The University recognizes the appropriateness of deriving support for its activities through sponsorships. This policy defines sponsorships as they relate to the University and describes certain limitations and procedures that apply to the solicitation of sponsorships.
Sponsorships are defined as support provided for University activities for which reciprocal benefits are available to the sponsor. Reciprocal benefits may range from general acknowledgements to the qualitative and quantitative promotion of the sponsors’ goods and services (i.e., ABC Company offers the best widgets in the industry). The University defines all arrangements that include opportunities for the promotion of goods and services as sponsorships, including support that is commonly referred to as advertisement revenue.
It is understood that some University units will need to continue to use the term “advertisement” in order to communicate effectively with external clients (i.e., the Vidette will likely continue to refer to its activities as selling advertisement space even though according to University policy the activity is sponsorship). Sponsorships may be solicited and received by any operating unit of the University and for the purpose of this policy are not considered donations or charitable contributions. Donations or charitable contributions are received through the Illinois State University Foundation with no expected reciprocal benefits except for charitable tax receipts (see policy section 7.1.10 Fund Raising).
Limitations for Sponsorships
In as much as the University controls various venues suitable for the acknowledgement of sponsorship activity, it has an obligation to protect its good name and reputation, ensuring the integrity of its sponsorship venues and limiting its liability as a consequence of accepting sponsorships. Therefore, the University reserves the right to determine who may be a sponsor.
The promotion of a sponsor’s goods or services should not be incompatible with the University’s mission.
Sponsorship may not infringe upon trademarks or copyrights or otherwise violate local, state, national, or international law.
Sponsorships are considered inappropriate on recruitment materials, communications with students related to academic programming, Illinois State University Foundation communications, course catalogs and schedules, campus landscape amenities, and within or on campus academic and general administrative or service buildings. Sponsorship activity carried on through the campus mail and E-mail systems must be in compliance with the policies governing those activities.
Sponsorships that include the quantitative or qualitative promotion of goods and services are inappropriate for World Wide Web pages with the ilstu.edu suffix. However, sponsorships that include only recognition of the sponsor and their identifying logo may be included on pages with the ilstu.edu suffix.
Sponsorships are considered appropriate in association with special events, student organizations, campus broadcast and print media operations, Redbird Athletics operations, and World Wide Web pages with an .org suffix (all new domain names must be approved by the Director of Campus Technology Support Group).
The University’s acceptance of sponsorships shall in no way imply a direct affiliation between the University and its sponsors, and shall in no way include any perceived endorsement of the sponsors by the University or any of its agents. Use of the University’s identity—its names and symbols—in association with a sponsor’s identity must be in compliance with the University’s visual identity standards and trademark licensing procedures.
The University may enter into contractual relationships that include exclusive sponsorship arrangements (i.e., campus soft drink vendor, credit cards). All such University-wide exclusive sponsorship arrangements must be approved by the President. The Purchasing Office shall provide periodic communication to the campus identifying University-wide exclusive arrangements.
The term “official” may be used in association with such University-wide exclusive arrangements; however, the extent of the exclusive arrangement should be included in the description (i.e., Barnes and Noble College Bookstore at Illinois State University—“Illinois State’s Official On-Campus Bookstore”).
University units may enter into contractual relationships that include exclusive sponsorship arrangements only within their unit activities. These exclusivities shall not be considered University-wide limitations. The term “official” may be used in association with such unit-specific exclusive arrangements, however; the unit with which the exclusivity exists must be identified (i.e., XYZ Shoes—“Official Shoes of Redbird Basketball”).
University units may seek sponsorships only from a prospective sponsor’s marketing and advertising areas. Plans to seek support from a prospective contributor’s foundation or charitable giving areas must be coordinated through University Advancement.
Sponsorship arrangements may not violate other University policies or procedures, particularly the University’s Exterior Communications Policy (i.e., banners or signs on buildings or in exterior spaces), and the Alcohol Policy (i.e., a specific alcohol brand may not be a University sponsor; however, companies that distribute alcohol or establishments that sell alcohol as a part of their business may be sponsors).
The use of sponsorship acknowledgements that include the specific quantitative or qualitative promotion of the sponsors’ goods or services might jeopardize the nonprofit bulk rate for mailings. Publications that contain such sponsor information must comply with guidelines in the U.S. Postal Service Publication 417. Questions regarding these situations may be directed to the University’s Mail Services Office.
For information regarding fund-raising, contact:
For information regarding contractual agreements, contact:
For information regarding external communications, graphic identity, and trademark licensing, contact: