Purpose To date the vast majority of sponsorship research has focused on the perspective of sponsors. The purpose of this paper is to use this research to identify factors that sponsored institutions and organizations (sponsees) should be cognizant of before entering into a sponsorship arrangement, and to propose a research agenda based on these factors. Design/methodology/approach The authors leverage sponsorship research that has been published in business journals with an impact factor above 0.5 (Reuters, 2015). Findings This paper argues that sponsees should be aware of the benefits that sponsorship brings to sponsors so that they can better appeal to potential sponsors. A sponsee also needs to be aware of the impact a sponsorship partnership may have on its own brand, image, and equity. Research limitations/implications This is a conceptual paper grounded in the literature that aims to stimulate further research in the domain of sponsorship and provide deeper understanding for sponsees. Empirical research addressing the research questions posed is required. Practical implications In a holistic manner, this literature review offers insights into factors that sponsees should consider before entering a sponsorship relationship. Originality/value Previous research in the sponsorship domain has focused primarily on dyadic sponsors. This paper considers sponsorship from the sponsee’s perspective.