Move over college athletics.

Faced with budget cutbacks at both the state and federal levels, colleges and universities are launching campus-wide sponsorship programs that provide access to multiple departments, business units and constituents.

The programs represent a significant change in how schools have traditionally approached sponsorship. Before, sponsorship was primarily the domain of college athletic programs.

Schools that have launched or will soon launch campus-wide programs include Indiana University; Ohio State University; Texas A&M University; UC Berkeley; UC Davis; and the University of Washington.

The deals typically include three components: direct sales opportunities, marketing rights and support of student, faculty and alumni programs. The latter can include academic scholarships, internships, educational programming and sponsorship of student activities.

“Many conversations are outside of the business piece. It’s about civic involvement, the community and shared values,” said Christine Phelan, associate director of strategic partnerships with the University of Washington, one of the first schools to launch a campus-wide sponsorship initiative.

UW currently works with Alaska Airlines, Starbucks and the Coca-Cola Co., and is negotiating a deal with BECU (Boeing Employees’ Credit Union).

Indiana University launched its office of sponsorship in 2016 with the dual goal of driving revenue and enhancing the student experience.

“As we build these relationships we also have a keen eye toward creating value added benefits that can enhance our students’ academic experiences and work to the betterment of the entire Indiana University community,” said Valerie Gill, Indiana University director of sponsorships, licensing and trademarks.

While the University of Indiana has yet to secure any partners (the school is in talks with several companies), other schools are well down the sponsorship road.

UC Berkeley and UC Davis this year both secured cross-campus deals with Peet’s Coffee & Tea, a Northern California-based company.

The deals can be lucrative. Ohio State University has secured more than $100 million dollars since rolling out its campus-wide program in 2012.

Partners include Huntington Bank ($25 million in academic scholarships and educational programming and $100 million in community lending and investments); Nationwide Insurance ($17.1 million in support of academic mission, student scholarships and university programs); and Nike ($242 million in value over 15 years, including $41 million for non-athletic initiatives).

In exchange, each partner receives sales and marketing rights that can help drive the bottom line.  Huntington Bank, for example, can market products (excluding credit cards) to OSU faculty, staff and alumni, open up to four branches on the school’s main campus and install up to 26 ATMs as part of its 10-year agreement.

Many campus-wide programs include on-site sales rights, with a focus on converting vendors into sponsors. Targeted categories include financial services, office supplies, technology and telecommunications.

“From a sourcing perspective, we look at categories where we spend the most money so we can leverage the procurement piece of this,” said Teresa Gould, interim director of UC Davis’ Preferred Partnership Program.

Peet’s partnership with UC Davis includes two branded coffee shops, equipment for campus coffee operators, a more than $1 million-dollar donation to scholarships, internships and domestic and international service opportunities and funding for the UC Davis Coffee Center.

In exchange, UC Davis buys coffee beans from Peet’s for its Sacramento and Davis campuses.

UC Davis, which is piloting the PPP via its new partnership with Peet’s, plans to formally launch the initiative within the next 60 days. 

While the monetary value of the deals can be impressive, Geoff Chatas, Ohio State University CFO, points to another measure of success: student internships. OSU partners have provided internships for roughly 120 students, nearly double the 70 internships guaranteed in contracts.

“One of the cornerstones of our discussions is, are there opportunities to get real world experience for our students?”

Nearly every school contacted by IEG SR has created a dedicated sponsorship department to sell and manage campus-wide programs.

Ohio State University’s sponsorship department sits within the school’s business advancement group. The department reports to Chatas and the school’s athletic director, a move designed to bridge the gap between athletic department assets and upper campus assets.

“We needed the connectivity between the two organizations. By creating a group that reports to the two of us, we can work together and find solutions that work.”

The growing popularity of campus-wide partnerships—and the money they can generate—also has caught the eye of multimedia rightsholders. Learfield, for example, last year launched a new division called Campus+ charged with spearheading cross-campus deals.

Texas A&M University is close to working with Learfield on a campus-wide program. The school works with the company on college athletics and is negotiating a separate contract with Campus+.

“We’re trying to figure out how it will work. You can reach the same demographic on campus, but you don’t want to be seen as selling out,” said Shane Hinckley, Texas A&M University vice president of brand development.

Texas A&M is close to signing a campus-wide partnership with a Fortune 100 company, said Hinckley, noting that the school has experienced a significant drop in state funding this year while seeing an increase in students over the past few years.

“We can’t keep on accepting students and not bring on healthcare, academic advisors, housing, student support and other services that go along with that.”