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First-Ever Sponsorship Excellence Award Winners Announced

Sponsorship leaders recognized for game-changing work in sponsorship marketing, including Golden State Warriors, Smartsheet, Laura Day, Chipotle and Jarreau Smith.

Smartsheet Receives Sponsorship Excellence Award

One of the awardees during Sponsorship Marketing Association's inaugural Sponsorship Excellence Award

SEATTLE - October 7, 2022 - (

The powerful impact of sponsorship is more prevalent than ever, which is why the Sponsorship Marketing Association (SMA) created the first-ever Sponsorship Excellence Awards. The Sponsorship Excellence Awards took place on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Sponsorship Summit in Seattle. Industry leaders from around the world came together to celebrate the accomplishments of friends, colleagues and leaders in the industry. 

"It is such an honor to come together and celebrate those who inspire us, while recognizing the newcomers who will continue to shape the future of our industry," Sponsorship Marketing Association CEO, Paula Beadle said. "It was an honor to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of game-changers who are revolutionizing the world of sponsorship."

The following awardees were recognized:

  • The Golden State Warriors received the Innovation Award, because of their work uniting sports, entertainment, technology, partnerships and community in an unprecedented and authentic way. The Warriors have forged tech-forward partnerships that have created a cutting-edge, consumer-fan ecosystem.  
  • Laura Day received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Day has held multiple leadership positions in the sports industry over her illustrious career. Laura is in her 25th season with the Minnesota Twins and has worked as the franchise's Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer since 2016. Laura helped launch Xcel Energy Center as one of the Minnesota Wild's first employees and held a position with the Minnesota Vikings. 
  • Smartsheet received the Social Impact Award for its incredible Sponsor X initiative. Smartsheet has taken a bold approach to reimagining how sponsorships can be used to drive awareness and impact for a greater cause. Smartsheet is a best-in-class example of developing purpose-driven partnerships. 
  • Chipotle received the Buzzworthy Award after it "broke the ice" with a mixed-reality campaign that was unveiled during a Colorado Avalanche hockey game earlier this year. 
  • Jarreau Smith received the Rising Star Award. Smith has created opportunities to build meaningful partnerships at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Smith is also the chair of LLPA's diversity and inclusion committee.

The recipients of the first-ever Sponsorship Excellence Awards have set the standard in inspiring, innovating and leading the future of sponsorship. The Sponsorship Excellence Awards will take place annually. 

Read the full announcement HERE.

About the Sponsorship Marketing Association 

The Sponsorship Marketing Association believes in the power of sponsorship marketing. The Association's mission is to strengthen, unify, and advocate for the continued growth of sponsorship marketing and raise the level of excellence across the industry. The Association provides resources, insights and inspiration to help sponsorship marketers thrive. Visit

Contact Information:
Alexandra Reinken
Senior Marketing & Event Manager
[email protected]
Related Files
Excellence Awards Press Release - FINAL.pdf

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