What are Sponsorship Line Items in DFP?

Introduction to DFP

DoubleClick for Publishers(DFP) is a third-party ad serving platform that manages and optimizes the ad space of publishers in order to increase sales margin and revenues. This Google-owned ad server has a long list of impressive features and provides fast and secure services, making it a very popular ad server globally. The biggest plus of DFP is that it can be easily integrated with AdSense, the ad network from Google with perhaps the largest publisher base worldwide. The server is free for publishers who serve less than 90 million monthly impressions. Its user-friendly interface, sophisticated optimization tools, and robust reporting tools make it a network highly in demand.

DFP Line Items

In DFP, a publisher has to add the names of the advertisers from which it is running multiple ads. For each of these advertisers, it has to create an order which is basically a folder containing line items. A line item defines an advertiser’s agreement with the publisher to buy the specific number of impressions ( for CPM), clicks ( for CPC) or time ( for CPD) during a certain time at a certain price. Each line item also includes details with respect to the positioning of the advertiser’s ad and, optionally, the time of the week at which it will get showcased and also to whom it will be displayed.

Each line item in DFP has a type.  Now each type has a default priority value. Thus all line items have priority values of their own. Line item types and priority values regulate the how the line items will be organized for ad selection. The type and priority of a line item determine how DFP will organize the competition between all the other line items for each ad impression.

For example, if a line item of priority 4 competes with a line item of priority 12 for an ad impression, DFP prioritizes the line item of priority 4 over the one of priority 12. So the rule is that lower the number, higher the priority.

There are 7 different line item types in DFP- sponsorship, standard, network, bulk, price priority, AdExchange/AdSense and House.

What are Sponsorship Line Items?

Every site has two types of ad inventory- guaranteed inventory and non-guaranteed(remnant) inventory.

Guaranteed inventory is the part of ad inventory of publisher that is directly sold to the advertiser or agency. With guaranteed inventory, a publisher is committed to delivering a specific volume of impressions, optimum positioning of ad within a fixed time period at a fixed price.

Sponsorship is the line item type with the highest delivery priority.  They are delivered the fastest and outweighs all other line items. These types are guaranteed inventory, meaning these line items will fill the percentage of ad unit the advertiser bought and they will supersede all other ads of lower priority until that percentage is met and till the end date. These are sold at a premium price and use Cost Per Day (CPD) pricing model. Sponsorship line items have a priority level of 4.

Sponsorship line items are goal-based. You set a percentage goal for each line item, which is used to determine the percentage of matching requests for which each sponsorship will be served.

Benefit of Sponsorship Line Items

Guaranteed inventory gets high priority in ad space allocation in ad servers. Guaranteed inventory gives better controls (volume, budget, time frame, placement,..) for the advertiser. Thus sponsorship line items are better placed and generate high revenues.


Sponsorship line items are more expensive than any other line item. But the high price is worth it when the advantages provided by it are considered. Sponsorship line items are the best-placed line items and help in maximizing revenue. Thus advertisers, for whom budget is not limited, should place their bets on sponsorship line items.

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