How Category Sponsorship Bidding Works
Our sponsorship bidding rules are designed to reward authentic direct to consumer brands who are early supporters of the No Middleman Project. If we’ve evaluated and selected your brand for inclusion in the No Middleman directory, you’re qualified to become a Category Sponsor. Once you’ve become a sponsor, you’ll receive premium visibility in your product category, and you can effectively occupy your category forever, if the following conditions are met:
- Your brand retains its direct to consumer status and its inclusion in the No Middleman directory (as determined by our editorial team)
- You match any challenger bids within 30 days of being challenged (details below)
- You renew annually, at our annually determined rate (which will never exceed our pre-defined CAP rates*)
Standard Category Sponsorship Bidding Rules
- Your brand must first be verified as direct to consumer by our editorial team, and included in the No Middleman directory. (Directory inclusion is free of charge, so please click here to submit your brand for consideration!)
- Sponsorship terms are 1 year.
- Category owners are given 30 days’ notice on annual renewal, and have first right of refusal at the renewal rate determined annually by No Middleman.
- Midterm category takeovers are permissible, but category ownership at the CAP rate is not challengeable.
- In $10K/yr increments, category takeover bids must be at least $10K/yr higher than the existing category owner sponsorship rate.
- Category takeover bids are recorded daily upon payment
- If matched by category owner** and paid within 30 days, the takeover fails.
- Otherwise, takeover succeeds, and the annual term initiates 30 days from recording. In this event, the pro-rated balance on the existing annual sponsorship is returned in full to the prior category sponsor.
Micro Category Sponsorship Bidding Rules
Rules are the same as with standard categories, with the exception that vacant categories can be taken over at the initial micro-category sponsorship rate of $3K/yr, and challengers only have to outbid the entry level category rate by $7K/yr on the first challenge or match. Thereafter, all rules are the same.
These are recorded daily upon payment. Bidding rules are as above, depending on category type.
* Categories sponsorship CAP rates (maximums) are $100k/year for 2023-2025, $300K/year for 2026-2030, $500K/year for 2031-2035, $1M/year for 2036 and beyond.
**Match amount is bid amount minus pro-rated balance on existing annual sponsorship.