Federal Government Policy on Tobacco Sponsorship of National Sport Organizations March 1985


Corporate sponsorship of national sporting events and programs through national sport organizations is an important component of the funding structure of amateur sport throughout Canada. The federal government has continuously supported and encouraged national sport organizations in their efforts to secure such sponsorship.

As a general principle, national sport organizations retain the responsibility for obtaining, controlling and managing sponsorships for their sport. At the same time, they accept the responsibility for protecting the integrity of their own sport and amateur sport generally, when accepting corporate sponsorships. The nature of the sponsor and the sponsor's product should be consistent with the overall objectives of amateur sport.

In acknowledging the traditional independence of the national sport organizations, one must also be mindful that the responsibility for the development and funding of national amateur sport in Canada is a joint undertaking involving national sport organizations, the corporate sector and the federal government. The federal government, as a major funding partner, on behalf of the Canada public, cannot participate with a national sport organization and a corporate sponsor which in any way jeopardizes the image of sport or is contrary to the objectives of the federal government for fitness and amateur sport.

With respect to the sponsorship of sport by the tobacco industry, the federal government takes the position that the sponsorship of amateur sport should not be used as a vehicle for promoting a product which is a major health risk for Canadian youth and the population in general.

The Policy

In light of the conclusive evidence identifying smoking as a major health hazard with no redeeming health aspect, the federal government has developed a policy designed to discourage, in the strongest possible terms, the sponsorship of amateur sport by the tobacco industry.

Therefore, effective immediately, all national amateur sport bodies funded in part by the federal government will be required to desist from associating in any new or renewed sponsorship arrangements with the tobacco products industry. The federal government will withhold all funds from national amateur sport organizations associating in any sponsorship, promotional or other financial support arrangements (e.g. advertising) with the tobacco products industry for events or programs predominantly involving amateur athletes.

Where a sponsorship contract currently exists between a national sport organization and a tobacco company, the contract will be allowed to continue until its existing maturity date. The federal government will however, withhold all funds from any sport organization choosing to renew, extend or otherwise continue the contract after the existing maturity date.


It is not the intent of the federal government to place further restrictions on corporate sponsorship within national sport organizations. Rather, it is the intent to encourage such sponsorship for the mutual best interests of all concerned.