It gives me immense pleasure to present this project on Ambush Marketing to the readers Ambush marketing is very systematic and planned effort by an organization to associate themselves not directly with an event in order to get at least some of the recognition and benefits that are associated with being an official sponsor Ambush marketing takes place when a corporate firm is looking forward to utilize publicity value of an event. Ambush marketing is related to setting up some activity which helps in making use of event and interest in it, rather than shelling out for direct sponsorship. Ambush marketing is something that is happening, every time during the major sports events. The major involvement is taken by the cola companies like Pepsi and Coco Cola where as companies like Nike and Reebok have their own ambush marketing strategies. This project covers the story of almost all the major players with the event examples and appropriate case studies. Hope this project proves to be of some help in the near future to the readers



This project explains the term “ambush marketing” and how MNC’S like Pepsi ,Coco Cola Reebok, Nike, Vodafone are involved in ambush marketing What strategies they have undergone? In which event? Were they successful? What was the effect on competitor? The project also covers the types of ambush marketing How to go about it? Who are the masters in it? Objectives of project  To know about the term ambush marketing  To know the benefits of ambush marketing to the companies, organizers etc  Can I practice Ambush Marketing in my own business?  How ambush marketing is beneficial to a marketing manager?  The steps in ambush marketing  To know the difference between corporate sponsorship and ambush marketing During CRICKET WORLD CUP 07 in West Indies the different advertisement shown on television and various articles in newspaper with so much attraction -2-


and glamour in it help me to take decision for selecting the topic for the project. This project is a extract of various news-paper articles, websites, books, personal experience

 Not many people know about ambush marketing  Ambush marketing is practiced only by the top MNCS  Also in top MNCS decision of ambush marketing is taken by the top marketing managers  Consultation work have been done for the project purpose but Ambush Marketing is just a unknown term for majority of them  Because of the above mention reason data from companies and the consumers or the local people is not possible But sincere effort has been taken to complete the project and to make reader understand the term ambush marketing







AMBUSH MARKETING 1. CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Corporate sponsorship can be defined as: "Corporate Sponsorship means associating a company or a company's brand with an Event to reap benefits associated with that particular event. -9- ." Thus." It can also be defined as: "A marketing tool that helps a company to form or enhance its image or market its products or create or enhance the brands of the company by associating itself with an event and using it to do so. This is done by paying money or making concessions to the Event organizers. Corporate sponsorship means using the attention derived by way of the event to benefit the firm and paying money or making concessions for being allowed to do so. This gives the sponsor a right to use the event to market the company or company's brand.

AMBUSH MARKETING 2. STEP II . co- . THE PROCESS OF CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP STEP I Identifying Sponsorship Areas STEP II Identifying Sponsorship Details STEP III Approaching Corporates STEP IV Evaluation of Proposal STEP V Negotiations STEP VI Signing of Contract STEP VII Implementation of Contract Corporate Sponsorship Process STEP I .Identifying Sponsorship Details: The organizers then identify the benefits it can give the sponsors (main sponsors.10 - .Identifying Sponsorship Areas: The Event Organizers identify various categories for sponsorship in addition to the main sponsor and co-sponsors.

STEP V .Signing the Contract The next step is signing of Contract that lists down the benefits that will be received by both the parties and the rights of the sponsor. . the benefits and the price takes place between the Corporates and the Event Organizers.11 - .AMBUSH MARKETING sponsors and sponsors for various categories) and the price for these benefits.Approaching Corporates: The Event organizers then approach the companies it wants to target and which fall under the various categories for sponsoring the event. STEP III .Negotiations Negotiations on the terms of the contract. which involves association of the sponsors with the event and preventing competitors of the sponsors from using the event signs and symbols for promoting their brand.Implementation of Contract The final step is implementation of the contract. STEP VI . STEP IV .Evaluation of the Proposal by Corporate firms The Corporate firm then evaluates the proposal on whether associating with the event would benefit the firm's image and the cost of doing so. STEP VII .

1TO THE SPONSOR Audience awareness: When people are relaxing they can imbibe information faster. So if Mercedes Benz wants to reach CEOs. This helps the brand message penetrate effectively into the consumer psyche. . which is close to the hearts of your target audience. Alternative: Sometimes companies have no other avenue for reaching the masses due to governmental restrictions on advertising etc. 3. gives an emotional touch to the brand of the sponsor. (for example many tobacco & alcohol companies cannot directly advertise) Emotional Touch: Sponsoring an event. Segment targeting: Sponsorship enables the marketers to target their consumers in an efficient & relevant manner. BENEFITS OF CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Corporate sponsorship is beneficial to both the sponsor in attaining its marketing objectives and to the event organizer to make his event happen. they can do so more efficiently by sponsoring a golf tournament than by advertising on TV.AMBUSH MARKETING 3.12 - . Image: Sponsorship leads to the brand’s image enhancement by virtue of association with a high profile event.

