Pro Team Jobs – Director of Sponsorships / Partnership / Business Development

Sponsorships are a major revenue driver for professional teams in all of the major leagues.  In most cases, a team’s largest sponsorship deal is the stadium naming rights deal.  Below are the ten most expensive stadium naming rights deals of all time (bottom of page).

As previously discussed, sponsorships are simply the exchanging of resources between two or more parties that each party deems equal.  When a team and its venue are involved, the exchange is between the team (property) and a company whose marketing objectives align with that team.  The goals of the sponsorship are different for each side.  The team seeks financial investment, media and marketing exposure, and in-kind or price reduced products and services.  The sponsor company may want a number of things, including: increased awareness, image enhancement, a platform to demonstrate products/services, hospitality opportunities and/or product trial/sales opportunities.

Directors are often brought up through the ranks as ticket sales managers or account executives.  Directors oversee the sales and account management staff and work with the VP on strategies for targeting companies within different categories.  Directors also work with the league office to stay current on open categories that the team is allowed to sell sponsorships in.  Most leagues manage all sponsorship inventory, and disperse some of it down to the team level when it is more lucrative than selling league-wide deals.

It is critical for directors of sponsorship to have a strong understanding of sponsorship strategy and business strategy as well.  Many have Master’s degrees either in business administration, marketing, sports management or a combination.  Getting into sponsorship through sales or account management and working your way up is the best way to acquire these positions.


The following ranges of salaries were gathered by surveying team personnel within the different professional leagues.  These salaries are not static and vary dependent upon many factors such as years of practice, education level, geographic region and team reputation.

Major League Baseball: $60,000 – $105,000
National Football League: $70,000 – $110,000
National Basketball Association: $60,000 – $90,000
National Hockey League: $50,000 – $80,000



Price (Millions)

Contract (Years)

Annual Income (Millions)

Citi Field

New York Mets




Reliant Stadium

Houston Texans




FedEx Field

Washington Redskins




American Airlines Center

Dallas Mavericks/Stars




Philips Arena

Atlanta Hawks/Thrashers




University of Phoenix Stadium

Arizona Cardinals




Bank of America Stadium

Carolina Panthers




Lincoln Financial Field

Philadelphia Eagles




Lucas Oil Stadium

Indianapolis Colts




Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium

Denver Broncos




Staples Center

Los Angeles Lakers/Clippers/Kings




Pro Team Jobs – Sponsorship Sales Exec