Sponsorships provide much of the funding that fuels sports at all levels. From marketing agreements with professional athletes to youth sports leagues' fundraising effort, athletes and leagues rely on the business community to finance their endeavors.
Companies sign sponsorship agreements with professional athletes that link the company's logo and image to that athlete. The athlete then wears that company's logo-bearing shoes or clothing or use its equipment in exchange for the exposure the company receives.
Professional and college sports teams enter into sponsorship agreements with certain companies for stadium or arena naming rights and other arrangements that link the company with the team. Company logos will be prominently displayed at athletic venues in exchange for a cash payment or in-kind contribution to the team or program.
Sponsorships are the lifeblood of many youth sports leagues. League representatives work with local businesses to secure funds to purchase equipment, uniforms, insurance and pay the other expenses of running the league. The companies receive mention on promotional materials, signage at game locations and on player uniforms.