It has reference in the late Latin sponsor, pointing to the godfather designated as the guide and protector of the respective godchild according to the principles of baptism, extending the meaning over the Latin sponsor, contemplating the idea of responding for another individual as a guarantor, coming from spondēre over the Indo-European *spondeio-, for to release.
It started being used in the advertising field in the mid-20th century, understood as the provision of content for commercial purposes as well as the practice of a brand or figure that seeks to promote and/or support a cause or activity through a medium. It is documented in 1931, first in radio, in the sense of financially supporting a program, coined by the American Peter Dixon in Radio Writing (and author of the book Radio Sketches and How to Write Them in 1936), and then, during the same year, it appeared in Frank A. Arnold’s book, Broadcast Advertising: The Fourth Dimension, published in New York.
Sponsorships, as it is usually called in Spanish, are an active part of the media ecosystem, as a basic form of profitability (another method is for example the payment by subscription, being a direct link between the media and the reader in the case of the newspaper). However, the media can become dependent on the sponsor, as a consequence of the power it carries at the economic level, allowing for influence and/or censorship based on particular interests.