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University Funded External Sponsorship Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The relationships Western Sydney University enters into can affect the reputation/brand of the University. Outgoing sponsorships are activated to build, maintain or enhance the reputation and brand of the University. Sponsorships should aim to improve staff and student recruitment opportunities for the University, enhance our reputation in the areas of teaching and learning and research and/or improves relationships with the University's communities.

(2) The purpose of this policy is to provide a governance and management framework for the University's external sponsorship agreements to ensure that any such agreement:

  1. enhances the University's reputation locally and where applicable nationally and internationally;
  2. builds and positively augments brand awareness in the University's key target markets;
  3. creates recruitment, engagement and research opportunities;
  4. reinforces the University's position as a leading teaching, learning and research-led university; and
  5. develops strong relationships with the University's communities.

(3) This policy includes all outgoing and sponsorship programs, both cash and in-kind, supported by the University to acceptable external organisations.

(4) This policy excludes gifts, bequests and sponsorship by an external organisation to the University.

(5) This policy applies to all areas of the University and its wholly-owned entities.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(6) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. External/outgoing sponsorship - refers to any University funded (either by cash or in-kind) sponsorship of an external organisation to support an event or activity.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(7) The policy objectives are to:

  1. coordinate the University's sponsorship arrangements;
  2. ensure that the University enters into suitable sponsorship arrangements;
  3. ensure sponsorships have measurable outcomes;
  4. assess sponsorship proposals fairly and equitably;
  5. promote understanding of the value of sponsorships; and
  6. ensure the University maximises the full potential benefit from any sponsorship arrangement entered into.

(8) The University views its contributions and sponsorships as long-term investments that reflect its commitment to the community and/or its partners and only proposals that are consistent with the University's current corporate strategy, values and brand will be considered for sponsorship.

(9) The University will not support external/outgoing sponsorship activities that include:

  1. proposals that do not reflect the University's mission, vision, policies and brand values. (Refer the University's Brand and Visual Identity Management Policy);
  2. activities tied closely to registered political parties;
  3. programs that can reasonably be judged as offending or denigrating individuals and/or community groups;
  4. activities that promote smoking or gambling; or
  5. any other activity deemed inappropriate by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(10) The University reserves the right to review all third parties involved in an external/outgoing sponsorship arrangement, and to withdraw from the sponsorship agreement without penalty if a conflict of interest is apparent.

(11) Whilst sponsorships can be initiated by any part of the University, they must adhere to the requirements of this policy and be approved by the Director, Corporate Communications.

(12) External/outgoing sponsorships must have approved agreement terms, which must require activities to be regularly reviewed and measured.

(13) External/outgoing sponsorship agreements must have clear ownership and management responsibilities.

(14) All external/outgoing sponsorship agreements must be reported to the Office of Marketing and Communication.

(15) The University's sponsorship of an event or activity can comprise of in-kind support, financial support, or a combination of both.

(16) In the negotiation of any sponsorship arrangement, the commercial value of all in-kind support must be clearly identified and acknowledged.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Consideration of External Sponsorship Arrangements

(17) When submitting an external/outgoing sponsorship proposal for approval, unit heads must give consideration to the University's requirements for supporting external/outgoing sponsorships as detailed in Sections 1 - 3 of this policy. This includes the type of support such as in-kind or financial. Advice on in-kind and financial support can be found in Section 5 Guidelines.

What the University looks for in sponsorship arrangements

(18) The University has determined that external/outgoing sponsorships must offer a benefit to the organisation, staff and students and/or the community. They should also support the University's Strategic Plan. The University places high value on a sponsorship that offers:

  1. an opportunity for a measurable benefit;
  2. the University as the sole sponsor, or one of a select and comparable group of sponsors;
  3. a valuable strategic alliance for the University;
  4. extensive coverage by print and/or electronic media;
  5. defined media/publicity opportunities that can be used to promote the University;
  6. involvement or participation in prestigious conferences/events.

