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Dow Jones VentureWire

SponsorHub Plays Matchmaker For Event Sponsorship With $750K

By Ty McMahon

After working in the events industry for years, Robert Johnston, founder and chief executive of SponsorHub Inc., saw room for innovation. "There are these classic marketplaces where there has been no innovation in the last 30 years," Johnston said. "But, a lot of industries have been able to layer technology in the right way to create innovation."

SponsorHub wants to be that innovative layer of technology that plays matchmaker between event producers and sponsors. Backed with a $750,000 seed round, the company has built an online marketplace that curates interesting events that offer a promising opportunity to potential sponsors. Event producers can create a listing, complete with pricing levels for sponsorship opportunities. When a connection is made, SponsorHub takes a 15% cut of the sponsorship amount. The company is generating revenue, but Johnston declined to provide revenue figures or a valuation.

Johnston said event sponsorships are a $30 billion market in North America. Finding the right events to sponsor is a challenge for brands. For example, a running-shoe company that wants to sponsor road races around the country to promote a new product has to do a fair amount of research to find those opportunities. SponsorHub helps to make that process easier, while giving the event producer a new way to make money. The new funding included Quotidian Ventures and Vision Ventures, as well as several individuals including Barry Silbert, CEO of SecondMarket Holdings Inc. The New York-based company has six employees.