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Category Marketing and Communication
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Date Policy Took Effect 9 December 2019
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor, External Engagement
Responsible officer Director of Marketing, External Engagement


To provide guidance to University of Otago staff to ensure sponsorship efforts are coordinated and consistent across the University.

Organisational scope

The University of Otago's Outgoing Sponsorship Policy applies University-wide to all sponsorship granted by University of Otago to external parties.

This policy does not include receiving sponsorship from external parties or charitable donations.


Outgoing Sponsorship –A commercial (i.e. not philanthropic gift or donation) arrangement in which a sponsor provides monetary contribution for an activity in return for certain benefits and entitlements.

Sponsorship Owner– The person with authority to approve the sponsorship and sign agreement documentation.

Sponsorship Agreements –Contractual documents between the University and the sponsored party.

In-kind support– Means non-financial support such as the provision of venues, resources, staffing or other goods, services or infrastructure.

Exclusivity–The sponsorship agreement specifies that the University of Otago is the only sponsor.

Industry Exclusivity– The sponsorship agreement specifies that the University of Otago is the only Tertiary Education sector provider.

Naming Rights– The activity or event will be known as “The University of Otago …”

Cost of Sponsorship– The full cost of the sponsorship, including sponsorship fees, staff time, use of facilities as well as any in-kind offering.

Leverage Funds– Costs and resources associated with the promotion of the University of Otago brand as a result of the sponsorship agreement.

Charitable Donation– A payment to an organisation, activity or event with no expectation of commercial return. Charitable donations are not covered under this policy.


  1. General principles

    1. The University will usually only engage in a small number of high value sponsorships.
    2. The University will only centrally fund sponsorships that offer benefits for the University as a whole and that support the University's vision, values, brand and strategic objectives.
    3. All sponsorships should be assessed according to the University of Otago Outgoing Sponsorship Guidelines.
    4. Advice should be sought from the Office of Māori Development or the Pacific Development Office where there is a connection to Māori or Pacific events.
    5. Divisions or Departments entering into Sponsorship agreements on their own accord must ensure they can fully cover any costs associated with the sponsorship including staff resources, activation and leverage funds. They must also have the resources available to manage and execute the sponsorship.
    6. The benefits of undertaking a sponsorship must clearly justify the investment.
    7. Sponsorships are for a finite period. Individual Sponsorship Agreements should be for terms not exceeding three years.
    8. Staff involved in sponsorship decisions should be aware of the potential for real or apparent conflict of interest.  This should be managed in accordance with the University's Conflicts of Interest Policy.
    9. Where possible, the University will have tertiary industry exclusivity in all sponsorship agreements.
  2. Application and approval processes

    1. To achieve a consistent approach to sponsorship, all applications should be assessed according to the Sponsorship Guidelines.
    2. Responsibility for approval and funding of any sponsorship request lies with the area that receives the request.
    3. The sponsorship owner must be satisfied that in exchange for providing the sponsorship, the University will receive benefits commensurate with the level of investment, both monetary and in-kind.
    4. Where a Division receives a sponsorship request it is recommended they inform Marketing Services at prior to undertaking any formal negotiations. Marketing Services can provide advice and notify of any potential clashes with the University's sponsorship objectives or other sponsorship commitments.
    5. All approved sponsorships must be documented and registered with Marketing Services.
      1. A sponsorship letter may be used to document a sponsorship valued up to $5,000.
      2. A full sponsorship agreement must be used to document a sponsorship valued at more than $5,000.
      3. Any person signing sponsorship agreements and committing to funding must be acting in accordance with their delegated authority.
      4. Copies of final and co-signed Sponsorship Letters and Agreements should be sent to
  3. Use of University's brand

    1. The University's brand, including but not limited to its logo, must not be used in association with any sponsorship until the sponsorship has been approved.
    2. Regardless of who is funding the sponsorship, the main University of Otago brand will be used unless approval is otherwise given by the Director of Marketing Services.
    3. All marketing and promotional activities associated with the sponsorship must comply with Brand Guidelines and be approved by Marketing Services prior to use.
  4. Management and review of sponsorship arrangements

    1. The sponsorship owner has responsibility for oversight, management and execution of the sponsorship.
    2. For sponsorships of $5,000 or more, a review of effectiveness should be produced by the sponsorship owner with support from the sponsored party. This review will form the basis of future involvement with the sponsorship when the term of the agreement expires.  For multiyear agreements, reviews should be completed annually. Completed reviews should be sent to

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the

Senior Strategy and Policy Adviser
External Engagement

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