This policy aims to set guidelines for the placement and content of advertisements, including naming rights and branding, on school facilities, athletic fields, and any other property owned or controlled by the Smithfield School Department. It prohibits discrimination and ensures that advertisements comply with the school district's values and educational mission. The policy applies to all athletic fields, courts, fencing, and other outdoor property owned and or controlled by the Smithfield School Department as well as any branding and advertisements within school buildings or their grounds. 

It is the belief of the Smithfield School Department that commercial messages and/or advertisements are not public forums of any nature and that all advertising shall be commercial in nature.  Furthermore, all advertising may be permitted at athletic or other school sponsored events in any school facility or on school property under ownership and control of the School Department, pursuant only to a written contract expressly permitting such advertising and only under and in compliance with the established policies, practices and guidelines approved by the Smithfield School Committee.

The purpose of this policy and its related practices and guidelines is to define the conditions upon which commercial messages and advertisements may be placed in school facilities, athletic fields and complexes and any other school property, and to establish definitive guidelines for the acceptance and placement of such messages or advertisements.  It is the intent of the Smithfield School Department to preserve its full rights and discretion to restrict access, refuse placement, or reject advertising or branding on any school facilities, athletic fields and complexes and all other school property that do not comply with those guidelines.

This policy reinforces the Smithfield School Department's commitment to anti-discrimination and inclusion by ensuring that all corporate support or commercial messaging aligns with district policies and state and federal laws. It emphasizes the importance of age-appropriate content within school buildings and prohibits any form of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation within any School Department building or grounds, inclusive of all athletic facilities. All corporate support or commercial messaging, including advertising and branding, must adhere to the Smithfield School Department’s policies prohibiting discrimination.  Commercial messaging or branding within individual school buildings must be age-appropriate for the students involved. 

The Smithfield School Department will actively monitor and enforce compliance with anti-discrimination standards in all corporate support and commercial messaging. Any advertisements found to violate these standards will be subject to removal and may result in termination of the associated contract.


A. Branding, advertisements, and naming rights may be authorized and accepted only under the following requirements:

a.  Scoreboards in all gymnasia and athletic and recreation fields of the Smithfield Schools

b.  The Anna McCabe /Pleasant View Elementary School Basketball Courts,  fencing, and scoreboard or any other school building inside or outside athletic field or court. 

c.  The Boyle Athletic Complex including all fencing, scoreboard, buildings and any other areas determined by the School Committee for advertisements or branding in this location. 

d. Specially designated classroom spaces or other special areas within the school buildings, such as a lab, auditorium, gymnasium, hallway, or library media center.

e.  At any such other locations as deemed appropriate by the Smithfield School Department

3. Examples of commercial messages or advertisements that contain any of the following characteristics will be prohibited and will not be accepted for placement on school facilities, athletic fields, or upon school property without the expressed authority of the School Committee:

a.  Promotion of or reference to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages in name, likeness or implication or the promotion of establishments that are licensed for and primarily sell alcoholic beverages, including bars; provided, however, that restaurants or other food service establishments and hotels or other places of lodging may be authorized when the commercial message or advertisement promotes only the food service or lodging (i.e., a restaurant or other food service establishment may not use in its advertising text the word bar, pub or tavern or other similar word denoting the sale of alcoholic beverages, even if such word is part of the name of the establishment);

b.  Promotion of or reference to the sale or consumption of tobacco products or depiction of the use of tobacco products in any manner;

c.  Commentary, advocacy or promotion of issues, candidates, campaigns or organizations of a social, political, religious or rhetorical nature;

d.  Promotion of or reference to gambling, pari-mutuel betting, lotteries, or games of chance whether by name, likeness or implication or promotion of or reference to providing such services or activities of a related or similar nature;

e.  Profanity, obscenity or lewdness. Depiction in any form of nudity or semi-nudity, profanity, obscenity or lewdness or characterization that suggest, depict or promote any such element, or promotion of or reference to any sexually-oriented products, activities or materials such as massage parlors, escort services or establishments featuring X-rated or pornographic movies, contraceptive products or hygiene products of an intimate personal nature or advertising that is unlawful, or contains explicit messages or graphic representations pertaining to sexual content or contains offensive levels of sexual overtone, innuendo or double entendre;

f.  Promotion of illegal drug use. Promotion in any form of or reference to illegal or legal drugs, illegal or legal drug use, or illegal or legal drug materials, cannabis, cannabis dispensaries, or cannabis materials and/or accessories; or characterizations that suggest or depict the promotion or glorification of such products, activities or materials;

g.  Promotion of or reference to the use or sale of firearms, explosives or other weapons; or the depiction, suggestion or glorification of violence or acts of a violent nature;

h.  Offensive language. Use of words, foul or offensive language, representations or descriptive material of any kind having more than one meaning or connotation, one of which would otherwise be prohibited under this Policy;

i.  Materials that would violate federal, state, or local law or regulations. Inclusion of materials, depictions, promotions or offerings that are the type prohibited by or by their nature would violate any postal restrictions or regulations or any federal, state or local law, rule or regulation;

j.  Advertisements that describe or depict criminal activity in any way;

k.  Advertisements that discriminate, harass, disparage, attack or demean others (see Content Restrictions) on the basis of gender, ethnicity, race or religious belief;

l.  Inclusion of any claims that in the judgment of the authorized representative of the School Committee or its legal counsel constitutes false, exaggerated, misleading or libelous claims, or that contains offensive or otherwise improper comparisons with other products or their makers;

m.  Advertisements that promote political candidates, those holding political office, if the sign includes the name and elected office of the individual(s), political campaigns, ballot measures, political measures, by political candidates for public office or advertisements concerning ballot issues; and

n.  Advertisements that inhibit the function of the School Department, its schools or which is inconsistent with the school’s basic educational mission or values.


Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted to prohibit or require authorization for any of the following:

Signage for the promotion of political candidates or ballot measures may be placed or secured on school grounds subject to the following time, manner, and placement restrictions: 

The political entity or organization seeking to place signage for the promotion of political candidates or ballot measures in accordance with this exception shall not be required to obtain School Committee approval or to enter into a contract with the School Department for the purposes of displaying the signage. 


All school facilities and school property are intended for and are for the exclusive use of the Smithfield Schools and its designees for the public purposes associated with education, athletics, community recreation and community activities and entertainment.  No school facilities or school property shall be intended or considered as an open, limited or other public forum, and no person shall have a right to access and use any school facility or school property for any purpose other than the intended and authorized public purpose or service.  


Before placement, advertisements must be submitted for approval. The School Committee shall have all final approval on content, design, and materials of the advertisement. All advertisements shall conform with the education mission and values of the School Department. Specifications and pricing for advertising surfaces are established to maintain uniformity and quality. Certain identifications, public service announcements, and product/vendor identifications related to school operations may be exempt from the policy. The School Committee reserves the right to amend the policy as needed, with no existing contracts restricting their ability to do so.

A.  Authorization and Placement

Commercial advertisements, naming rights, and the branding of areas are only permitted in designated areas, such as scoreboards, specific classrooms or other building spaces, athletic and school fencing and courts, indoor gymnasiums, the Boyle Athletic Complex, or other areas determined by the School Committee. Advertisements shall not obstruct the view of spectators or interfere with any school district event or game.  All advertising placements require authorization by the Superintendent and approval by the Smithfield School Committee. Only those signs authorized are permitted on school district property. Those that are not authorized will be removed by the School Department. 


To protect the integrity of the school facilities or the school property under ownership and control of the School Department, and to ensure a proper measure of uniformity, durability and quality, the School Department will authorize the Superintendent to establish specifications and pricing for the types of permitted advertising surfaces and physical materials, and may reject advertising surfaces and materials that do not conform with those specifications or that are not otherwise deemed to be suitable.  All advertising and materials used must be aesthetically pleasing and enhance the school environment.

Any approval for the erection and display of commercial messages or advertising shall be made in writing as part of a written placement agreement, that shall at a minimum contain references to and the advertiser’s commitment and agreement to abide by this policy.  The term and rate of compensation shall be negotiated by the Superintendent and submitted to the School Committee for approval.


Fees for advertising or branding space will be determined by the School Department and will include all areas controlled or owned by the School Department, including athletic facilities, fields, and courts. Revenue generated from advertising or branding will be collected and deposited into the School District General Fund for the purpose of maintenance and/or replacement of these areas covered within this policy. A separate budget line will be created by the School District’s Director of Finance for the collection of fees for all branding, naming and advertising. This fund is to be used under the direction of the School Committee for the maintenance, repair, and/or replacement of facilities, such as the athletic complex. 

Duration and Renewal:

Advertising and branding contracts will be for a specified duration, and no longer than three years. In the event of a legal challenge, such contracts may be considered null and void by the School Committee and any funding shall be returned to the advertiser in proportion to the remaining term of the contract. Renewal of these contracts will be subject to approval by the School Committee. 


Logos are a crucial visual representation of the Smithfield Public Schools and this policy is intended to ensure that the authorized logos are used consistently across all communications as well as on School Department property or that which is controlled by the School Department. The authorized logos are the only logos permitted within school buildings or on athletic merchandise. The authorized logos include the Sentinel representation and the three “S” displays within this policy. These logos represent the school district brand and Smithfield High School. In addition, the other school logos include the Gallagher Middle School Wolfpack, the LaPerche Leopards, the Old County Road School Racoons, the Pleasant View Pandas. The images that are approved are within this policy. The School Committee may, from time to time, enlarge the scope of the district’s logos. 


The Smithfield School Committee recognizes the following circumstances in which the district may address naming rights;

In each circumstance the School Committee will authorize the Superintendent to negotiate an agreement that will require final approval of the School Committee. Names must not be in conflict with the district’s mission and vision or school district policy. 

The District may agree to recognize contributions by granting naming rights to facilities and spaces owned by the District. Granting naming rights may be exclusive to a facility or space or may be in conjunction with an existing name already in use. 

Spaces for which naming rights may be awarded include:


The Smithfield School Committee delegates to the Superintendent of Schools the authority and responsibility of negotiating contracts on behalf of the School Department for the posting of commercial messages, branding,  or advertisements in school facilities, athletic fields or complexes, or on school property, provided, however, that the Superintendent shall have no authority to permit anything that is prohibited by this policy, its related guidelines and ordinances of the Town of Smithfield, and all applicable state laws and regulations, and that all tentative contracts are subject to the final approval and signature of the Smithfield School Committee.  


The School Committee reserves the right to amend this policy at any time and no advertising contract entered into under any existing version of this policy shall serve to restrict or prevent the School Committee from making any such subsequent amendments.

ADOPTED:  May 22, 2018

REVISED:  May 6, 2024

  SHS - Sentinels