Endorsements & Sponsorships

Many activities and events at Rutgers provide potential sources of revenue or other nonfinancial benefits through legitimate and worthwhile opportunities for sponsorships, advertising, and other promotional activities. The university is a public institution and its reputation and image must be protected. University Policy Section 80.1.4 [PDF] governs how nonuniversity entities are able to associate themselves with Rutgers.


Key Provisions

The policy Endorsements, Sponsorships, and Advertising in and on University Assets and Communication Materials:

  • does not permit endorsements, except in exceptional cases and only with the consent of the Rutgers Board of Governors as noted in University Policy 80.1.4 Section III [PDF];
  • in general, allows sponsorships and advertisements in accordance with the established policy and guidelines;
  • does not allow advertising or sponsorships in or on print or electronic materials, websites, or other university assets that students are required to access to complete their studies, such as the web registration system, or that prospective students are required to access when seeking admission to Rutgers, such as application and financial aid forms;
  • clarifies that certain revenues generated by endorsements, sponsorships, and advertising may be subject to unrelated business income tax (UBIT);
  • stipulates that all sponsorship agreements must be shared with University Brand and Marketing before a contract is signed. Contact Rebecca Boucher, r.boucher@rutgers.edu

Endorsements

The name, logo, or images of the university or any of its campuses or units may not be used in any statement, website, print or electronic communication, or activity to market, sell, promote, or endorse any corporation, business, product, service, or candidate for public office.
NOTE: A statement of fact is not considered an endorsement.

All requests for vendors or service providers to use the Rutgers name in a client list, case study, or any other promotional materials must be reviewed by the Office of Trademark Licensing. Rutgers faculty or staff may not provide statements endorsing any outside vendor, service provider, or organization on behalf of or in association with the university.

Sponsorships

This policy covers sponsorship agreements that include:

  • Gift-in-kind, which is a product or service donated, in lieu of a cash gift, to a school, college, department, or unit.
  • Gift of money, which is a cash donation or pledge made directly or through the Rutgers University Foundation to a school, college, department, or unit.

All sponsorship agreements must be shared with University Brand and Marketing before a contract is signed. Contact Rebecca Boucher, r.boucher@rutgers.edu

Sponsorships may be subject to unrelated business income tax (UBIT) according to IRS guidelines. UBIT is imposed at the same tax rates that are applicable to for-profit corporations. Consult the university tax department for guidance.

Purchasing Rules

Sponsorship agreements may not include the purchase of goods and services from the sponsor or any gift-in-kind of goods or services to the university that would ordinarily be obtained through the purchasing system; providing tangible return benefits to the sponsor has the potential to be seen as circumventing purchasing requirements.

Use of Campus Facilities

Special guidelines may apply when a department or unit uses campus facilities as part of a sponsorship. Contact Institutional Planning and Operations for more information.

Linking to Non-Rutgers Websites and Webpages

Links to external vendors on Rutgers websites and pages are permitted but should be to the entity's homepage or other nonpromotional page. For more information, see the Guidelines for Sponsor, Partner, and Third-Party Promotion [PDF]. Text that includes live links should not imply an endorsement of any kind. When a website or pages have been developed by a non-Rutgers entity, a text credit may be used (for example: This site was created by ABC Company). See the university's endorsements and sponsorship policy [PDF] for more information.

Registered Student Organizations

The university does not prepare or sign sponsorship agreements for registered student organizations (RSOs), however, RSOs must comply with the provisions of University Policy Section 80.1.4 [PDF] that relate to unacceptable sponsorship, prohibited endorsements, and use of university trademarks and images. RSOs should review the  guidelines in the Student Organization & Advisor Handbook and/or contact the Department of Student Involvement, 848-932-6978.