Corporations, local businesses and charities sponsor beauty pageants. The type of beauty pageant dictates the variety of sponsorship, with smaller pageants having a higher degree of local business participation.
Most beauty pageant sponsors are businesses that benefit from the exposure. These businesses sponsor beauty pageants from the local level to national. In turn, these businesses benefit from getting their name associated with the pageant and its contestants.
Businesses that sponsor beauty pageants rely on models for their continued operation. Clothing manufacturers and model agencies are the primary beauty pageant sponsors because of their heavy reliance on models. Clothing manufacturers need models to show off the latest fashions. Models are the primary method by which a particular brand or fashion statement becomes popular. The Miss America beauty pageant of 2015 had the majority of its sponsorship come from clothing lines and manufacturers.
Model agencies are always looking for new talent to join their agency. By sponsoring a beauty pageant, a modeling agency shows off its models while scouting for new talent. Models from the beauty pageants are often contracted by the sponsoring businesses for modeling work. This forms a partnership that benefits both the businesses seeking new talent and the contestants who become models.