that's right anon, if sponsorship is done right with the proper acknowledgement etc, then it is a legit expense.
If they purchase a nominal set of shares (eg 10 off @ $2 each), then they jump on board as a director and any "excess" left over at the end of the year, can be paid to them as a director's fee, or else divided up amongst all shareholders. Then, when they want to leave, the company, or others can buy the shares back at a set nominal rate of $2. Everyone is happy and there's no capital gains issues.
It's dangerous to invest in something like this by buying shares, particularly if the money is being used for day to day expenses, which I assume the $350K was used for. It's a different story if the Hawks went capital raising for a new stadium or the like.