can get a lot more mileage sponsoring women's events.’
      • ‘More than 125 businesses and individuals joined in sponsoring the event last August, which raised $35,000.’
    2. 1.2 Pledge to donate a certain sum of money to (someone) after they have participated in a fund-raising event organized on behalf of a charity.
    3. 1.3often as adjective sponsored Pledge to donate money because someone is taking part in (such an 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.

    ‘Senator Hardin sponsored the bill’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Senators sponsoring this legislation held the same views.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, McCain and Joseph Lieberman sponsored a bipartisan bill calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.’
    • ‘A bipartisan coalition of some 50 members backs the House bill, sponsored by U.S. Reps.’
    • ‘Kuhn sponsored a failed amendment to the Iowa bill that would have given counties the right to establish limited zones prohibiting bioengineered plants.’
    • ‘Kaptur sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives to toughen the Agricultural Fair Practices Act, which protects farmers in bargaining groups from retribution.’
    1. 2.1 Propose and organize (negotiations or talks) between other people or groups.
      ‘the U.S. 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.’
      advocate, promote, plead for, hold a torch for, defend, protect, uphold, support, back, espouse, ally oneself with, stand behind, stand up for, take someone's part, campaign for, lobby for, fight for, battle for, crusade for, take up the cudgels for
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Mid 17th century (as a noun): from Latin, from spondere ‘promise solemnly’. The verb dates from the late 19th century.