2 TO THE EVENT ORGANIZER Financial Support: Corporate sponsorship gives a financial support to the event organizer.AMBUSH MARKETING 3. This will indirectly be of help in the marketing of an event. . which makes the event possible. Helps in Marketing the Event: Event sponsors will go about promoting their association with the event. Without the aegis of sponsors most events including the mega events like FIFA's FOOTBALL WORLD CUP would not take place.13 - . Gives Credibility: If an event is sponsored by a major and a well reputed Corporate house then it renders credibility to the Event.

expect something in return. 4. DRAWBACKS & THREATS OF CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Every coin has two sides. 4.14 - . In addition to this. Along with the benefits attention has to be set on the Drawbacks associated with an event.2 TO THE SPONSOR Success related to event: Success of a sponsorship is directly related to the success of the event being sponsored. This may result in a diversion from the actual event. Sponsors gain more importance than the Event Organizers.AMBUSH MARKETING 4. Diversion from the Event: Event organizers are required to display the logos and banners of sponsors.1 TO THE EVENT ORGANIZER Dictating Terms: Sponsors when they put money into an event they obviously. Audience's reaction: The distraction that is being caused due to the sponsor or his brand may result in an . Dilution of Control: There is a dilution of Control from the Event Organizers point of view. Most event organizers face the problem of the sponsor dictating terms. If the event being sponsored has failed to draw crowd or attention or has been a failure then the sponsors’ brand will suffer. Not many spectators or audiences will like this. they may have to announce the name of the sponsors on a regular basis (as per the terms of the contract).

The biggest threat to Corporate Sponsorship . Poor Sponsorship Packages: The sponsorship deal in any event is limited to a few assets and rights that can be given to the Sponsor.15 - . This may be in contradiction with what the sponsor wanted to achieve with the sponsorship. It takes millions of Dollars to attain a Sponsorship at a prestigious event like the World Cup Soccer or the Olympics. Price of Sponsorship: The price of Sponsorship has spiraled over the both the sponsor and the event organizer is AMBUSH MARKETING. . It cost Kodak $40 million back in 1996 Atlanta Olympics to become a sponsor in its category. A sponsor does not have the legal backing nor the protection beyond them.AMBUSH MARKETING unfavourable reaction from the audience.


for instance .AMBUSH MARKETING 5. having made no financial contribution to entitle him to derive benefit from it.17 - . not having any involvement or connection with that event and more particularly. Ambush marketing can be understood as a surprise attack on an event sponsor by its competitor. . Example: A Pepsi hot air balloon flying above Sharjah. The official definition of Ambush Marketing can be stated as follows: "Ambush marketing is the planned effort by an organization to associate themselves indirectly with an event in order to gain at least some of the recognition and benefits that are associated with being an official sponsor" Ambush marketing takes place when a trader seeks to utilise the publicity value of an event." Thus. Ambush marketing is a radical concept which involves setting up some activity that makes use of the event and the interest in it.a major sports tournament or a concert. AMBUSH MARKETING 5.1 AMBUSH MARKETING: THE CONCEPT The Oxford dictionary defines Ambush as "surprise attack by persons lying concealed. rather than shelling out for direct sponsorship. on the day of the Coca Cola Cup Final. to gain a benefit from it despite.

Ambush Marketing FORGING INTRUSION • FORGING: Often a major event has a name. this is done without any authorisation of the event organizer. or other insignia identifying it. FIFA fought the case in an Irish court and won the case against Collins.2 AMBUSH MARKETING: THE TYPES Ambush marketing can manifest itself in two manners. • INTRUSION In this form of ambush marketing. . or insignia.AMBUSH MARKETING 5. logo. a beer company used the marks associated with the World Cup and was promoting tickets. the ambush marketer seeks not to suggest a connection with the event but rather to give his own name. or other insignia exposure through the medium of the publicity attracted by the event. In this form of ambush marketing the ambush marketer misleads the public into thinking that he is an authorised sponsor or contributor associated with the event. Example: During the Football World Cup Collins. In this type of Ambush Marketing the Ambush Marketer strives to use the event and the attention gained via the event to promote his product. which are sufficiently similar to the authentic insignia to cause confusion. trade mark.18 - . Unauthorised persons use these insignia.

"They don’t support football the way it should be supported. it used the event to promote their product.19 - . However.AMBUSH MARKETING Example: Pepsi during the 2002 FIFA World Cup did not claim that they were supporting the World Cup.CEO of FIFA Marketing. and yet they are promoting an association with it. by having a very nice and clever ad with Sumo wrestlers also involving famous Football stars." . Patrick Magyar The Second form of Ambush Marketing (Intrusion) is more popular with marketers than the First Form (Forging) due to the legal implications of the First Form (Forging) of Ambush Marketing. for example. .

