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Corporate sponsorship is an agreement between a corporation and another party, in which the corporation provides support to the other party in the form of money, goods, or services to assist the other party's work. This kind of sponsorship is common in sports, media, and the arts.
A corporation that enters into a corporate sponsorship does so for it's own benefit as well as the benefit of whomever or whatever it is sponsoring. One common scenario is for a corporation to provide support for a sporting event or series of events. The corporate sponsor may provide money for costs or donate items that are relevant to the event.
In return for this support, the corporation's name and logo are displayed prominently in association with the sporting event. Those participating in the event may wear the company's logo on their uniforms. The logo might also be included on posters and signs that are highly visible to spectators present at the event and those watching on television.
Corporate sponsorship allows a company to increase recognition of its name, and to be associated with a popular group or event. The corporation's goal is for fan's of the group being sponsored to associate the two. The sponsorship may be seen as a way to increase corporate visibility within a market that they do not ordinarily reach.
In some cases, a corporate sponsorship may allow the sponsor to be exclusively associated with a certain event. For instance, a credit card company may agree to sponsor a series of events. In exchange for their sponsorship, their card will be the only credit card accepted at any venues associated with that series of events.
Some corporate sponsorships may give the corporation naming rights. For instance, some corporations will purchase the right to name stadiums, special events or even teams. These are generally long-term, multi-year sponsorships.
A corporation may also choose to sponsor a non-profit organization. This can include providing money or services to museums, schools, arts organizations, or other charities. In exchange, the corporation is listed as a sponsor of that organization. While there is less immediate commercial benefit to be gained from this type of sponsorship, it does allow the corporation to be involved in the community's charitable work and to build goodwill within that community.
At one time, corporate sponsorship for television and radio programs was common. The term "soap opera" comes from from daytime radio and television dramas that were commonly sponsored by soap manufacturers. In 2011, this kind of sponsorship has fallen out of fashion in the United States.