Guidelines for Sponsorships and Advertisements

Introduction

These guidelines govern the acceptance and acknowledgement of sponsorships and the acceptance of advertising in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (University) publications including Web pages. These guidelines govern University Units (Units) and individuals (Individual Users) such as students, faculty, and staff using University resources. University resources are to be used in support of the educational, research, and public service missions of the University and must not be used for non-mission related purposes or for private gain.

These guidelines do not apply to the University of Illinois Foundation, the University of Illinois Alumni Association, Web pages posted on PrairieNet, the purchase of advertising by Units nor gifts as defined below. These guidelines notwithstanding, the University reserves the right of final determination of appropriateness of sponsorships and advertisements for University publications.

Definitions

University Resources
Includes publications funded by University funds and Web pages on the .edu site.
Gifts
Contributions made to the University for which the provider receives no direct benefit and requires nothing in exchange beyond a general assurance that the intent of the contribution will be honored.
Sponsorships
Money, goods, or services from organizations or individuals outside the University provided to underwrite specific activities by the University and /or requiring the University to meet specific requirements while performing activities in support of the University's mission.
Acknowledging Sponsorships
Recognizing financial, material (e.g. equipment, supplies), or service support to the University's mission by an organization or individual.
Advertisements
Printed or spoken matter promoting goods and/or services in exchange for money, goods, or services. Promotion of goods and services may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
  • A call to action;
  • An inducement to buy a product or service; and,
  • Qualitative or comparative language and/or price information or other indications of savings or value associated with the product or service. Note that such language and information are strong indicators of the promotion of goods or services but do not necessarily, by themselves, indicate such promotion. For example, qualitative or comparative language or price information may not be a promotion of goods and services where used in research, a critique, or a review not funded by an entity being evaluated.
An e-Commerce Page
An Internet page that allows the direct purchase of goods or services by completing an order and providing payment method on-line or involves the promotion of goods and services.
Unrelated Business Activity
A business activity that is regularly carried on, conducted for the production of income, and not substantially related to the exempt purposes of the institution.

Prohibition for Individual Users

Individual users (student, staff, or faculty) are not permitted to benefit personally or benefit others through accepting sponsorships, acknowledging sponsorships, accepting advertisements, or advertising in University supported media (including print, broadcast, or the Internet) under any circumstances.

Individual users are prohibited from putting hotlinks to commercial or charitable Web pages on their University supported Web pages.

Guidelines for Units

To accept or acknowledge sponsorships or accept advertising, Units must meet both the General Requirements and the Specific Requirements for sponsorships or advertising identified below.

Although the University is a tax-exempt entity, sponsorship and/or advertising income may be subject to taxation. Units are individually responsible for reporting any potential Unrelated Business Activity to the Accounting Division of the Office of Business and Financial Services. Units are ultimately responsible for all resulting tax payments and liabilities, including penalties and attorneys' fees, in relation to Unrelated Business Income Tax, or other tax assessments arising from the acceptance of sponsorships and/or advertising.

Advertising, and in some cases acknowledgment of sponsorships, in printed materials may jeopardize the Unit's right to use the University's nonprofit mailing permit for those materials. For information on nonprofit mailings, contact the Mailing Center at 333-6101.

  1. General Requirements

    Units, including departments, colleges, or divisions, may accept sponsorships and/or advertising or acknowledge sponsorships only when the sponsorships or advertising:

    1. Are consistent with and do not detract from the mission and/or best interests of the University;
    2. Are governed by an appropriately approved contractual agreement between the University and a third party;
    3. Are not in conflict with any existing contracts, in particular exclusive sponsorships or providerships;
    4. Do not imply endorsement by the University;
    5. Do not promote tobacco products or gambling;
    6. Do not espouse the position of a political candidate or partisan political cause or intend to influence legislation;
    7. Are lawful under federal and state law;
    8. Do not violate University policies and rules; and,
    9. Are at least two levels (links) removed from the University's home page and one level (link) removed from the Unit's home page.
  2. Specific Requirements

    1. Sponsorships: Units may accept sponsorships and acknowledge sponsorship funding sources, proprietary technologies, and other commercial ventures. Units must meet the following requirements for sponsorship agreements and sponsorship acknowledgements.
      1. Sponsorship Agreements
        1. Sponsorships Related to a Scope of Work

          Procedures and policies for accepting sponsorships related to a scope of work are available from the Office of Grants and Contracts, Office of Business and Financial Services [Grants & Sponsored Projects].

        2. Other Types of Sponsorships

          For other sponsorships, sponsorship agreements should be written and submitted for approval to the Unit Executive Officer and the next higher administrative level or that administrator's designee. The Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, or Deans may require additional approvals within their areas of responsibility. After receiving approval from the Unit Executive Office and the next higher administrator, the agreement must be formalized as an appropriately approved contractual agreement between the University and a third party. (See General Requirements above.)

          The Chancellor may exempt Units from the requirements of this subsection. Exemption from these requirements does not exempt the Unit from completing a contractual agreement for sponsorships (as stated under General Requirements).