You need to identify the Marketing Objectives of the firm which are based on your overall Corporate Objectives and on which will be based your Marketing Strategy. brand image and brand positioning. there is a standard set of procedures followed by companies in the past. etc. However. STEP I Establishing Marketing Objectives STEP II Establishing Promotional Strategy STEP III Selection of an Event STEP IV Why that Event? STEP V Willingness to Spend STEP VI Implementing How to go about Ambush Marketing Step 1: Establish your Marketing Objectives The first step is common to whatever Marketing or Promotional Strategy you adopt. AMBUSH MARKETING: HOW TO GO ABOUT IT Ambush Marketing does not have a set procedure.AMBUSH MARKETING 6. Such a strategy should include identifying your Target Audience.20 - . .

it has always been associated with sports event b) Specific Event: After the Event type has been identified a decision needs to be made as to.g. etc. Then. This is based on your brand positioning objectives.g. the next step is to select a specific event. etc. the option with you is to either to sponsor the . Step 4: Why do you want to associate yourself with the event An obvious question that needs to be asked is . This stage can be broken into two steps a) Type of Event: Identifying the type of event you want to associate your brand like Sports or Cultural.Why do you want to associate your brand with a particular event? Is it essential for your company? Will it give the company the leverage it wants? Do you think that associating your brand whether directly or by ambushing will help you position your brand better? Is it in co-operation with the image you want to create your brand? If the answers to the above questions is yes. like Ice Hockey or Soccer World Cup. A decision needs to be made on how to promote your brand. advertising. After Nike has identified Sports as the Event type it wants to target. Step 3: Selection of event After Corporate Sponsorship or using events as a medium of promotion has been identified as a promotional strategy a decision needs to be made on .21 - . for e. corporate sponsorship. Nike has positioned its brand as a Sports brand therefore. which particular event should be selected for brand promotion.AMBUSH MARKETING Step 2: Establish your Promotional Strategy This involves formulating a strategy for Promoting your brand and achieving the objectives that were set during the previous stage.which event. For e.

If you actually do sponsor the event then ensure there is enough protection against potential Ambushers.AMBUSH MARKETING event or to use Ambush Marketing. from the event. Ambush Marketing does not have a set procedure so. your creativity matters the most. beware of your competitors who will be trying to Ambush you. Then Ambush marketing might be the best bet available to you. However. If you think sponsoring the event is worth the investment and it helps you achieve what you want to achieve from the brand then go ahead with it.22 - . Ambush Marketing implementation has to have a few essentials. Ambush marketing needs to be creative and the ramifications of your strategy needs to be assessed. Step 5: How much are you willing to spend? This. alongwith other factors will determine whether Sponsoring an event or Ambushing an event is the option to be selected. However. Step 6: Implementing The last and final step in Ambush Marketing is Implementing your strategies. if you think the investment required in sponsoring the event is not worth it and will not help you achieve what you wanted to. .

 Creativity: Creativity stands for 'Find out new ways of doing the same thing'. during the FIFA WORLD CUP 2002 used the likes of Beckham and Roberto Carlos along with other big names in Football to associate itself with the World Cup. Don't give your competitor (Event sponsor) the time to react to your ambush.  Capture media time: Most successful Ambush Marketing attempts were successful because they captured the media time during. there are a few essential things that form part of a successful Ambush Marketing Campaign. Creativity is the only thing that could give you an edge over your competitor. THE ESSENTIALS OF AMBUSH MARKETING Though Ambush Marketing does not have a set procedure. Pepsi. Constantly be on the look out for new ideas. nor should he be given the time to lobby with the Event organizer to keep a few safeguards in the Event. The likes of Pepsi have been successful . before and after the Event.AMBUSH MARKETING 7.  Catch your competitor unawares: Timing of your attack or Ambush needs to be precise. the best thing is to associate your brand with the players playing in that Sports Event. Your competitor has the advantage of being officially associated with the event thus.23 - .  Rope in the Players: If you can't associate your brand with an Event then. They did it successfully to Ambush the official sponsor Coca Cola.

24 - .  Don’t play against the law. before and after the event.AMBUSH MARKETING because they captured the media time during. Intrusion is the best form of Ambush marketing that needs to be adopted. Play with it: This is the most essential part of a successful Ambush Marketing. Do not use the logo or symbols or insignia associated with the event to promote your brand. This may lead to legal hassles due to Intellectual Property Rights infringement. .


2007 by carrying out a mega media campaign with the punch line . PEPSI AT ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2007 Well there is Nothing Official about the fact that Pepsi was present at the ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2007 whether. AHA!!! There is 'NOTHING OFFICIAL ABOUT IT' when it comes to Pepsi and its Marketing strategies. PEPSI. VODAFONE & NIKE: THEY JUST DO IT 8. Coca Cola started promoting itself as the Official Soft drink of the ICC Cricket World Cup held in West Indies. Ambush Strategy: Pepsi responded to the Coca Cola promotion of the official Soft Drink of the Cricket World Cup.1 PEPSI: YEH DIL MAANGE MORE. Pepsi has been a major contributor of finance to sporting facilities.AMBUSH MARKETING 8. officially or unofficially. Pepsi has over the years used Sporting events to promote and enhance its brand image.26 - . be it Officially(Official sponsor) or unofficially(Ambush Marketing). Official Sponsor: Coca Cola was the official soft drink of the ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP. The two major events where Pepsi has successfully resorted to AMBUSH MARKETING have been the ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP in 2007 and the FIFA FOOTBALL WORLD CUP in 2002.

