FI0320 – Indicia Licensing, Promotions, and Sponsorships

FI0320 – Indicia Licensing, Promotions, and Sponsorships


Indicia Licensing


Promotions And Sponsorships



To provide guidelines related to the university’s Indicia Licensing Program, promotions, and sponsorships.


Indicia Licensing – top

  1. The University of Tennessee’s trademarks and service marks include all university names, logos, slogans, insignias, symbols, team names, and other indicia. These indicia or marks are valuable intangible property, protected by federal and state laws, and regulated by the University of Tennessee’s Indicia Licensing Program. The program is administered by the Office of Trademark Licensing, located at 1551 Lake Loudoun Boulevard, M020 Brenda Lawson Athletic Center, Knoxville, TN 37996-4115; (865) 974-1444.
  2. The purposes of the Indicia Licensing Program are to (1) register university marks with federal and state agencies, (2) approve the commercial use of all university marks and determine that such use is consistent with the university’s status as a leading institution of higher education, (3) manage the collection of revenues associated with indicia licensing, and (4) encourage public recognition of the university’s ownership of and interest in its marks.
  3. The following guidelines govern the operation of the Indicia Licensing Program:
    1. The Office of Trademark Licensing approves each use of the university’s mark(s) on commercial products, whether for retail sale or for promotional purposes, before these products are manufactured, sold, and distributed. Products determined to be unsafe or inappropriate will not be approved.
    2. The Office of Trademark Licensing determines whether a license and royalty payments are required for the product in question. If the product requires a license, the vendor or manufacturer must obtain a license through the university’s licensing agent (The Collegiate Licensing Company) and must pay appropriate royalties to the university for the privilege of using a mark(s) of the University of Tennessee.
    3. The Office of Trademark Licensing approves each use of the university’s mark(s) on products for sale or promotion by university clubs or other organizations.
    4. University departments and student organizations may use only licensed vendors when purchasing products that bear university names and trademarks. The Office of Trademark Licensing must approve any exceptions. When merchandise bearing the university’s marks is purchased for internal use, the licensed manufacturer or vendor is not required to pay a royalty. (Likewise, the costs charged to the university should reflect this savings.)
    5. University publications such as brochures, informational materials and other non-commercial products should be reviewed by the applicable campus/institute office to ensure that the trademarks and logos comply with university guidelines.

Promotions and Sponsorships

  1. For the purpose of this policy, promotions and sponsorships are defined as follows:
    1. Promotions. The university grants to another entity (i.e., person or organization) the rights to conduct an activity or event that involves advertising and promotional uses of the university’s trademarks and/or service marks. Usually, this right is granted through a written promotional agreement and serves to enhance, directly or indirectly, the sale of the entity’s products or services.
    2. Sponsorships. The university grants another entity or “sponsor” the rights to associate with the university or with an event conducted by the university. The purpose of the association is twofold: (1) to directly promote the university or the university event and (2) to indirectly enhance the sale of the sponsor’s products or services. Generally, the sponsor agrees to pay or to provide products or services in exchange for the right to associate itself commercially with the university or event.
  2. All proposals for promotional and/or sponsorship activities involving the University of Tennessee’s marks and/or personnel must be approved by the appropriate campus or unit administrator and the chief financial officer (or designee). Because sponsorships may be subject to federal Unrelated Business Income Tax, proposals should also be submitted to the university Controller. All contracts must be processed in accordance with FI0420 (Contracts).
  3. Such proposals must be documented in writing and include the following information:
    • Complete description of the promotion or offer, including the extent of the university’s involvement and the parties involved
    • Geographic coverage
    • Beginning and ending dates of related activities
    • Full description of planned advertising
    • Fees or remuneration (guaranteed or anticipated) and the recipients
  4. Promotions or sponsorship activities shall not conflict with the goals and requirements of the Indicia Licensing Program.


Mike Keener  (865) 974-1444

Policy Details:

FI0320 – Indicia Licensing, Promotions, and Sponsorships
Version: 2 // Effective: October 1, 2017
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