          For non-exempt Units, sponsorships agreements presented to Unit Executive Officers for approval should include:

          1. Description of the project/activity to be sponsored;
          2. Identification of the sponsor;
          3. Sponsorship time period;
          4. Relation of the sponsorship to the Unit's mission;
          5. Description of the publication/media/domain in which the sponsorship will be featured and how the sponsorship will be presented therein;
          6. Estimate of revenue or description and estimated value of goods or services to be received from the sponsorship;
          7. Identification of the account into which funds from the sponsorship will be deposited;
          8. Description of how funds raised by the sponsorship will be used;
          9. Identification of any exclusivity provisions related to the sponsorship;
          10. Description of any potential conflicts with the sponsorship and how any such conflicts have been reviewed and resolved; and,
          11. The manner in which the sponsorship is to be acknowledged.

          Units currently exempt from the requirements in this subsection include the following:

          • Allerton Park and Retreat Center
          • Assembly Hall
          • Campus Stores, Mail, and Receiving
          • Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
          • Illini Center
          • Illini Union Bookstore
          • Krannert Art Museum
          • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
          • Levis Faculty Center
          • Spurlock Museum
          • WILL
          • Willard Airport
      2. Sponsorship Acknowledgements

        All sponsorship acknowledgements must meet the following guidelines:

        1. Sponsorship acknowledgements may include the sponsor's name or logo, location(s) and telephone number(s), value-neutral descriptions (including displays and visual depictions of a product line or services), brand or trade names, and product or service listings.
        2. The University, not the sponsor, shall receive top billing on any publication in which a sponsorship acknowledgement is featured.
        3. For projects related to a scope of work and funded by governmental or nonprofit organizations, language and format of sponsorships acknowledgement should follow the guidelines specified within the award of the project.
        4. The sponsorship acknowledgment must meet the following additional guidelines if present on University .edu domain sites:
          1. If the sponsorship acknowledgement includes a direct/hot-link to a sponsor's Web page, the direct link is allowed only if the sponsor's page being linked is not an E-commerce page (See Definitions.) and a University exit flag is used. This will identify that the link is forwarding the individual to an external web site not endorsed by the University. The exit flag is available in the Campus Graphic Standards Manual at http://www.identitystandards.illinois.edu/graphicstandardsmanual/resources/specialdownloads.html.
          2. The sponsorship acknowledgment does not involve the Promotion of Goods and Services. (See Definitions.)
          3. The sponsor's graphic image on any .edu site is no larger than 10,000 pixels.
        5. The sponsorship acknowledgement must meet the following additional guidelines if present in print publications:
          1. The sponsorship acknowledgment does not involve the Promotion of Goods and Services. (See Definitions.)
          2. The Sponsor's graphic image and/or name are smaller than the University's graphic image and/or name.
    2. Advertising

      In most cases, Units may not accept advertising dollars, goods, or services. The University expects activities and programs essential to the mission of the University to be supported by University resources or sponsorships, not advertising. Occasionally, under specific conditions outlined herein, permission will be granted to allow accepting advertising.

      1. Submissions for Approval for Accepting Advertising

        Units should submit proposals to accept commercial advertising to the Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs who has been charged with applying and interpreting these Guidelines. Proposals must be in writing and should include the following information for each proposed acceptance of commercial advertising:

        1. Identification of the advertiser and the goods or services to be advertised.
        2. Relation of the advertising to the Unit's mission.
        3. Reason for accepting advertising funds instead of using other funding sources.
        4. Identification of the account into which funds raised from advertising will be deposited.
        5. Estimate of revenue or description and estimated value of goods or services to be received from the advertising.
        6. Description of how funds raised by advertising will be used.
        7. Identification of the length of time the advertisement will run.
        8. Description of the publication/media/domain in which the advertising will be featured and how the advertisement will be presented therein.
        9. Description of the structure of the Web site (this is to ensure the proper distance from home pages).
        10. Discussion of whether the content of the advertising could change while the advertising is being run, who will monitor for changes in content, how often such monitoring will occur and mechanisms for controlling objectionable changes in content.
        11. Identification of any exclusivity provisions related to the advertisement.
      2. Restrictions for Advertisements on Web Sites

        The following restrictions apply to advertisements by University Units on Web sites:

        1. Web site advertising, except for University Units advertising the Unit's products (e.g., merchandise, services, tickets) may only be published on a .com domain, not on the University's .edu domain.
        2. Units must request approval to establish a .com site and must contract with an outside service provider to host Web sites with advertisements. For information, contact the Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs who has been charged with applying and interpreting these Guidelines (333-5010, 304 Swanlund Administration Building, 601 East John Street, Champaign, pubaff@illinois.edu). Information to be submitted:
          1. Complete description of the purpose of the .com Web page.
          2. Relation of the .com Web page to the Unit's mission.
          3. Proposal for accepting each advertisement expected to be solicited for the .com page. (See Submissions for Approval for Accepting Advertising above.)
          4. Estimate of the cost to maintain the .com Web site.
        3. Links to non-University sites must carry a University exit flag. The exit flag is available in the Campus Graphic Standards Manual at http://www.identitystandards.illinois.edu/graphicstandardsmanual/resources/specialdownloads.html.

Questions regarding these guidelines should be directed to the Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs who has been charged with applying and interpreting these Guidelines (333-5010, 304 Swanlund Administration Building, 601 East John Street, Champaign, pubaff@illinois.edu).