Brainstorm for revitalizing sponsorship:
Problem: No data on who is doing what.
Solution: Reports/data mining. 102 sponsors currently. How many have sponsored anyone in the past N years/N months? How many are still active in the project at all?
Problem: Sponsors don't really do anything except occasionally sponsor and perhaps provide advisory commentary on new sponsors which is often ignored.
Solution: Give a mailing list for discussion, maybe a ticketing system/trac. Delegate some sponsorship- and perhaps packaging-related duties from FESCo to the sponsors. This would permit coordination and provide an avenue for monitoring of the sponsorship queue and the possible division of duties.
Problem: No criteria for becoming a sponsor.
Solution: First define what sponsors are expected to do. Then lay out some soft criteria which attempt to capture the set of people who can do that. Maintain some quantity of packages or do some quantity of quality, nontrivial package reviews. This permits proactive identification of people who meet the criteria.
Problem: No criteria for staying a sponsor.
Solution: Make some. Should be pretty simple: sponsor one person per time period (year?) to be considered active. Sponsorship status is auto-lost, or lost by decision of sponsors/sponsor subcommittee/whatever after that point.