This policy defines the parameters for which Council will accept corporate and other sponsorship.
There are many strategies, plans, events and worthy projects that Council may not be able to fully fund at any given time. Accordingly there are opportunities for entering into arrangements to co-fund these activities.
The co-funding may take the form of donations, grants, bequests or sponsorships.
With grants, donations and bequests there may or may not be some form of acknowledgement which could include the name of the event or facility.
Sponsorships are different. They are a type of partnership arrangement offering benefits for both parties. Businesses are usually looking to benefit in some way from association with Council. This relationship could be ongoing over a set time period.
For a sponsorship agreement to be effective there should be the flexibility to enter into arrangements that work for both parties. There also needs to be similar values or beliefs. In other words, it would not be appropriate for Council to enter into a sponsorship agreement with an organisation involved in criminal activities.
Once the agreement has been reached there is an ongoing relationship for the term of the sponsorship, especially if there is an opportunity for further sponsorship. This requires effort and may require a small budget to achieve this commitment. It is also important not to promise anything that Council does not control and therefore may not be able to deliver.
3.0 Key Definitions
- Donations are gifts of money, time or materials
- Grants are funds received from established funding organisations such as Trusts or Foundations. There is an accountability requirement to ensure that the funds are allocated to the approved project in a timely manner.
- Bequests are money or items transferred at no cost as nominated in a will and may or may not be for a specific purpose.
- Activity - A Council activity is the preparation or delivery of any service, programme, product or event by, or on behalf of, Council. This includes facilities and infrastructure.
- Sponsor - A sponsor is any business, organisation or individual who enters into a sponsorship agreement with Council.
- Sponsorship - To sponsor literally means to take responsibility for. Sponsorship is a commercial arrangement between Council and a sponsor whereby the benefits to Council are either cash or in kind, and the benefits to the sponsor are principally the association between the sponsor and the Council activity.
- Council supports sponsorship of its activities where such sponsorship reduces the cost to Council of those activities without negatively impacting on Council’s quality or level of service.
- Sponsorship arrangements should not be required by a sponsor as a means of gaining favourable terms from Council in any other business agreement.
- Sponsorship of Council activities does not imply that Council endorses the sponsor or the sponsor’s products. Rather the sponsorship implies that the sponsor endorses the activity of Council.
- Council recognises that sponsorship contributions may not be stable from year to year and as such will not become financially reliant on sponsorship.
4.2 Who Council will enter into sponsorship arrangements with
- Council will only enter into sponsorship arrangements with a sponsor whose values, practices or products are not in conflict with any other Council policy.
- Council will not enter into sponsorship arrangements with a sponsor involved in the delivery of products or services that are considered to be injurious to health or are considered to be in conflict with Council’s social, environmental and cultural responsibilities to the community. For the avoidance of doubt, what is considered to be “injurious to health” or “in conflict with Council’s social, environmental or cultural responsibilities to the community” is at the discretion of Council or its delegate.
- Council will not enter into a sponsorship arrangement that imposes or implies conditions that would limit, or appear to limit, Council’s ability to carry out its functions fully and impartially.
- Sponsorship arrangements will only be entered into where there are clear benefits to Council and/or the community.
4.2 Criteria for determining appropriate sponsorship opportunities
Council may choose not to enter into a sponsorship agreement where either the sponsor or the nature of the sponsorship agreement meets any of the following criteria:
- Where the sponsorship is likely to offend public taste
- Where there are legal, moral or ethical concerns about the sponsorship arrangement.
- Where the sponsorship risks bring Council into disrepute.
- Where there is a significant risk that Council may have, or be perceived to have, a current or future conflict of interest.
4.3 Protection of Council’s interests
- Council will retain the right to attach its name and logo to any activity or facility that is subject to a sponsorship arrangement.
- Council will retain the right to terminate any sponsorship agreement should the sponsor cause Council to be brought into disrepute or otherwise default the agreement. An appropriate clause will be included in all sponsorship agreements to cover this.
- Except where prior approval of Council is obtained, the sponsor shall not influence the planning or decision-making regarding an activity or facility being sponsored.
- With regard to sponsored facilities, Council reserves the right to cover internal signs, but not to remove them, for the duration of a hireage where there is a direct conflict with a hirer of the facility.
4.4 Use of Council’s intellectual property
- Council will permit sponsors to use its name, logo and images according to criteria based on the type and level of sponsorship.
- Council will permit sponsors to link to Council’s website, according to defined criteria based on the type and level of sponsorship.
Generally there will not be a requirement to offer exclusivity in sponsorship agreements, except when naming rights are offered, (i.e. there will only be one name). Where there is no exclusivity it is possible to obtain sponsorship from two businesses providing a similar service.
4.7 Sponsor’s Benefits
Avenues available to benefit sponsors may include, but not be limited to:
- Naming rights
- Open days
The levels of these benefits given should be commensurate with the level of sponsorship received.
- The term of a sponsorship agreement may be for only one day in the case of an event or extend up to the life of a facility in the case of some naming rights. Most sponsorship terms will be somewhere in between and may include a renewal option, if both parties agree.
- Except in a special circumstance, naming rights sponsorships of a Council facility will be for a minimum duration of five years.
4.9 Issues to be addressed in a sponsorship agreement
In entering any sponsorship arrangement, Council will ensure that the following issues are addressed in the sponsorship agreement:
- The benefits available to Council and the community.
- The opportunities available to the sponsor, including advertising opportunities directly related to the activity being sponsored.
- The duration of the agreement.
- The use of Council’s name, logo and images by the sponsor.
- The form or forms of sponsorship acknowledgement that will be available to the sponsor.
- The Council staff member who has responsibility for managing the sponsorship.
- Any facility being sponsored will be available to all potential hirers (and associated event sponsors), and the facility sponsor will not be permitted to exclude particular users of the facility due to a conflict between the facility sponsor and an event sponsor.
- Termination clauses, including Council’s right to terminate the sponsorship should the sponsor bring, or be likely to bring, Council into disrepute.
- Processes to deal with changes in circumstance during the period of the sponsorship.
- For the avoidance of doubt, the above list is not intended to be exhaustive.
4.10 Advertising by a sponsor to support the sponsorship
Council supports a sponsor undertaking advertising activity to further promote the sponsorship relationship. Advertising conducted on or in Council facilities must:
- Not impact negatively on the operation of the facility or activity being sponsored, or on any other activity being undertaken on the site.
- Conform to Council by-laws and other relevant Council policies.
- Be in accordance with the criteria in section 4.3 above.
- Comply with accepted professional standards.
- No elected member or Council staff member shall receive a personal benefit from a sponsorship, except where that benefit is no different to the benefit available to any other members of the public.
Sponsorship of a Council activity does not involve explicit endorsement of either the sponsor of sponsor’s products by Council.
Adopted by Community Development Committee 1 September 2015
Last updated: 23 Jun 2020