Guidelines for the acceptance by the University of South Australia of third-party sponsorship and advertising


REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Related policies and guidelines

C-13.0 – Hire of University Facilities
C-3.1 – Naming and Naming Rights

Code of Practice: Marketing the University
Code of Practice: University philanthropy


The University recognises that as part of its community engagement there are occasions where accepting advertising or sponsorship from external organisations or individuals is beneficial. This document sets out guidelines for accepting such sponsorship and/or advertising.

The guidelines do not relate to:

  • the University’s own sponsorship of external community activities
  • philanthropic gifts and bequests, which are covered by the University’s Code of Practice: Philanthropy.

1. Definitions

For purposes of these guidelines:

  • 1.1. Sponsorship is the provision of financial or in-kind support for a University activity or event, unrelated to formal academic or research-related industry partnerships or contracts, for which the sponsor receives formal recognition and/or promotional opportunities. Sponsorship is not a gift or donation.
  • 1.2. Advertising is the display, publishing or broadcasting of an external body’s promotional materials or advertisements in University publications or via other communication channels.


2. Authorities, responsibilities and procedures

  • 2.1. All advertising or sponsorship of University activities must be approved by the University.
  • 2.2. Campus Service Managers usually are the first point of contact for approaches. They may make a determination on the basis of these guidelines or seek further clarification from senior managers according to normal management structures.
  • 2.3. All advertising or sponsorship agreements must be notified to, and recorded by, the Communications and Marketing Unit (CMK), to assist with management and ongoing coordination of relationships.
  • 2.4. Agreement templates will be made available for formalising advertising or sponsorship agreements to ensure appropriate insurance and other liability issues are addressed. A risk assessment should be undertaken for all activities.
  • 2.5. No proposed change to any facility or development of any signage or naming may proceed without prior approval of the Facilities Management Unit.

3. Application of relevant laws

  • 3.1. Advertising and sponsorship must not infringe upon any trademarks or copyrights or violate any South Australian, national or international laws. .
  • 3.2. Advertising and sponsorship will conform to relevant privacy laws and not compromise the commercial-in-confidence nature of any University activity.

Appropriate Advertising or Sponsorship

4. General principles

  • 4.1. Advertising and sponsorship is expected to result in benefits to staff and students that would not normally be available and represent an extension of service to the University community in keeping with its education vision, mission and values.
  • 4.2. The University will not enter into a relationship where the alliance, or perception of, would detract from the University’s reputation or financial or legal standing. Advertising and sponsorship arrangements must be consistent with existing University academic and corporate policies.
  • 4.3. The University may elect to enter into exclusive sponsorship agreements.
  • 4.4. Receipt of sponsorship or advertising does not imply any formal affiliation, association or endorsement between the University and the partner organisation.
  • 4.5. Acceptance by the University of advertising or sponsorship does not entitle the advertiser or sponsor to any preferred involvement with the academic or business program of the University.

5. Specific principles

  • 5.1. The University reserves the right to not accept sponsorship or advertising on any basis.
  • 5.2. The University will decline advertising or sponsorship:
  • for anything it considers potentially demeaning or involving derogatory portrayal of individuals or groups and which might be considered offensive
  • where it involves an unreasonable assumption of risk or liability to the University
  • related directly to the academic program of study and its delivery – eg lectures, timetable information, course information handbooks or websites
  • where the sponsorship is determined to potentially bring the University into disrepute or place it at a competitive disadvantage.
  • 5.3. The University will not receive sponsorship or advertising from third parties that are:
  • from organisations or sectors in conflict with University research ethics policies
  • from political parties or religious organisations where the activity is not part of a broad-based community event in keeping with the University’s education mission

6. Supplier relationships

  • 6.1. Contracted University suppliers will be given first rights for any sponsorship opportunity but existing contracted service, unless explicitly stated, does not limit sponsorship relationships with competitor organisations in the same sector.
  • 6.2. As a general principle, previous sponsors of University activities will be offered the first opportunity for renewal.

7. Benefits and communication channels

  • 7.1. Sponsorship benefits received by the University must be significantly more than the total costs of servicing the sponsorship, including any promotion or facilities costs.
  • 7.2. Sponsor organisations may include promotional information only on University notice boards and distribute material in general University common spaces.