University Sponsored Advertising and Sponsorships

Issued: December 15, 2016
Last Revised: December 15, 2016
Last Reviewed: February 9, 2022

To protect and present an appropriate and consistent image, the university restricts the advertising of, or sponsorship agreements involving, certain products and services. This policy also establishes a review process for schools and departments supporting or sponsoring third-party advertising and promotion.

The university does not participate in, sponsor, or accept advertising in its publications or university-owned or supported media for tobacco, hard alcohol and sex-related products, or any other companies, brands or products that may harm or bring disrepute to the university. This restriction includes both print materials and digital media, and permanent or temporary displays on university property, including student programs and activities. Categories that require specific brand and product review prior to consideration include beer and wine brands, gambling and gaming companies and destinations, and medical, pharmaceutical and nutriceutical (health supplements) products and companies.

Schools and departments supporting or sponsoring third-party advertising and promotion must submit proposed plans to the Vice President for Communications. Also, requests for exceptions to this policy must be reviewed and exceptions may be granted only by the Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. Examples of exceptions that may be considered are programs and media for whom the primary audience is alumni, faculty and staff, or donors to the university (i.e., non-student audience)

Both external and internal use of the USC name and identifying marks is overseen by USC Trademarks and Licensing Services. Trademark licenses for use by external entities are obtained only by permission from this office. In addition, any use of Athletics-related names or identifying marks must be reviewed and approved by the USC Department of Athletics.

External-facing sponsorship presence in common campus areas is limited to Homecoming and Trojan Family Weekend set-ups and is further prohibited in the areas adjacent to Tommy Trojan in Hahn Plaza. Sponsorship may not be displayed in common areas of the USC campuses without prior review and approval submitted through the Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing.

Related Policies and Resources

USC Trademarks and Licensing Services

This office coordinates both internal and external usage of USC’s identifying marks, and serves campus constituencies in trademark- and service-mark related activities such as trademark registration, licensing, and graphic identity issues. Information is available online ( or by contacting the office at or (213) 740-5222.

Authority to Sign Contracts and Agreements

Signature authority for entering into agreements with outside entities is limited by the university bylaws to certain officers of the university. It is our practice to restrict the signature authority on all university agreements to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, or to the Senior Vice President for Administration. All contracts and agreements must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel prior to execution. In addition, all agreements that include opportunities for advertising or promotion of third-party products and services also must be reviewed by the Vice President for Communications. Questions regarding the review process or signature authority should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel at (213) 740-7922.

USC Athletics

USC Athletics’ Marketing department provides the oversight and management of the USC Athletic Brand, both internally and externally, including the rights to use the USC Athletic identity system and its associated marks in merchandise, advertising, sponsorship and video or photo licensing. For information or inquiries regarding use of the USC Athletic Brand contact Jose Eskenazi at or (213) 740-9872.

USC Drug-Free Policy

The USC Drug-Free policy, an annual publication, provides information on prevention, education and counseling services along with university policies and procedures for preserving a drug-free workplace and study environment.

Responsible Office

University Communications

(213) 740-7656

Issued by

Michael Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California