Naming Guidelines for Student Organizations

Below is a detailed list of University naming guidelines. Please see the "How to Use Bucky" document for a brief overview of this information.

You may NOT use any form of UW-Madison as the BEGINNING WORD(S) of the name of your student organization, e.g., UW-Madison, University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin. Instead, list the UW-Madison affiliation at the end of the name of your organization, followed by a comma or parentheses, i.e., Checkers Club, UW or Checkers Club (UW-Madison). Make sure ALL REFERENCES to your organization (official name, acronym, website, etc) adhere to this guideline. For more information on this, follow this link to the Naming Guidelines FAQ.

You are required to disclose any community, state, national, or international affiliations of your student organization by listing them on the registration application form. Note that the name of your student organization cannot be the same name as the affiliated group. For example, if your group is affiliated with United Way and you wish to use the words United Way as part of your name, then you may name your student organization, e.g., United Way, UW Student Chapter; Friends of United Way; United Way, UW; United Way Student Programming Board.

While an affiliated student organization may adopt the goals of the broader organization, the student organization itself must also relate to student life on the Madison campus, be composed primarily of UW-Madison students, and must be controlled and directed by UW-Madison students. For example, the United Way, UW Student Chapter purpose might be to support the work of United Way, to inform students about working in the non-profit sector, and for student members to encourage other students to volunteer in United Way agencies.

Special Characters

No Registered Student Organization name may start with a special character. This includes, but is not limited to: ", #, @, *, any number (other than written out), or any non-Latin alphabet text.

University Logos and Trademarks

Adhere to the following guidelines if your organization intends on using University trademarks or logos on products or letterhead.

University Indicia

  • The University asserts ownership and all rights, title and interest in and to its indicia, which includes trademarks, service marks, mascots, slogans and any other indicia that is associated with or refers to the University
  • To protect the University of Wisconsin’s trademarks and promote a consistent visual identity, UW logos, symbols and marks may vary in size, but cannot otherwise be altered, tampered with, modified, incorporated into other marks, or overprinted with other words or design elements
  • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System owns and supervises use of University indicia
  • Examples of University indicia include any graphic representation relating to the following (Motion W logo is only approved for use by Varsity and Rec Sports club teams):
University Indicia
Examples of University Indicia
University of Wisconsin ®
Wisconsin ®
University of Wisconsin Madison ™
University of Wisconsin Badgers ™
Badger ™
Badgers ™
Wisco ™
Fifth Quarter ™      
UW ™
UW Madison ®™
Logo of Bucky Badger head ®
Football helmet logo ™
Crest W ®
Wisconsin Badgers ®      
W ™
The Motion W logo ®
Bucky Badger Logo ®
Bucky Badger ™
Bucky ™
Kohl Center ™
Camp Randall Stadium ™       


      Bucky UW Madison Numen Lumen


   UW Helmet Bucky Picture


   W Logo UW Madison Logo

Collegiate Trademark Licensing

  • Countless third parties wish to associate themselves commercially with a school's tremendous prestige and spirit
  • Trademark licensing has been developed to become an important means for universities to maintain and promote their prestigious images through licensed products and promotions
  • To ensure consistency in the use of the University’s name and logos, all products must be produced by manufacturers licensed through the University’s licensing agent, Fermata Partners
  • In return for the right to use the University name and marks on products, a University license requires a company (called a licensee) to sign a license agreement, which sets forth the specific rights and responsibilities of the school (the licensor) and the licensee
    • The UW currently receives a 12% royalty.
      • The royalty is based on the wholesale cost of the goods, and is in essence considered the "rental fee" for the use of the University's trademarks on the product(s)
      • Royalties collected support the University’s “Bucky Grants,” scholarships for need-based students, and the Athletic Department.

Restricted Users of University Indicia

  • Only companies that are officially licensed by the University are permitted to produce items using University trademarks
    • Approximately 370  companies are licensed with the University of Wisconsin
  • Purchases must be made from licensed vendors to ensure quality, consistency and appropriateness of design on the goods
  • In addition, licensees have signed a Labor Code of Conduct agreeing to conduct their businesses in a socially responsible and ethical manner
    • This includes meeting employment standards and practices deemed acceptable by the University of Wisconsin
    • The Office of Trademark Licensing can assist you in providing information on licensed companies

To Use University Indicia for your Campus Organization

  • Receive approval from the Office of Trademark Licensing
    • Following are some guidelines in designing/layout of how the indicia might be used upon approval:
      • The name of the recognized/registered student organization must be listed in close proximity to the university indicia you're using
      • For example, at the top of a flier or letter or on the front side of a T-shirt may be listed a University logo and underneath or to the side of the logo would be listed the name of the recognized student organization
      • A second line for University of Wisconsin-Madison or UW-Madison identifies your registered student organization as a part of the UW.
      • You may NOT include the logo of a non-university business or non-profit organization, which is co-sponsoring or contributing to a student organization event or activity, in close proximity to University indicia
      • You may list any mention of these sponsors in much smaller print at the bottom of the letter or flier as a thank you for the contributions of XYZ in making this event possible, but you cannot include their logo
      • On a T-shirt, you could list on the front of the shirt the University indicia with your registered student organization name and affiliation with UW-Madison
      • Any acknowledgements of other non-university sponsors should be listed on the back of the T-Shirt
      • You could include a list of sponsor names and/or their logos on the back of the T-Shirt.
      • Any University departmental or other registered student organizations that are co-sponsoring your event or activity, could be listed on the letter, flier, T-shirt, or other products by their name or logo.
    • Submit your request via e-mail (
      • Explain how you intend to use the indicia on promotional material
      • Include an actual design/layout of how the indicia will be used
      • Copy of promotional flier or t-shirt design
      • Take your desired artwork to a licensed company and ask the licensee to assist you in designing the look you desire.
    • Please direct your request to:
      • Address: The Office of Trademark Licensing, University of Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, 1440 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
      • Phone: (608) 265.1152
      • Fax: (608) 265.1154
  • Contact for more information.
  • Additional information is available at

Cost of University Indicia

  • Royalties are required when:
    • Item is intended for resale, either to the public or to individual members of a student organization.
    • Includes a commercial message, sponsor, or endorsement (regardless of size).
    • Is used as a promotional marketing device for a particular event.
    • (Note: the royalty will be built into the final cost of the product and paid to the University by the licensee)
  • Royalties are exempt when:
    • The item (generally clothing) is used as a "uniform".
    • Distribution of the item (generally non-apparel items) is for internal use by a department or an organization.