Sponsorships are an investment in a venture that results in a commercial return for the sponsor. These ventures can be a sport, the arts, a community project, a cause, an institution or even a commercial event. Sponsorships are a centuries old tradition that has existed in many forms during our history. Wealthy patrons who sought to improve their social standing among their peers often sponsored painters and musicians. Royalty seeking to add to their sphere of influence would sponsor explorers in return for a claim on news lands. Athletes would compete in events under sponsorship of wealthy sponsors who would share in the glory of victory.
Today, sponsorships are much more organized and many have clear goals in the commercial return that is expected for the investment made. In a world where millions of dollars are spent on advertising to build name recognition on a particular brand, sponsorships can represent both a community investment by the sponsor as well as an investment that will help build their brand name recognition. A sponsorship can have an economic value for both the sponsor and those being sponsored in a symbiotic relationship that can be a benefit to both parties.