What made catching attention easier was that it had innovative and creative media campaign and it used the Stars of the event to promote its brand. It merely used the event to successfully capture audience attention. 2002 held in Korea and Japan.27 - . the real winner was Pepsi. 2002. . the prize for the winner being PEPSI. To carry out its campaign Pepsi roped in the SACHIN TENDULKAR. But at the end of the event Pepsi went with the honours of capturing more attention than Coca Cola got Ambushing Strategy: Pepsi once again used the star power of Major Footballers like David Becham. 2002 Pepsi was at its AMBUSHING BEST at the FIFA FOOTBALL WORLD CUP.AMBUSH MARKETING NOTHING OFFICIAL ABOUT IT. PEPSI AT FIFA FOOTBALL WORLD CUP. The use of Sachin Tendulkar to promote its brand by using the attention gathered because of the event undermined the success of Coca Cola as an Official Sponsor. Though the Sumo Wrestlers won the match. REASON BEHIND PEPSI's SUCCESS The main reason behind Pepsi's success at Ambush Marketing was that it did make any direct reference to the event. Roberto Carlos and other well known Footballers. It came up with an innovative idea of a match between the Football Stars and Sumo Wrestlers. Official Sponsor: Millions of Dollars were spent by Coca Cola to get the Official Sponsorship of the FIFA FOOTBALL WORLD CUP.

AMBUSH MARKETING 8. Though Australia won the match 16-14 the real winner in terms of capturing public attention was VODAFONE. which is in direct competition with Vodafone. This is a case of Ambush Marketing as the official sponsor of the event was TELSTRA an Australian Telecom company.2 VODAFONE: ADVANTAGE VODAFONE Marketers always look for creative ideas to capture audience's attention. The streakers ran up to and around New Zealand (All Blacks) player Andrew Mehrtens as he was preparing for a crucial penalty kick. two streakers running nude in the middle of an exciting Rugby Match. That's exactly what Vodafone did to try and attract audience's attention.28 - . Imagine. Two streakers bearing the Vodafone logo on their bodies invaded the pitch during the second half of a Rugby match between New Zealand and Australia in Sydney. .

The hit and run campaign included the use of slogan . . A Swoosh here and a swoosh there. However. Nike always manages to find a way to use a popular event like the Olympics to promote its brand without actually sponsoring the event in any capacity. Adidas had put up hoardings all over the race track.right down to the dirty socks NIKE AT FOOTBALL WORLD CUP .2002 Nike during the World Cup invested in some kind of five-a-side event. 2007. NIKE AT THE BOSTON MARATHON .AMBUSH MARKETING 8. Nike came up with an innovative strategy which involved having a billboard at the subway tunnel which fell in the path of the race track.3 NIKE: JUST DO IT Nike leads the pack when it comes to Ambush Marketing.2007 Boston Marathon is a 26 mile marathon race. as well as putting electronic score displays with instant updates on the sides of buses. One such race took place on April 16.29 - . Adidas was the official footwear sponsor of the event. Nike had used loads of dirty socks and had painted the Nike Swoosh and the event date on it.

Nike. Nike not only bought up all the out door poster sites in Atlanta.AMBUSH MARKETING NIKE DURING SALT LAKE CITY . For example. not an official sponsor of the 1996 Summer Olympics. NIKE AT OLYMPICS In past years. the Olympics have been a playground for ambush marketing techniques. but set up its own “Nike village” just next to the official Olympic sponsor’s village.2002 Nike during the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics sponsored the teams participating in the Salt Lake City Ice Hockey Event. . constructed a building overlooking the Olympic Park to associate themselves with the festivities of the Olympic Games.30 - .

buildings. This needs to be done because most of Ambush marketing is done through media and broadcasting companies. Another strategy used by ambushers is to use illustrations or photographs of places. COUNTERING AMBUSH MARKETING ♦ CONTROL MEDIA ADVERTISING The complete right of an event is with the organizers of the event. This undermines the image that the sponsor wants to enhance with respect to the event. At Athens. An IOC sports person says: “We are very stringent. the organizers should try and put a clause in the contract with the broadcasting company refraining them from airing the advertisements of competitors of official sponsors. Therefore. Therefore. which prominently displayed Nike track and field athletes. The event organizers (especially the big ones) should control the area in and around the event to counter such strategies. ♦ CONTROL LOCATION PLACEMENT OF HOARDINGS AND BOOTHS IN AND AROUND THE EVENT Nike. if this can controlled then Ambush marketing can be kept in check. Television rights are given a Television Company (on paying a fee) by the event organizers. the host country from the Olympics has a . during the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 erected huge wall murals near the Los Angeles Coliseum. From the beginning. that are associated with an event in advertising as background to the ambusher's product.AMBUSH MARKETING 9. etc.31 - . the IOC is trying to protect the rights of its “world wide partners” and other sponsors.

