Sponsorship is used to build an association between two organisations via the exchange of money, goods or services from which both will benefit. Opportunities for sponsorship may present in many forms, offering diverse marketing opportunities, each unique in size, location, audience reach, objectives and benefits.
The decision to enter into a sponsorship agreement must be driven by sound business principles and only undertaken if it is likely to produce significant net benefit for government and its clients with no detriment to the public interest.
When seeking sponsorship, government should do so in a manner that will withstand public scrutiny and is fair to existing and potential parties.
The terms sponsorship and partnership are often used interchangeably, however there are some fundamental differences and as such they have been separated in this Policy (see section 8.10 Partnerships).
Government will encounter sponsorship from two distinct perspectives:
- As the proposed sponsor. Another organisation, either public or private, will seek the support of government through the provision of financial or other resources, and in return will offer perceived benefits through association with the sponsored initiative, project or event.
- As the sponsored organisation. The Government will seek provision of financial or other support from another organisation, and will provide perceived benefits in return.
Sponsorship is not:
- a grant where the grantor receives no direct economic benefit in return for the assistance provided
- a donation (in cash or kind) for which little or no acknowledgement or commercial return is expected
- a discount for normal services
- an endorsement of any product or service
- part of normal assistance programs run by government.
Government must only sponsor, or offer for sponsorship, a specific initiative, project, event or communication, for example:
- conference, public event or material associated with an event
- specific project or programs, such as Crime Stoppers or Neighbourhood Watch.
Government must not sponsor, or offer for sponsorship:
- corporate identities i.e. the actual agency or organisation
- core services or any activity or communication that the public has the right to expect would be provided unencumbered by private or commercial interests
- corporate stationery, forms, annual reports or similar materials
- web home or content pages, except for web pages specifically devoted to a sponsored project or event
- corporate uniforms, except for specific event promotional clothing
- external corporate signage on buildings
- fleet vehicles except for advertising on public transport or promotional vehicles for sponsored events or projects.
When entering into sponsorship agreements agencies must:
- make the details of the sponsorship the subject of a written agreement that clearly details all terms and conditions of the sponsorship including the delivery of obligations, reporting, use of corporate identity, cancellation and operational responsibilities
- ensure government sponsorship or support is recognised in accordance with the Tasmanian Government Style Guide and Logo Policy
- identify and implement clear assessment procedures for the development/authorisation of sponsorship arrangements
- consult with their agency’s communications manager before entering into sponsorship negotiations
- gain approval to issue or accept a sponsorship agreement, regardless of value, from the agency’s communications manager and when over $10,000 in value approval from the head of agency (or their delegate)
- assess any proposed arrangement for its:
- cost effectiveness
- maintenance of government credibility
- management of risk
- compliance/compatibility with agency policies or directions.
Specifically agencies must assess the sponsorship offering based on its:
- contribution to achieving the Government’s mission and strategic direction
- ability to provide meaningful benefits to Government and its clients
- cost effectiveness compared to other marketing and communications tools.
No agreement shall be made without careful assessment of the risks to government, its core business and its public reputation through association with the sponsorship parties. Agencies must ensure:
- the products and ethics of the sponsorship organisation are consistent with and complementary to the vision and objectives of government. In making the decision, consideration should also be given to the organisations third party associations or other sponsors to ensure they are also complementary and will not impact negatively on the Government
- the sponsorship organisation is not in a line of business or does not have a public reputation that may be an inappropriate associate for the Government, for example, alcohol, gambling or drug companies
- there is no real or perceived conflict of interest, for example, implication of favoured treatment, overt endorsement of products and/or services, privileged access to Ministers or public servants, or any other disproportionate benefit beyond the specific scope of the sponsorship activity
- the benefits to each party in a sponsorship agreement are proportional to their contribution and must be confined to a specific activity or project.
When entering into sponsorship arrangements it is recommended that:
- agencies consult the Manager - Strategic Communications and Marketing (DPAC) where a proposed sponsorship may be considered contentious or of higher than normal risk
- agencies consider seeking the assistance of Crown Law to incorporate the appropriate terms and conditions in sponsorship agreements
- an evaluation of the sponsorship occur at the conclusion of the agreement to assess the performance of the sponsorship and the relationship between the sponsorship parties.