Use of University Name and Logos by Registered Student Organizations
Policy:Use of University Name and Logos by Registered Student Organizations
Revised:May 11, 2022
Effective Date:January 4, 2005
Review Date:May 11, 2025
Responsible Party:Licensing Director
Introduction and Purpose
The Montana State University has registered and protected trademarks which may not be used without the express written permission of Montana State University. This includes team names such as “Bobcats”. This policy helps to ensure immediate recognition, the maintenance of appropriateness, and the prevention of commercial use without compensation to the University.
Registered Student Organizations (RSO) are permitted to use the name and logos only as follows.
100.00 Use of University Name
No organization may imply that it is acting with the authority or as an agent of MSU, or that it is an intercollegiate athletic team of the University, unless it has been properly sanctioned as an intercollegiate athletics team by the University. Currently, only teams that are overseen by MSU Athletics are sanctioned by the University. No other use of the University's name is authorized including RSO’s granting organizations outside of MSU the authority to use MSU’s name and logos.
100.10 RSO Use of University Name
A Registered Student Organization may state that its membership is composed of students of Montana State University and may identify themselves only as "The ________ Club of or at Montana State University, a Registered Student Organization."
100.20 RSOs That Are Also Approved “Club Sports” - Use of University Name
Registered Student Organizations that are also approved as "club sports" by the Vice President of Student Success (or designee) may state that its membership is composed of students at Montana State University. On its website, social media pages and printed materials, the RSO must identify itself as club and make it clear to potential members that the RSO is a club team, as opposed to an NCAA team.
On websites, social media pages and printed materials, RSOs can place MSU, Montana State University or Bobcats before or after their sport or competitive activity so long as the word club is included. For illustrative purposes, all of the following examples would be permissible on an RSO’s website: Montana State University Rugby Club, Rugby Club at Montana State University, MSU Rugby Club, Rugby Club at MSU, Bobcat Rugby Club, or Rugby Club Bobcats.
RSOs have more latitude on their competition jerseys and equipment and may omit the word “Club” so long as their activity is not also an NCAA sport of Montana State University. For illustrative purposes, all of the following examples would be permissible on an RSO’s competition jersey or equipment: MSU Motorsports, Bobcat Motorsports, Bobcat Rugby, MSU Rugby, or Montana State University Rugby.
A club activity that is also an NCAA sport of Montana State University must include the word club prominently on their competition jerseys and equipment so as to avoid confusion. For example: Bobcat Volleyball Club or Montana State University Volleyball Club.
See section 400 for more information on approval of jerseys and equipment and section 500.00 about the use of logos on social media or websites.
200.00 Internal Club Use of Trademarks
Registered Student Organizations may use the University name, logos or Bobcats name or logos for "in-house" purposes such as on posters, signs and banners dealing with the on-campus activities of the organization, provided such use reflects positively on the University and the mark is reproduced accurately. No alteration of the University's marks is allowed.
Registered Student Organizations may produce items for internal use (such as apparel, practice gear, travel accessories) bearing the university name combined with the name of their organization or activity for purposes of internal use by club members, with permission of the Licensing Manager, provided the usage reflects positively on the University.
300.00 Sale of Merchandise
Sale of Merchandise: Any sale or giveaway of merchandise items with the university name, Bobcats name and/or logos must comply with the Trademark and Licensing Policy. Organizations intending to sell merchandise that contains the University's name, MSU, Bobcats or any logos registered or purporting to represent a logo of the University must receive advance approval by the Licensing Manager as outlined in the Trademark and Licensing Policy.
400.00 Use on Organization's Uniform/Jersey or Equipment
Registered Student Organizations that are also approved as "club sports" by the Vice President for Student Success (or designee) and participate in sanctioned competition (on or off-campus), may request permission from the Club Sports Director to use the University name and/or logo, or Bobcat name and/or logo, on a competition uniform jersey or equipment as specified below:
- The design of each uniform must provide distinguishing characteristics from any uniform or jersey utilized by Montana State University's sanctioned intercollegiate athletics teams.
- All uniform and equipment designs must be reviewed and approved by the Licensing Manager
- Images and/or logos of external sponsors are discouraged to appear on uniforms or apparel with the MSU or Bobcat logo. If they do appear, they must comply with guidelines established in the Campus Alcohol and Drug Policy.
- The use of the logos must adhere to brand standards and may not be modified in any way or combined with other logos or verbiage. The University logos must stand alone and be surrounded by clear space.
- RSOs that are also approved as “club sports” in activities that are also an NCAA sport of Montana State University may only use the logo if the club sport also meets the restrictions in section 100.20.
- RSO's that are also approved as “club sports” must remain in good standing to be eligible to use the logos. Sports clubs members:
- Must be 100% students.
- Must adhere to academic standards and the student code of conduct.
- Must adhere to the conditions and requirements in the Club Sports Handbook
500.00 Use on Organization's Website or Social Media Accounts
Registered Student Organizations may use the name of the University in connection with an organization's official website and/or social media accounts subject to the following restrictions:
- Use of the University name must be consistent with applicable Trademark and Licensing policies and the limitations contained herein.
- The Web page and content generated by the social media account may not include language or images that are offensive or otherwise reflect inappropriately on MSU's name. The MSU Licensing Director will be responsible for determining whether the use of the name is consistent with the university standards for use of the university name.
- The name, logos or marks may not be used in conjunction with commercial advertising.
- RSOs that are also approved as “club sports” may use the bobcat logo on social media and websites only if they have been approved to use logos per section 400.00 above and the club sport follows the guidelines in section 100.20.
600.00 Failure to comply
RSO's must remain in good standing and adhere to all aforementioned aspects of this policy to use the University name or logo. Failure to adhere to any aspects of this policy could result in charges under the Student Conduct Code and loss of logo use privileges or RSO status.