against the companies that use the Event logos or symbols or insignia to promote its brand or for those who violate the Intellectual Property rights. ♦ CREATE AN ANTI AMBUSH CAMPAIGN Event organizers should create an anti Ambush campaign by making ads and PR . in fact. the sponsors whose rights are violated should be empowered to do so. where bill boards only carry advertising from official sponsors. during and a month after the event. ♦ STOP THE PLAYERS FROM PROMOTING THE AMBUSHERS BRAND The International Cricket Council (ICC) stopped the players of participating nations from promoting the brand of competitors of the official sponsors a month before. If the event organizer isn't intent on taking actions then. the host city needs to have a “clean area” around it. ♦ TAKE ACTION Action needs to be taken. it is not.AMBUSH MARKETING contract which induces clauses about brand protection. More acts should be developed to ensure the protection of sponsors. The United States of America has an act dealing with the violation of such marketing principles as conveying the false message that a company is an official sponsor or affiliate when. This created a row between the organizers (ICC) and the players.32 - . wherever possible. As far as possible. The terms of contract were then settled to during the event and 17 days after the event no player was allowed to advertise for any rival company of the sponsor.” There are strict rules that allows only sponsors to associate themselves with the games. ACTIONS AGAINST AMBUSHERS WILL ACT AS A DETERRENT FOR ANY SUCH ACTIONS IN THE FUTURE.

♦ NO REPRESENTATION OF COMPETITORS WHATSOEVER There should be no representation of competitors (of sponsors)whatsoever. The IOC keeps a sharp lookout for infringements. both by non sponsors and by sponsors who might bend the rules. It should also resort to Press Conference renouncing actions of Ambush Marketers. ♦ SPECTACULAR TICKETING POLICY: There should even be a spectacular ticketing policy which means that people can be prevented from bringing certain items into the viewing areas.AMBUSH MARKETING strategy to renounce Ambush Marketing strategies. in the event in any form. Neither should the logo or any mention of the competitor be present in any part of the area where the event takes place.33 - . The players or teams should be stopped from sporting logos of the competitors. The International Cricket Council (ICC) during its champions trophy in Srilanka stopped the Indian Cricket team from sporting the Logo of Sahara group which was a competitor of the official Airline. This will act as a deterrent for Ambush Marketers. An awareness programme should be carried out to ensure that the audience are aware of who the actual sponsors are. South African Airline. . The campaign should focus on the negative effects such Ambush Marketing Strategy have on successful conducting of the event.


2 Ambush Marketing and the NBA.AMBUSH MARKETING 10. During the weeks that followed. Celebrity quarterbacks were the guest star in the Fox program. sponsors. Official sponsors like Coca-Cola Co. 10. and McDonald's Corp. Dallas Cowboys.1 Ambush Marketing and the NFL. Jones for his alleged role in Ambush Marketing. Jones to become a sponsor of Texas Stadium. and media partners created a television program with Visa USA-Fox teaming up to air it. The program "Call for Quarterbacks" was aired during Fox's prime-time programming. 1995 During the 1995 season of NBA marketers from PepsiCo to Burger King Corp. to reconsider its multi year deal worth $15-20 millions with Mr. A promotional contest preceded the program with Visa running a spot each night. The actions taken by the NFL prompted American Express Co. NFL Properties. did nothing to defend their .making ambush marketing sponsorship pacts with NFL non-sponsors Nike and Coca-Cola Co. launched high profile sports campaigns without paying the sponsorship money. The National Football League slapped a $300 million lawsuit on Mr. His National Football League marketing philosophy . AMBUSH MARKETING AT VARIOUS POPULAR SPORTS EVENTS 10. 1995 Jerry Jones' was the owner of an American Football Club.35 - .

AMBUSH MARKETING positions with more powerful tie-ins or re-evaluation to their sponsorships altogether. USA) marketing games are played with as much vigour as real games." Visa was the official sponsor of those Olympic Games. Reebok International and Spalding Sports Worldwide. The event also had place for secondary sponsorship positions. 2002 (Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. 3 Lilehammer Winter Olympics. 10. VISA In the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway. Taco Bell also sold specially priced food packages and gave away collectors cups. which had endorsement deals with both stars were also involved. 1994 AMERICAN EXPRESS VS. 10. The two stars competed for a $1 million prize late in the year. Taco Bell took advantage of the National Basketball Association labor dispute to organize a pay-per-view bout between endorser Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon. 4 SALT LAKE CITY . . inside and out. American Express's advertising campaign was "If you're traveling to Lilehammer.2002 NIKE: IT JUST DOES IT At Salt Lake City. including Shaq's footwear sponsor.36 Nike Ambushing Adidas at Salt Lake City . Despite. you'll need a passport. Taco Bell also did the re-broadcasting of the event and also sold it on video. but you don't need a Visa. by Nike. Nike not being an official sponsor for the games every hockey team at the Games is outfitted from head to toe. Taco Bell hinted at a live match up months ago starting the two NBA centers in a TV spot months ago.

