a person who vouches or is responsible for a person or thing.
a person, firm, organization, etc., that finances and buys the time to broadcast a radio or television program so as to advertise a product, a political party, etc.
a person who makes a pledge or promise on behalf of another.
a person who answers for an infant at baptism, making the required professions and assuming responsibility for the child's religious upbringing; godfather or godmother.
verb (used with object)
to act as sponsor for; promise, vouch, or answer for.

1645–55; < Latin spōnsor guarantor, equivalent to spond(ēre) to pledge + -tor -tor, with dt > s

sponsorial [spon-sawr-ee-uhl, -sohr-] , adjective
sponsorship, noun
unsponsored, adjective

1. patron, backer; guarantor. 2. advertiser. 5. guarantee, finance, back, underwrite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sponsor (ˈspɒnsə)
1.  a person or group that provides funds for an activity, esp
 a.  a commercial organization that pays all or part of the cost of putting on a concert, sporting event, etc
 b.  a person who donates money to a charity when the person requesting the donation has performed a specified activity as part of an organized fund-raising effort
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) a person or business firm that pays the costs of a radio or television programme in return for advertising time
3.  a legislator who presents and supports a bill, motion, etc
4.  Also called: godparent
 a.  an authorized witness who makes the required promises on behalf of a person to be baptized and thereafter assumes responsibility for his Christian upbringing
 b.  a person who presents a candidate for confirmation
5.  chiefly (US) a person who undertakes responsibility for the actions, statements, obligations, etc, of another, as during a period of apprenticeship; guarantor
6.  (tr) to act as a sponsor for
[C17: from Latin, from spondēre to promise solemnly]

sponsored (ˈspɒnsəd)
denoting an activity organized to raise money for a charity in which sponsors agree to donate money on completion of the activity, or a specified period or amount of it, by participants: a sponsored walk

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1651, from L.L. sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in L. "a surety, guarantee," from sponsus, pp. of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly" (see spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931. The verb is attested from
1884, "to favor or support;" commercial broadcasting sense is from 1931.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The sculptures will be painted by selected local artists and sponsored by local
If you want to join an event sponsored by another group, find an event from our
  list of locations.
Corporations also have committees looking at how their money goes to their
  sponsored and supported scientists.
Most in this town have, thanks to workshops sponsored by the government and
  various nonprofit groups.
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