A specific project has many facets to the success of the project. Project management will often times work with a sponsor to assist in the financial and or expertise of the project. If a project management team sees that the sponsor has the ability to finance a particular project, then it may even offer a percent of the operation upon completion of the project. A sponsor may also be a benefit to project management for the purpose of third party validation. A world wide recognized name of a sponsor could very well assist the project management in obtaining needed financing from various sources. A sponsor can also remain behind the scenes of a particular project for the purpose of not wanting to be associated directly with the ongoing project. For example, if the project management team is associated with an alcohol beverage facility, the sponsor may not want to be directly associated with the project and yet want to participate in the growth of the community, and such provide needed employment to the local market. A sponsor sometimes will only lend their name to a project without any financial support. A company manager that is directly involved in the day to day operations of a business, is often times asked to utilize his resources for a particular project. This is a valuable asset, for it allows the manager a sense of ownership in the ongoing project that he is now involved in.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.