the cost of sponsorship ranging from $5 million to $50 million (depending on the level of sponsorship and coverage). .sported the logo of Columbia Sportswear on their outfits. A survey conducted by MSNBC among spectators revealed that people conceived Nike to be the sponsor of the games.AMBUSH MARKETING With. Another company that used Ambush Marketing to get leverage out of the Event was Columbia Sportswear. Columbia Sportswear chose an even cheaper option than the one chosen by Nike. NBC announcers seen broadcasting every evening . Nike did not have to pay anything for the sponsorship yet the coverage it got out of athletes sporting Nike swoosh was more than what any official sponsor would hope to get out of an event. This option was cheaper than buying into the Games in an official way and less risky than backing a team or athlete.37 - .

then it retouched photos of Seoul's Olympic Stadium from the Asian games to make them resemble the 1988 Olympics 10. Visa claimed that AmEx carried out an ambush marketing strategy.AMBUSH MARKETING 10. Visa paid approximately $20 million to sponsor the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. by stating " 'The Olympics don't take American Express. Spain and the Winter Olympics in Albertville. restaurants and hotels in Albertville.38 - . In addition. American Express promoted medallions supporting an "International Olympic Heritage Committee. After this ad aired."' AmEx intended the commercial to show that many stores.6 BARCELONA OLYMPICS . AmEx countered by saying that this charge was unfounded because Visa initiated the confrontation and it was merely setting the record straight."' [20] In response to the Visa commercial. American Express (AmEx).1988 AMERICAN EXPRESS In 1988 Seoul Olympics. AmEx aired an ad with winter sports athletes telling viewers that "to enjoy the 'fun and games' they 'don't need a Visa. One of Visa's television campaigns made a frontal assault on one of its competitors. France." something totally unconnected with the Games. . Visa spent millions on a marketing campaign designating itself as the official credit card of the 1992 Olympics. France accepted the AmEx card.1992 VISA V/S AMERICAN EXPRESS In 1992.5 SEOUL OLYMPICS .

INC. IBM occupied a sponsorship category . Ltd. Another example of ambush marketing or aggressive promotion occurred at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games between two sports apparel manufacturers. (Nike) and Reebok International.1996 IBM. AND REEBOK INTERNATIONAL.39 - ." 10. In support of its advertising campaign. were also Olympic sponsors.S. athletes wore jackets made by Reebok. (Reebok). conducted a highly visible advertising campaign without "paying a penny in Olympic sponsorship fees. Nike Divisional Manager Mark Pilkenton stated "We feel like in any major sporting event." Nike held press conferences for Olympic athletes under contract with Nike and additionally displayed large murals of U.A. Nike. in the computing and communications area. opening the doors to non-sponsors with advertising inspired by Olympic imagery. At the 1992 Olympic medal ceremonies. 7 ATLANTA OLYMPICS . BellSouth Corp. basketball team members on the side of Barcelona buildings. an official Olympic sponsor. however. Nike. which spent $450 million for the Atlanta .technology whereas.AMBUSH MARKETING NIKE. Networks like NBC. and Scientific Atlanta The Games could not restrict ambush efforts through media as the TV rights commanded a high fee and it was not possible for a Television Network to sell media only to Olympic sponsor. LTD. we have the right to come in and give our message as long as we don't interfere with the official proceedings. companies like AT&T and Xerox. Inc. AT&T AND XEROX The Summer Olympics at Atlanta in 1996 saw a clash of interest between the sponsors of the event.

. cannot be expected to sell media slots only to Olympic sponsors.40 - . But Fuji is not the official sponsor of the Olympics that title belonged to arch-rival.AMBUSH MARKETING Olympics. Fuji also offered a poster series and desk calendar featuring athletes such as Dan O'BRIEN and Michael Johnson." . KODAK VS. The only thing the Olympic organizers could do was to carry out an aggressive public relations campaign against ambushers. The exhibit was displayed across the U. an elaborate display honoring 100 years of track and field was unveiled.Darby Coker. to take advantage of the country's strong interest in sports. landing in Atlanta in time for the Summer Olympics."It erodes their ability to raise funds from paying sponsors in the future. Fuji also advertised on the radio and on newspaper. both strong contenders for the Olympic team.S. FUJI Eastman Kodak of Rochester. The Exhibit called Images of Excellence is full of photos and cosponsored by Fuji Photo Film of Tokyo. NY spent about $40 million to be the sole imaging sponsor of the 1996 Games. Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. They also took help of celebrity endorsers and cross-promotion among sponsors designed to reinforce their official rights holder status. in which an advertiser tries to show up at the finish line of an event without any sweat on its gym shorts. director of marketing for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games . they have to make money back. featuring past Olympic athletes along side 1996 hopefuls. In New York. Ambush Marketing is the "Rosie Ruiz" of the corporate sponsorship. According to Darby Coker.