Assessing the benefit to the University

(19) In assessing a sponsorship application, it is necessary to consider any benefits available to the University. The benefits may include, but should not be limited to:

  1. increased exposure of University services and activities;
  2. opportunity to build on a relationship to achieve University's strategic goals or brand objectives;
  3. opportunity to increase awareness of the University's research outcomes;
  4. use of the University brand in promotional material;
  5. invitations to attend events or functions to promote University involvement;
  6. product/services endorsement;
  7. staff involvement;
  8. exclusive naming rights opportunities.

Part B - Sponsorship Applications

(20) Where a School or other area within the University receives an external/outgoing sponsorship application or initiates a proposal to sponsor, the unit head must notify the Director, Corporate Communications of the proposal, who will provide advice.

(21) The decision to approve an external/outgoing sponsorship proposal lies with the Director, Corporate Communications.

(22) Unit heads must complete the External Sponsorship Application Form and an external sponsorship plan and submit both to the Director, Corporate Communications for approval. These must be submitted at least four weeks before the planned external/outgoing sponsorship commences.

(23) To assist with the preparation of sponsorship applications an External Sponsorship Application form has been developed, refer to Appendix 1.

(24) Best practice involves the development of an outgoing sponsorship plan to ensure the University is getting the greatest benefit/value from the sponsorship program or event. Unit heads must complete a Checklist for Submitting an External Sponsorship Proposal which is available in Appendix 2.

Part C - Evaluation of Sponsorship Programs

(25) At the conclusion of an outgoing sponsorship program, a full evaluation of the program must be undertaken by the unit responsible. The Office of Marketing and Communication are able to assist in this process.

(26) A copy of the completed external sponsorship evaluation must be submitted to the Director, Corporate Communications within 4 weeks of the completion of the external sponsorship.

(27) Where the external sponsorship program is ongoing, it must be evaluated annually by the relevant unit head. Annual evaluations must be submitted to the Director, Corporate Communications within 4 weeks of the end of the annual cycle.

Part D - Branding of Sponsored Programs

(28) Use of the University name, logo, trademarks and brand assets are governed under the University's Delegations of Authority Policy and the Brand and Visual Identity Management Policy. The Director, Corporate Communications has delegated authority to approve use of the University's name, logo, trademarks and all brand assets for the purposes of promoting the University, including sponsorship arrangements.

Part E - Responsibilities

(29) Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and senior staff of University entities are responsible for enforcing this policy in their area of responsibility.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Part F - Guidelines for Outgoing Sponsorship Agreements

(30) All units should promote cohesive co-ordination of sponsorship activities with a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.

(31) Each activity should be evaluated and assessed against the desired strategic and brand positioning objectives of the University.

(32) Sponsorship proposals should be assessed against the criteria outlined in this policy.

(33) A holistic approach should be developed for the stakeholder management of sponsorship relationships and to ensure end-to-end project management of each activity/program.

(34) Potential benefits to the University in each activity/program should be maximised by looking for areas of cooperation across internal Schools and units and external partners and communities.

(35) Feedback mechanisms should be established to report on the success of each activity and to review these periodically.

(36) It is imperative that the cost benefit and return on investment of the sponsorship activity is understood.

Part G - In-kind Support

(37) Specifically, in-kind support could entail access to University facilities, venues, equipment, and resources. This includes access to advice or support from University staff, project management support from the Office of Marketing and Communication, access to the University community through involvement in University events and activities, support of the activity by the supply and distribution of University merchandise or inclusion of the activity details or sponsored organisation in University promotional material including:

  1. External Publication sent to Media Outlets and External Stakeholders as well as distributed on-campus - Editorial
  2. Western Sydney University Website (External) - Editorial
  3. Staff Intranet (Internal Communication)
  4. AroundUWS (Internal Staff Communication)
  5. Campus Life (Student Specific Publication)

Part H - Financial Support

(38) Financial Support can entail a one-off or ongoing financial contribution over a specified period covering specified programs and activities.