UCR Policies and Procedures

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Policy Title:                    Sponsorships


Policy Number:              700-35


Responsible Officers:

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Responsible Offices:

Office of the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Origination Date:


Date of Last Review:

New Policy

Date of Revision:



Guidance Concerning Third-Party Sponsorships 


     I.  Introduction

                 A.  Purpose and Objectives

This policy is designed to establish processes and provide guidance to the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) schools, colleges, departments, academic and administrative units, student government, and other University organizations that engage in third-party Sponsorship recognition, including designation as a sponsor, trademark rights, events, programs, media and communications, or other activities. This policy shall guide Sponsorship arrangements for any UC Riverside activity regardless of financial value.

Sponsorship benefits UC Riverside when conducted in a manner consistent with the mission, values, message, and community standards of the University. As a public institution, the protection of the reputation, trademarks and related intangible assets, human capital, and image of the University is crucial. Additionally, sponsors gain significant value from exposure and association with the University and its stakeholders through a sponsor relationship, requiring that the University be compensated commensurately.

Approval of sponsor relationships at UC Riverside are guided by the following principles:

·         Advancing the University’s mission;

·         Expanding services to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university; and

·         Generating revenue.

                 B.  Scope

This policy does not pertain to charitable gifts (given by individuals or organizations, whether received by the UC Regents or the UCR Foundation) or sponsored research (contracts and grants). For guidance on sponsored research, visit the UC Riverside Research and Economic Development website containing policies 527-001 to 527-015.


  II.  Definitions

·         Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a relationship with a non-university entity where that entity provides money, goods, and/or services to the University through a campus, school, college, department, unit, or student organization. In return, the entity receives Acknowledgement of the Sponsorship in access, signage, communications materials, TV/radio broadcasts, University events, online channels, or other venues. The entity may also receive other benefits. 

Pursuant to the applicable UC Regents’ policy, Sponsorship and Sponsorship Acknowledgements are not considered advertising and may not include a UC Riverside endorsement, comparison of products against competitors, or evaluation of the quality of a sponsor’s product or service. 

·         Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement is a term used to signify the recognition of Sponsorship support. Acknowledgement could include logo/name placement or sponsor information in the materials associated with the University event or program being supported by the sponsor.


 III.  Sponsorship Scope Levels

                 A.  Local Sponsorship – single department or unit

A sponsor relationship that is organized by and limited to a single event or time-limited program associated with a single UC Riverside entity. 

                B.  Limited Sponsorship

A sponsor relationship that includes financial support and Acknowledgement spanning multiple schools, colleges, or non-academic units. Relationships are typically coordinated by the individual units, in consultation as appropriate with University Advancement. 

               C.  Campus Sponsorship – non-exclusive

A sponsor relationship that includes financial support and Acknowledgement spanning a significant number of schools, colleges, or non-academic units (typically more than five). Relationships are established either by or in coordination with University Advancement. 

                D.  Exclusive Sponsorship – campus-wide

The Chancellor may designate select Sponsorship categories as eligible for exclusive University-wide Sponsorship, allowing for exclusive relationships that could span across all areas of the University, including the Riverside and Palm Desert locations, Intercollegiate Athletics, UC Riverside Extension, and UC Riverside Health (pending agreements with affiliate entities). Relationships are established either by or in coordination with University Advancement. For select industry partners, an exclusive Sponsorship may be established through a formal Request for Proposal process. 

               E.  In General

Individual University units may request to "opt-out" of participating in a specific category or program, with a final decision to be made by the Chancellor. Regardless of participation, no campus, school, college, department, academic or administrative unit, or student government or organization may enter into their own Sponsorship agreement in a category once it has been declared an exclusive category. Sponsorship revenue will be distributed according to a distribution model preapproved by the Provost and the Vice Chancellor of Planning, Budget, and Administration. 

Units may secure Sponsorships for singular activities or events and be bound by this policy, as long as the Sponsorship is not a designated Campus or Exclusive Sponsorship. Intercollegiate Athletics and Auxiliary Services may continue to develop Sponsorships for their assets and programs in non-exclusive designated categories and apply their guidelines. The UC Riverside Alumni Association (UCRAA) and other University affiliate organizations can participate by opting into a Sponsorship agreement and agreeing to be bound by this policy.


 IV.  Sponsorship Acknowledgement

Sponsors may receive Acknowledgement through University signage, communications materials, TV/radio broadcasts, events, online channels, or other channels/platforms. The entity may also receive other benefits as allowable under applicable UC policy. Acknowledgments for campus and exclusive Sponsorships are coordinated by University Advancement in consultation with the Corporate Sponsorship Advisory Group, as appropriate and necessary.


  V.  Governance

            A.  In General

The Office of University Advancement oversees the UC Riverside Sponsorship program and works in coordination with colleges, schools, and non-academic departments. The Corporate Relations Office is advised on an ad hoc basis by the Corporate Sponsorship Advisory Group. 

          B.  Final Decision-making Authority

Final decision-making authority on University Sponsorships rests with the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, in consultation with the Chancellor and other campus leadership as appropriate. 

                    C.  Sponsor Selection Criteria

Potential campus or exclusive sponsors may be evaluated based on a range of criteria, which may include the company's ethical, environmental, and corporate social responsibility practices; its local, national, and global profile; its brand reputation and values or public perception of such; its historic performance upholding these standards; and its history with the University. The University reserves the right to select or reject sponsors based on their alignment or lack thereof with the University's mission and core values. University Advancement, in consultation as needed with the Corporate Sponsorship Advisory Group, will review and research potential sponsors for appropriate alignment. Final decisions will be made by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. 

                         D.  Prohibited Sponsors

Sponsorships involving controlled or illegal substances or products, tobacco brands, weapons manufacturers, adult entertainment companies, and organizations that violate UC Riverside’s Principles of Community are not permitted. 

                  E.  Limited Sponsors

                               1.  Alcohol – Sponsorship by alcohol companies is subject to the following limitations:

·         Alcohol Sponsorships may not be directed at University students under 21 years of age

·         Sponsorships are not at the Campus Sponsorship or Exclusive Sponsorship level

·         University trademarks or logos may not appear on alcoholic products or packaging

·         Alcohol Sponsorships may be subject to additional review by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and are subject to final approval by the Chancellor 

                             2.  Gaming or Gambling Sponsorship by organizations associated with gaming or gambling is subject to additional review by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and final approval by the Chancellor. 

                  F.  Use of Registered Trademarks/Co-Branding

All sponsor requests for co-branded placements must be reviewed and approved by the Office of University Communications to ensure compliance with University brand guidelines. Additionally, all sponsor Acknowledgment must comply with California Education Code 92000, which prohibits actual or implied endorsement by the University of California.


VI.  Sponsorship Limitations

·         The Chancellor or Vice Chancellor for University Advancement retains the right to dissolve sponsor relationships if a sponsor does not conform to University standards.

·        Only the Office of University Advancement or the Chancellor can authorize Campus or Exclusive Sponsorships. The Office may act as a University-wide representative or in conjunction with a school, college, unit, or department. 

A Sponsorship arrangement with UC Riverside does not imply university affiliation or endorsement.


VII.  Revision History

This is a new policy. The policy is reviewed and updated as needed by the Policy Owners.