Ansett was. Qantas was not an official 2000 Games sponsor.41 - .8 SYDNEY OLYMPICS .AMBUSH MARKETING 10. both Ansett and Qantas Airlines embarked on marketing campaigns that featured athletes. These advertisements received considerable airtime and public recognition: At a survey done 42% of all Australian respondents indicated that they thought Qantas was an official sponsor of the Games. Qantas sponsored both pre-Olympic meets and the Olympic selection trials for the Australian swimming team. A Qantas "flying kangaroo" logo formed on the arena at Stadium Australia featured prominently in Qantas's advertising. Qantas was able to establish a link between it and the Olympic Stadium and also between the Australian swimming team and Qantas. which were to start on 15 . Qantas television advertisements appeared in high density prior to the Games. The trials were broadcast from the Olympic swimming pool and the broadcast featured the Qantas name and logo. It requested an expedited hearing because of the proximity of the Olympics. including Olympic athletes. Thus. Ansett moved the court against Qantas alleging Ambush marketing.the main stadium for the Olympics. As the Sydney 2000 Games drew nearer Qantas stepped up its advertising campaign.2000 ANSETT AND QANTAS AIRLINES In the period leading up to the Sydney Games. Qantas also sponsored the Bledisloe Cup rugby game between Australia and New Zealand which was held at Stadium Australia . Only 15% of the same respondents indicated that they thought Ansett was an official sponsor.

" The Ian Thorpe incident: Nike was the official clothing supplier for the Australian Olympic team. Optus also resorted to Ambush Marketing at the Sydney Olympics(using Cathy Freeman in promotions prior to the beginning of the games.42 - . At a medal presentation ceremony. . to the reasonable person in the circumstances of the presentation. imply little more than "the encouragement of sporting excellence. There seems little doubt that Qantas emerged victorious since there was no declaration of infringing conduct or any corrective advertising ordered. It may. The Qantas advertisements did not feature the Olympic motto.AMBUSH MARKETING September. the Olympic symbol.) undermining the importance of Telstra which was the Olympic Sponsor. Similarly. they did not use any of the Sydney 2000 Games indicia. the swimmer had his towel draped over the Nike logo on his official team tracksuit. However. Other incidents There were many other incidents in the Sydney Olympic Games which could amount to Ambush Marketing. in fact. Thorpe was sponsored by Adidas. suggests a connection with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Although the hearing commenced. which prohibits the use of Sydney 2000 Games images for commercial purposes. it is unlikely that the courts will see this type of visual representation as a marketing tactic which. the other Olympic designs or the torch and flame. it settled after several hearing days without a decision from the court. Arguably there may have been a breach of Section 12(1) of the Sydney 2000 Act.

the International Soccer League (ISL) entered into an agreement with Mastercard International (Mastercard) which allowed Mastercard to be an official sponsor of the 1994 World Cup.AMBUSH MARKETING 10. wholesalers and retailers to prevent the sale of counterfeit products. in May 1992. took legal action against more than 105 manufacturers. the company that licensed official products for the World Cup. the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York enjoined Sprint Communications (Sprint) from issuing cards bearing the World Cup mark." Sprint interpreted its Official Partner status to permit the issuance of 100. In March 1991. The court held that the Sprint cards fell under the definition of card-based payment and account access devices and prohibited Sprint from using the World Cup logo. The district court addressed the issue of contract interpretation. Numerous stories exist detailing the problem of counterfeit goods making their way into the United States.United States Of America. This agreement was restrictive and expressly limited Official Partners' rights to not "infringe upon the rights of Official Sponsors. not ambush marketing. including soccer ball decorations in a New York deli and sweatshirts in Miami.43 - ." Subsequently. The sponsorship agreement granted Mastercard the exclusive right to use the World Cup'94 trademarks on "All card-based payment and account access devices. the court determined that "extrinsic evidence demonstrated that both Mastercard and ISL intended that Mastercard should have the exclusive right to use the World Cup marks for telephone calling cards.000 telephone cards bearing the World Cup mark. Sprint entered into an agreement to become an Official Partner of the 1994 World Cup. 9 FIFA WORLD CUP . Furthermore. 1994 In 1994. These examples are ." Time Warner Sports Merchandising.

