To become a packager in Fedora, one needs to follow the procedure: a new packager either submits a package or becomes a comaintainer of an existing one. In both cases a "sponsor" is needed — a person who helps the new packager navigate the Guidelines, build system, and dissemination of packages to users. The image above shows all Fedora packagers with edges leading from the sponsor to the sponsoree. The sizes of labels are proportional to the number of edges (you can read the nicks of people who sponsored approximately at least 10 people).
Packer sponsors are always in short supply — it seems that there is always a long list of people submitting new packages and blocking on the lack of sponsor. I think there's multiple reasons for that: sponsoring someone is quite a bit of work, there isn't much public recognition, and it's mostly human interaction (something that most of us don't enjoy as much as interacting with software ;)). Sometimes the sponsorship process stretches out, with potential contributors going away and coming back, which means that the sponsor has to commit to being available at short notice for an unpredictable amount of time. This is different than packaging, where comaintainers and proven packagers will pick up slack if a packager becomes inactive. I personally also find it hard to work with more than a few sponsorees at a time, because I forget who did what. In the end, if we want to grow the distribution, we probably need more sponsors. Fortunately it seems that the number of active sponsors (those who sponsored at least one new packager in a given year) doesn't seem to be shrinking.
Finally, a shout-out to the most prolific sponsors (with ≥30 sponsorees):
|jwrdegoede||(Hans de Goede)||35|