Faculty Handbook

Endorsements, Sponsorship, and Advertising

Last updated: 4/11/1997


The following policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on April 11, 1997.

As a publicly supported institution of higher education, Michigan State University must be operated in the public trust. Each unit of the University and every University employee is responsible for protecting the integrity of the name of the University.

The University recognizes that many of its activities provide potential sources of revenue through legitimate and worthwhile opportunities for sponsorship, advertising and promotion of entities and their products and services. While this revenue can be beneficial to the University community and in turn to the State of Michigan, the University's reputation and image are paramount and must be protected.


No official University publication or statement and no activity carried out in the name of the University, or by any individual officially acting on behalf of the University, shall constitute or be construed as a University endorsement of any commercial product or service. Further, sponsorship and advertising consistent with this policy are not intended and shall not be deemed to constitute the University's endorsement of related commercial products or services.

Sponsorship, Advertising

The University may extend the following donor and sponsorship acknowledgment, advertising and promotion opportunities to non-University entities:

  1. Sports, Performing Arts and Similar Activities. Sponsorship recognition and advertising on programs, tickets, uniforms, equipment, banners, or other media or fixed or electronic recognition panels used in conjunction with University sports, performing arts and similar activities which may be attended by the public on a complimentary or fee basis.
  2. Public Broadcasting. Sponsorship recognition and advertising on public broadcasting programs in accordance with applicable federal public broadcasting regulations.
  3. Other Academic Functions
    • Acknowledgment by the University of donors who provide substantial resources which make structures, facilities or programs possible, provided that acknowledgment through naming opportunities shall be subject to the University's policy on naming gifts.
    • Acknowledgment of gifts and grants where such recognition is limited to information necessary to identify the donor and the nature or purpose of the gift.
    • Acknowledgment of the cost underwriting of conference and other academic programs by a commercial donor, provided that such donor acknowledgment is limited to an appropriately modest statement of identification.

The Office of the Secretary of the Board of Trustees is responsible for the implementation of this policy. Requests for interpretations of the policy shall be referred to that Office. Prior approval of the Board of Trustees shall be required to erect permanent and substantial structures for purposes of commercial recognition. Those responsible for any activity subject to this policy shall exercise reasonable judgment and taste in the acceptance of sponsorship and advertising and consider health implications of products to be advertised.

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