A sponsored event is a type of event which usually sponsors an upcoming TV series, movie, or game.
Usually, games featured in sponsored events would offer special badges which are only available from the start of the event until it ends, and also may have how to obtain it in its description. To obtain these badges, players would often have to find one or more hidden objects related to the event scattered all over the game. Some prizes cannot be physically seen, but instead be obtained by completing an objective instead of finding it. Some hidden prizes may also emit sparkles. When a player collects or earns the prize(s) related to the event, they would earn the badge corresponding to the prize.
Also, some catalog items related to the event may be put up for sale, but before they were put up on sale, some of them could only be obtained by entering a link or a promotional code.
The first sponsored event on ROBLOX was the Transformers Event, which took place during February of 2011, to promote the TV series Transformers Prime. It had two prizes, the Decepticon Recruit, which could be obtained by collecting all five of the Decepticon's coins, and the Autobot Recruit, which could be obtained by collecting all five of the Autobot's coins. The event was in a single place, as dev events did not exist during that time.
The next sponsored event was the Boxtrolls event, which ran during late September of 2014. It had three prizes, which were each packages, awarded corresponding to the character the player won as. For example, if the player won as Shoe, they would receive the "Shoe The Boxtroll" package. It was the only sponsored event to award packages instead of hats and gear items.
Sponsored events began to become more common in 2015, starting with the 2015 Jurassic World Event, which promoted the movie Jurassic World. It was the first sponsored event to feature prizes physically in-game, and was also the first to contain multiple games, like many sponsored events today. For example, the Dinosaur Tooth could be found on any of the spawn points located outside the facility in Innovation Research Labs during the event.
Many players have criticized sponsored events for their low-quality prizes and for them being too easy to earn, and for most of them being mainly targeted at younger players. Players have also described sponsored events as "boring" and "rushed", and for many of them being "dev events". Players have also stated that they obtained all of the prizes in less than 10 minutes. Several players have even suggested developers to make it more of a challenge to actually find all of the prizes.