Endorsement & Cobranding
UVA Health is committed to building a brand that mirrors the advanced level of care we provide, the high standards of our academic programs and our world-class research. We help build our brand by consistently presenting an image of excellence to the public.
Every communication with the public — every sign, letter, brochure, newsletter, flyer, email or website — contributes to the overall impression of UVA. How we communicate and demonstrate our relationships with other entities also reflects on the UVA brand and the following guidelines are designed to help you navigate these types of communications.
Endorsement of Products
As an academic institution, UVA Health must at all times remain objective and assure both the fact and the appearance of neutrality if we are to fulfill our mission of providing the best care possible for patients and in revealing and teaching truth in the scientific and educational arenas. Endorsement of companies, products, and individuals is prohibited in most situations as it creates a potential conflict of interest and erodes public trust in our ability to deliver on our mission.
While UVA Health recognizes that individuals and departments may have relationships outside of UVA, the University requires that any product endorsement remain free of even the appearance of a University conflict of interest. An individual's endorsement of a commercial product, outside service, or other non-affiliated initiative cannot imply any University endorsement — by use of a faculty member's title, the UVA Health or entity logos (or other UVA logos) or letterhead, or any other reference to the University.
Cobranding is when a company or organization partners with another company or organization for a strategic marketing purpose — usually involving joint marketing efforts involving both parties’ names or logos. The decision to co-brand with another organization can provide benefit to either or both organizations, but also creates significant risk for both entities. In addition, in many situations, co-branding can be considered an endorsement and conflict of interest for UVA Health. Because of the value and reputation of the UVA Health brand, co-branding is prohibited in most situations and in limited circumstances (e.g., partial ownership, joint venture with, or management of an organization) may be approved upon consultation with UVA Health Strategic Relations and Marketing and development of a thorough co-branding strategy and agreement and approval from UVA Health and University executive leadership.
UVA Health relies on the support of our generous donors and sponsors. To acknowledge that support, UVA Health and entity names (not logo) may be used on materials produced by the sponsor to acknowledge the donation of services, products, financial or research support to UVA Health or an office, unit, center, department, or division of UVA Health, providing that there is no endorsement, implied or otherwise inferred, in such acknowledgements.
The IRS defines sponsorship as "a payment for which there is no expectation that the sponsor will receive a 'substantial return benefit,' the income received by the sponsored organization is not subject to tax as unrelated business income."
In some situations, UVA may wish to be recognized as a sponsor of an event or organization. In this case, the acknowledging organization may use the UVA Health or entity names (not logo) to acknowledge sponsorship with UVA Health Strategic Relations and Marketing approval.
In certain situations, the UVA Health logo may be used in such acknowledgements (providing there is not endorsement), including:
- On sponsorship materials, programs, posters, t-shirts, etc. where many sponsor’s logos are shown.
- We do not include logos of other groups or companies on our UVA-branded pieces.
- UVA may choose to be recognized as a sponsor of an event or organization, or the promoters might want UVA to be recognized as a sponsor. Recognition options include:
- UVA is the only sponsor the acknowledging organizations may use the UVA Health or entity names (not logo) to acknowledge sponsorship. Must have UVA Health Strategic Relations and Marketing approval.
- If UVA is one of many sponsors the UVA Health logo or entity logo may be used on promotional materials like posters, t-shirts and web site promoting the event (but not on a website promoting general content could be seen as an endorsement).
- Requests for inclusion of a department, division, program, center or group’s name are on a case-by-case basis. Logo guidelines do not allow for customization of the logo by adding words beside, above or below so as to appear as a new logo.
- Preprinted brochures provided by a vendor that allow for customization are discouraged. We would rather create a UVA-branded piece to meet your needs. In cases where it is clear that UVA is not the creator of the content, you may add the department name and contact information but no logo.