Partnership Policy - Sponsorship Policy (Incoming) | City of Casey
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12 October 2017

Partnership Policy - Sponsorship Policy (Incoming)

1.2

Definitions

Council

Means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989.

Councillors

‘Councillors’ refers to individuals that hold the Office of a Member of Casey City Council.

In-kind Sponsorship

The provision of products or services in lieu of cash and provided by an external organisation to Council through a partnership agreement.

Sponsor/Partner

Refers to an organisation that contributes cash and in-kind to a particular event or project for a specified period of time, in return for negotiated rights and benefits.

Sponsorship/Partnership

Refers to a contractual agreement in which an organisation contributes cash or in-kind to support a particular event or project for a specified period of time, in return for negotiated rights and benefits.

Sponsorship/Partnership Agreement

Refers to a signed agreement between Council and external organisations that details the commitments, benefits and costs associated with the sponsorship/partnership.

Scope

This policy applies to all financial and in-kind support received by Council provided by external organisations.

This policy does not cover capital grants or philanthropic contributions received by Council.

It is also not the intention of this Policy to cover instances where Council is a sponsor.

The Difference between a Sponsorship and a Partnership Approach

A sponsorship can often be transactional, sometimes short term in nature, and as per the historical understanding and definition of a sponsorship be about “the provision of a range of benefits by the recipient in exchange for a cash and/or contra contribution to a certain dollar value by the sponsoring organisation” – the value proposition is by definition based on the recipient organisation providing and exceeding on the provision of a series of benefits.

A partnership approach is based on a shared vision-based and values-based approach. It is also about mutual respect and trust, integrity and a relationship-based approach. Partner agreements are usually for a longer rather than a shorter time period, i.e. usually of 3 -5 years duration and sometimes longer.

Partners with common values and communities of interest to the client organisation (Council) are carefully identified according to their potential values fit, market fit and possible project fit and relevance. The discussion with a potential partner is about explaining what Council is trying to achieve and equally then listening to what the partner is trying to achieve. It is about exploring and developing together what is the common area of interest and how might the partner be involved to best achieve Council’s objectives and the partner’s objectives, which may be a mix of cash contribution, IP/expertise, other services and audience access.

This type of approach embraces the principles of ‘co-design, co-invest and sometimes co-deliver’ – together looking at the best way to address certain community needs which may be much more than money, and also because there are common goals the emphasis can often be less about the benefits provided and more about has the joint community outcome been achieved.

Context

Sponsorship support and the development of partnerships enables Council to deliver a diverse range of events and projects by enhancing the quality deliverable to meet the needs of Casey’s growing community.

Sponsorship and partner support may also include State or Federal Government funding and/or components.

Council recognises that a sponsorship/partnership policy is essential to:

  • Ensure a uniform approach to sponsorship across Council.
  • Provide a level of accountability and responsibility.
  • Establish Council’s requirements for entering into sponsorship partnerships.
  • Co-ordinate and maximise sponsorship and partnering opportunities.
  • Ensure a consistent, fair, impartial and transparent approach to sponsorship and the forming of partnerships.
  • Ensure that the reputation, brand and public image of Council is protected.
  • Ensure that risks are managed.
  • Provide clear guidelines on the nature of sponsors/partners that do not conflict with Council’s vision and key objectives.

Policy

In receiving sponsorship/support Council aims to:

  • Increase awareness of and involvement in the endorsed or sponsored project or activity.
  • Fund innovative and “Smart City” related initiatives that demonstrate community benefits and assist Council in achieving its vision and priorities.
  • Establish and develop strategic relationships with other organisations that support, complement and align with Council’s vision, values, objectives, priorities and specific policies.
  • Increase opportunities for income generation whilst protecting and preserving Council’s values, image, assets and interests.

Principles

The following principles will be applied in determining sponsorship and new partners in accordance with this policy.

  • AlignmentSponsorship/partnership proposals will be assessed against and must align with Council’s vision, objectives and priorities for an event or activity. There should be no conflict between the vision and objectives of the parties to the sponsorship.The City of Casey places a high importance in maintaining the “Casey brand” As a result any alignment of sponsorship/partnership needs to cognisant of the brand and its importance. The use of the City of Casey logo will be highly restricted in its use by any partners/sponsors
     
  • Probity A sponsorship agreement is an open, transparent and equitable approach to sponsorship between all parties. The assessment will be undertaken in a fair and equitable process. No Councillors, employees or representatives of Council are to receive personal benefit from sponsorships. (see appendix attached with detailed consoderations)
  • Risk Assessment

Any sponsorship agreement Council undertakes must not compromise Councils’ reputation, public image, probity or its ability to fulfil its functions and in particular, partnerships must comply with the guidelines of this Policy.

This will include an assessment of potential or actual conflicts of interest and the capacity of Council to provide the resources required to service the sponsorship and meet the sponsorship terms.

To further add weight to the governance of this policy it is considered that the policy should adhere to the principles outlined in a guide for public sector agencies developed by ICAC in NSW. The ten key principles are appended to this policy and will be used to consider the appropriateness of a sponsorship agreement with a third party.

 

Additional Safeguards for Council to Ensure Probity and Transparency

Because a Partner Programme is about a strategic and dynamic relationship, it may have a much higher degree of complexity than a transactional sponsorship and therefore must be anchored, led and have on-going and regular oversight at a senior management level.

The need for this senior management leadership and oversight also fully acknowledges and recognises that potentially some of these partner relationships could have transformational impact on the community over time.

