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Issuing Authority:
Advancement Office
June, 2022

Policy Statement/Background

Sponsors and advertisers gain value from the exposure and association with Stony Brook University through a sponsorship relationship. This policy promotes a comprehensive, coordinated, singular point of contact for existing and potential sponsors. It also defines the sponsorship approval processes, which requires consistency and coordination of effort. All sponsorship and advertising considerations must be compliant with this and other applicable University policies and standards, and should avoid the commercialization of essential student services.


Stony Brook University ("University") recognizes that many of its activities and programs provide potential sources of revenue or other benefits through sponsorship, advertising, and promotional opportunities. The University also recognizes that, as a public institution, it is important to protect its reputation and brand while maintaining high standards of integrity and ethical conduct. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities must:

  • Align with the University's mission and core values
  • Be free of obscene, indecent, or profane material
  • Comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations, as well as University policies

The University does not partner with sponsors who are engaged in, or have a documented history of, discrimination. Sponsorship and advertising materials which ridicule, exploit, demean, or marginalize persons on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, familial status, pregnancy, genetic predisposition, criminal convictions, domestic violence victim status, and veteran or military status are prohibited. Sponsorship and advertising materials promoting firearms, tobacco, or illegal goods or services also are prohibited.

Sponsors and advertisers promoting age-restricted goods must align with the event content and maturity of the target audience. These requests must be reviewed by the Sponsorship Advisory Committee (see below), and the University reserves the right to decline sponsorship for any reason.

Corporate sponsorships and advertising activities must not offer direct or indirect personal gain to any employee or representative of the University. Additionally, sponsors will not be given preferential treatment during a subsequent purchase or in the New York State competitive bidding process based on previous sponsorship volume.

Use of University Marks

Sponsorship of a University program, activity, or event does not automatically give the corporate entity the right to use university trademarks, names, or logos. The university's Trademark Licensing Program must approve corporate sponsor use of university trademarks or logos. For more information, visit the university's Trademark Licensing Program website.

Sponsorship Advisory Committee

The Sponsorship Advisory Committee (the Committee) is composed of representatives from the Office of Strategic Initiatives, University Marketing and Communications, Stony Brook Medicine, Student Affairs, Office of General Counsel, Government Relations, University Advancement, Athletics, Office of the Provost and the Faculty Student Association. This committee will meet periodically to approve sponsorship agreements that fall into the following categories:

  • Sponsorship creates revenue over $50,000
  • Sponsorship creates or implies exclusivity
  • Sponsorships with unique circumstances where additional advisement is needed, such as:
    • University-wide sponsorships
    • Sponsorship requests with assets extending over multiple units
    • Multi-year sponsorship agreements
  • Non-qualified sponsorships, if such sponsorship is desired

The Committee shall be available to advise academic units and administrative divisions, and is the ultimate approver for sponsorships of $50,000 or more. The Committee will also make a determination regarding where revenues are deposited and how they are distributed if the sponsorship commits University-wide assets.

Approval of Contracts

All sponsorship agreements creating revenue for the University must go through the established procurement process managed by the University's Procurement Office.

Allocation of Sponsorship Funds and Advertising Revenues

In most cases, funds received from sponsors and advertisers will be allocated to the units(s) that fulfill the benefits as defined in the sponsorship agreement. In those cases when the University asset offered to the sponsor is a University-wide asset, allocation of sponsorship funds or advertising revenues will be determined by the Sponsorship Advisory Committee.

Campus Access

For more information about campus access, see SUNY Policy 5603 - Use of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations), SUNY Policy 5607 - Commercial Use Policy (Use of Facilities for Commercial Purposes) and University Policy 517 Use of Campus Facilities. Non-university entities or vendors may be given the opportunity to access the University through periodic vendor fairs, table rentals, and corporate sponsorship agreements. Outside corporations and marketing representatives must have prior approval for any on-campus solicitation or information distribution. Products or information to be distributed must not include university marks unless in compliance with trademark and licensing guidelines.

Tax Implications

For revenue classification and tax purposes, a distinction is made between corporate sponsorships and advertising revenues. Corporate sponsorship revenue is considered contribution revenue, not subject to tax, whereas advertising revenue is subject to state and local taxes and may be subject to federal Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) depending on the facts and circumstances.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations provide an exemption from UBIT for student newspapers, provided all advertising sales are conducted by students.

The university prefers qualified sponsorships to avoid negative tax consequences.


This policy governs all revenue generating sponsorship and advertising practices of Stony Brook University. It applies to all employees and students soliciting corporate sponsorships or advertising revenue. This includes, but is not limited to, University academic and administrative units, centers, institutes that seek corporate sponsorship or advertising revenues.


For information related to this policy, please contact:

Office of the Vice President for Advancement
Room 330, Administration
(631) 632-6300

Relevant Standards, Codes, Rules, Regulations, Statutes and Policies

Created by Application Support for Administration
University Policy Manual @ Stony Brook University