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Guideline: ANU sponsorship guidelines


This document sets out guidance on the responsibilities of ANU staff and students when entering into any sponsorship agreements.


These sponsorship guidelines:

  • ensure sponsorship agreements align with ANU goals, objectives, core values and optimally benefit the University;
  • specify the principles for all University sponsorship agreements;
  • set out the conditions that should be met when approving sponsorship agreements; and
  • mitigate sponsorship-related risks.


These guidelines:

  • apply to all staff and student University sponsorship activities, whether the University is itself a sponsor or is accepting sponsorship; and
  • provide an overview of what constitutes a sponsorship agreement at ANU, the benefits of sponsorship and what to look for in a sponsorship agreement.

What is a sponsorship agreement?

  1. A sponsorship agreement is a written agreement for sponsorship between the University and another party, which is documented.
  2. Sponsorship can be:
  • the purchase of rights or benefits, including naming rights, delivered through association with the sponsored organisation’s name, products, services or activities; and
  • in the form of either cash payments or in-kind support (e.g. use of equipment, facilities or labour).
  1. Sponsorship does not include:
  • unconditional gifts; and
  • donations.

General sponsorship principles

  1. Sponsorship agreements strengthen corporate relationships and raise the ANU profile and/or reputation among key audiences.
  2. Any use of the ANU Identity (name, logo, insignia) in a sponsorship agreement complies with the Use of the ANU Brand Standard and the ANU Identity guidelines.
  3. Sponsorship proposals demonstrate tangible benefits to ANU.
  4. The other party to the sponsorship agreement is reputable, with a public image, products or services that align with ANU values and strategy and are consistent with the ANU Identity.
  5. The onus is on the other party seeking sponsorship to demonstrate the sponsorship’s value to ANU.
  6. Sponsorship proposals contribute to, and are considered in the context of, the University’s core activities i.e. research, education and community engagement.
  7. Sponsorships are funded by individual organisational units. There is no central ANU funding for sponsorships.

Sponsorship benefits

  1. A sponsorship agreement provides distinct value, competitive advantage or demonstrable benefit to the University such as:
  • raising the University’s profile and brand awareness among target audiences;
  • providing exposure or access to new strategic partners or markets;
  • creating opportunities for the University to add value by using its content, people, places and expertise; and
  • the benefits provided by or received from sponsorship are commensurate with the value of the sponsorship.

When assessing the value of sponsorship staff need to weigh the cost of the sponsorship, including additional funding and resources, against the complete value derived from the sponsorship. For example, the total financial cost of resources may outweigh the total financial cost of the sponsorship but may provide significant value to the University therefore justifying the costs. Agreements like these are thoroughly investigated to ensure a reasonable return on investment.


  1. Any sponsorship agreement that ANU enters into must offer a benefit to the organisation. ANU places high value on a sponsorship that offers:
  • alignment with ANU strategic interests or helps support the University’s goals and objectives;
  • an opportunity for a measurable response (e.g. there is tangible evidence that your goal has been achieved such as publicity generated from an event);
  • value for money, where you have considered other factors such as strategic benefits and risks of association; capacity to advance the University’s priorities, goals and objectives; direct and indirect costs of servicing the sponsorship; value of opportunities for networking or reaching new audiences; and value of alternative uses of the sponsorship budget;
  • an appropriate activity that does not damage the University’s reputation (an appropriate activity would not reasonably be seen to compromise the University’s ability to perform its duties impartially or affect public interest); and
  • specification on the duration of the sponsorship and, where appropriate, the conditions under which either party may terminate.
  1. The following sponsorship agreements are not considered:
  • proposals that do not have a demonstrable benefit to ANU and/or our students and staff;
  • proposals that do not reflect the values of ANU;
  • political or religious activities;
  • fundraising organisations or aid appeals;
  • programs associated with the advertising of tobacco or liquor and/or inappropriate liquor consumption or free liquor; and
  • liquor and/or tobacco companies or brands.
  1. The following risk factors are considered when assessing requests:
  • events and organisations seeking association with ANU as a means of establishing their own credibility;
  • simply the inclusion of an ANU logo on event literature isn’t necessarily a benefit, especially if it’s among a crowd of other logos;
  • dont be pressured by weve already secured sponsorship from .; too many other sponsors, and sponsorship by competitive institutions, can actually degrade the potential benefits;
  • beware of proposals that aim to exploit the Universitys internal student, academic or general staff audience;
  • treat with caution proposals from organisations that do not have a dedicated individual contact for sponsorship related matters or a centralised sponsorship team structure; and
  • question the validity of any sponsorship event that is not based on a clear and concise marketing strategy.

Events and sponsorship

  • If you are organising an event on campus, as an ANU staff member or student, you must comply with rules and regulations set out by Functions on Campus.
  • Please read the Functions on Campus Terms and Conditions and the ANU Advertising policy prior to organising an event on campus.

How to arrange sponsorship

  1. Sponsorship arrangements are the responsibility of individuals and/or ANU business units. There is no central unit that coordinates sponsorship on behalf of the University however you may wish to follow the steps below.
  1. Define your objectives. Decide which of your current goals or strategies the sponsorship can help achieve.
  2. Identify your equity opportunity. Find the space you can actually “own” and what you can achieve with it.
  3. Assess your sponsorship partners equity fit. Make sure you’re partnering with an organisation that aligns with the ANU identity. Make sure your partner enables you to reach a key target and reinforce what you stand for.
  4. Value what you bring to the table. A successful sponsorship also helps your partner. Use the value you bring to the table to negotiate opportunities; otherwise, you may overpay.
  5. Look for ways to activate the sponsorship across all relevant channels. By understanding the ways in which your key audience interact with your event/product/service, you can utilise the sponsorship to create value and drive audience behaviours.
  6. Capture data and measure results. Clear objectives should drive opportunities for measurement and enhancement of your sponsorship which lead to improved return on investment in the future.

Getting sponsorship sign-off

  1. For sponsorship agreements, up to the value of $100,000, it is recommended that staff with a D3 delegation or higher approve the sponsorship agreement.
  2. For sponsorship agreements above $100,000 please contact the Marketing & Student Recruitment Division for endorsement. Please include the following information in your email, a:
  • one-page document that demonstrates how the sponsorship agreement provides value to the University, as per these guidelines; and
  • one-page risk register and treatment plan.


Printable version (PDF)
Title ANU Sponsorship
Document Type Guideline
Document Number ANUP_000717
Purpose A guideline on the sponsorship of ANU events and projects
Audience Staff, Students
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Marketing & Communications
Effective Date 1 Apr 2021
Next Review Date 1 Apr 2026
Responsible Officer: Director International Strategy and Future Student Division
Approved By: International Strategy and Future Students Division
Contact Area International Strategy and Future Students Division
Authority: Australian National University Act 1991
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.