If knowledge management is new to your organization, it is crucial to have high-level champions. Why? Well, KM induces cultural change, which is disruptive. In general, people tend to resist change. However, company executives can lead by example and designate coaches for teams.
Having a high-level sponsor also helps in terms of having the influence needed to ensure KM deployment. Even if there are issues initially, a company executive can assist in applying a resolution.