  • Benefits Equate to Value

The sponsorship/partnership benefits equate to the sponsorship value. A business approach will be applied to ensure value for money. Sponsorship and partnerships will be assessed against a predetermined set of criteria that have been published in advance or which are circulated to organisations as part of a procurement process.

Council sponsorship and partnerships will not involve explicit endorsement of a sponsor or a partner’s brand or products or services. Such endorsement will be restricted to its relevance to a service, program or event and will need to be well aligned.

It is highly unlikely that most agreements will involve the “naming rights” for a Council facility, event or program. Where there is interest from a potential partner for such rights any decision would need to be made by the full Council. Any offer of support would have to be significant in value and demonstrate significant community benefit for the Council to consider it appropriate.

  1. Management

A Council has a wide range of opportunities and consequently has considerable flexibility to segment separate businesses with different areas of activity. In tailoring offers there will be understandable sensitivity to competitors being involved with a similar activity, e.g. it is probably not desirable to have say three accounting firms associated with activities at Bunjil Place, as it is likely to dilute all companies’ involvement. Also, the development of any opportunity is not an isolated process, e.g. it can often be the result of previous positive and direct involvement by a business with a Council and that business proactively exploring potential opportunities for involvement.

The Council will consider any partnership in conjunction with a published internal operating procedure which will focus on.

  • Sponsorship/Partner Program is universally promoted and all businesses and organisations made aware that there is the opportunity to discuss with Council the opportunity to support specific programs and activities.
  • The assignment of business support with a particular operational area, facility or program relevant to each sponsor.
  • A Sponsorship/Partner Program Steering Group for resolution

 

  • Agreement on exclusivity (only type of business associated with an event, facility or program)
  • Utilise either an Expression of Interest Process and/or a tender process for a key facility, event or program offering if considered necessary.

7.1 Partner Levels

The proposed Partner levels are:

  • Foundation Partner- based on a contribution of $50,000 or higher per annum
  • Principal Partner - based on a contribution of $25,000 or higher per annum
  • Major Partner - based on a contribution of $10,000 or higher per annum.Contributions may be as cash, contra materials and/or services at fair value, and/or a mix of cash and contra. 7.2 Sponsorship and Partnership Exclusions

Council will not enter into any sponsorship or partnership arrangement with any external party who are seen to be in potential conflict with Councils’ responsibilities to the community, or whose reputation or image could prove detrimental to the public image of Council involving but not exclusive to:

  • Manufacture, distribution or wholesaling of tobacco and associated products
  • Gaming and gambling providers, products and services
  • Sex industry
  • Political parties

In situations where there may be doubt regarding an external party’s
exclusion, acceptance of sponsorship or as a partner will be determined on a case by case basis. Any exceptions will be referred to:

  • Manager City Economy
  • Group Manager Active Communities
  • Manager Communications
  • Manager Governance

Any prior sponsorship or partnership arrangement with Council will be taken into account along with the relevance of the event.

Council retains overall naming rights of events, assets and program activities. Where there is an opportunity for naming rights of Council events or assets, it will be referred to Executive Management Team (EMT) for formal consideration.

7.3 Term of Partner Agreements

Normally encouraged to be for a five year period, with a term of no less than 3 years the preferred term.

Sometimes shorter term partnerships are accepted due to a partner’s business or financial constraints; and/or because some businesses are initially only comfortable committing to a shorter timeframe to ensure early expectations are met before they are prepared to consider a longer term relationship.

Also sometimes longer term agreements will apply – say for up to 10 years, but this will normally only be considered for substantive investments usually involving a named association of a facility of similar; or the project is of a material nature that requires a longer term level of investment for success.

  1. Types of Benefits

That the types of benefits that may be considered will be developed over time but could include some or all of the following listed in the table below.

Benefit

Commentary

Naming rights association

Naming rights for a facility, program or event would require further consideration by Council based on value and there being a significant community benefit

Exclusivity

At a Foundation Partner level, generally, only for a Facility/Program/Event. Again, if sensitivity to be discussed at an early stage by the Partner Program Steering Group and/or elevated for guidance/resolution as required

City Partner

Partner able to use byline “XXX Partner of the City of Casey”

Signage

Digital (by video clip, visual, logo; frequency subject to level) and/or static (number and placement; storyboard). Also could be extended to vehicles, street banners, etc.

Hospitality

Partner functions, complimentary tickets, preferential ticket access/seating, VIP parking, customised hospitality, celebrity meet ‘n greets, defined personnel use for partner purposes

Discounted venue or service offering

Venue hire, trade stall, product display/sampling, possibly fitness centre membership or similar

Partner employees

Participation by employees (eg team entry). Access to discounts, merchandising, celebrity meet ‘n greets. Employee volunteer programme

Media/non-media reach

Logo/name insert in print, radio, television media, screen, collateral eg flyers, brochures, etc. PR acknowledgement where possible, eg press releases. Also in some circumstances logo/name insert could be extended to staff apparel, participants apparel (eg t-shirts, number tags), merchandising

Digital

Website and e-newsletter acknowledgment, database marketing (insert, offer prizes for competition), social media acknowledgment/content on approved basis

Administrative updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively.

Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of the EMT.

Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 October 2021.

Appendices

External References:

  • Sponsorship in the Public Sector: A guide to developing policies and procedures for both receiving and granting sponsorship. Independent Commission Against Corruption May 2006.

Disclaimer

Council policy documents change from time to time and it is recommended that you consult the electronic reference copy at www.casey.vic.gov.au/policiesstrategies to ensure that you have the current version. Alternatively you may contact Customer Service on 9705 5200.