10 FIFA WORLD CUP – Korea-Japan. . Roberto Carlos. AMBUSH MARKETING ATTEMPT AT THE 1999 CRICKET WORLD CUP IN ENGLAND WAS AVERTED WHEN PEPSI ASKED THE EVENT ORGANIZERS TO REMOVE COCA COLA LOGOS ON AUSTRALIAN PLAYERS’ KITS. Coca Cola had attained the title of Official Soft Drink at Korea-Japan 2002.AMBUSH MARKETING legally actionable because many of the products are copies of protected trademarks. etc. The venue was showed as TOKYO. Pepsi during the course of the Event and prior to the event aired Advertisements featuring Top Footballing stars like David Becham. 10. 2002. However.44 - . 2002 Korea Japan. playing a match with Sumo Wrestlers for a PEPSI. 2002 saw Coca Cola being Ambushed by its rival Pepsi.

Kingfisher Airlines. one of the leading Airways in India anoounced to their customers that they have changed. AMBUSH MARKETING AT ITS BEST.45 - . on top of it whipped them by saying “We made them change”. We may probably see the billboard wars hotting up some more…this is one prime adspace… . Jet Airways.AMBUSH MARKETING 11.



trademark or tradename and capitalize by association with the event without paying for official sponsor status. but Pepsi was neither an NHL sponsor. nor did it use any NHL official logos. As per the Lanham Act. the licensing arm of the NHL. never use the event logo. CASE STUDY: NHL vs Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd. Lawyers can devise strategies for corporate clients that stay on the legal side of the trademark rights dispute. (Coke) as an official sponsor of the NHL for ." This campaign was centered around the National Hockey League (NHL) play off games and the Stanley Cup.000. PepsiCola Canada Ltd.48 - . National Hockey League Services (NHLS).AMBUSH MARKETING 12. Ambush Marketing does not involve counterfeiting or the illegal use of trademarks. tradenames or symbols. This case arose out of a Pepsi advertising campaign during the Spring of 1990 called the "Diet Pepsi $4. Companies simply develop a creative advertising campaign around the event. entered into an agreement with Coca-Cola Ltd. The only case to directly address the contours of ambush marketing is NHL v. THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF AMBUSH MARKETING The difficulty with ambush marketing is that the law is on the side of the ambushers.000 Pro Hockey Playoff Pool. The argument concerning Ambush Marketing practice revolves around business ethics v/s aggressive advertising.

the court concluded that there is "nothing that would constitute direct interference by the defendant with the due performance of the NHLS's contractual relationship with Coke. particularly the television commercials. however. the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) televises what is called Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC). In bringing its cause of action." The court continued. or connected with that of the plaintiff in any way likely to cause damage. [67] Through this agreement. Coke obtained the rights to use NHL symbols for its promotional programs in Canada and the United States. approved or was associated with the contest. in some form. the NHL argued that the Pepsi contest."' such an obligation cannot impose a duty upon a third party to refrain from advertising in a ." In deciding the issue. stating that although "the NHLS-Coke agreement obligates NHLS. not the NHLS.49 - . many of the post. Pepsi argued that the contest was "an aggressive but legitimate marketing campaign. Applying these elements to the case.6 million in the Spring of 1989. Coke did not obtain "any right to advertise during the broadcast in Canada of any televised NHL games. (Molson) in 1988 for a five year period. Conversely." The NHL. to protect the rights of Coke from 'ambush marketing. the NHL sought to establish that Pepsi had interfered with that business relationship. which includes at least one NHL game every Saturday night during the regular season." The court then enumerated the elements of the tort of passing off. controlled such television rights and it sold them to Molson Breweries of Canada Ltd. conveyed a false impression to the public that the NHL. By contract with Molson. Because there was no breach of the agreement between the NHL and Coke. the court first described the tort of passing-off as a misrepresentation that "one's business is that of the plaintiff. Molson sold Pepsi the "right to be the exclusive advertiser of soft drinks during the broadcast of all 'Hockey Night in Canada' games.season playoff games and the final Stanley Cup playoff games. so far as it is able.AMBUSH MARKETING approximately $2.

Because this is a Canadian case. qualities. However. because it widely opens the doors for ambushers so long as trademark and tradename infringement is not a part of the campaign. this has been the only judicial decision directly addressing the question of ambush marketing. by the law of Canada. services or commercial activities or . (2) in interstate commerce. it is an understatement to say that this decision supports those seeking to ambush. "although aggressive." Thus. (3) and in connection with goods or services.50 - . it is not at all certain that its rationale will be adopted by American courts. (4) in commercial advertising or promotion. To date. or geographic origin of (a) the defendant's goods. (5) when the description or representation misrepresents the nature.AMBUSH MARKETING manner which. the court found that Pepsi was not in violation of Coke's contract nor did its aggressive advertising campaign amount to the tort of passing-off under Canadian law or infringe on registered trademarks. unlawful. The elements of a prima facie case for an injunction under section 43(a) are that the defendant: (1) uses a false or misleading (a) description of fact or (b) representation of fact. is not. A possible method of attacking the practice of ambush marketing in the United States may be found in a false advertising claim under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.

because the Lanham Act was designed to protect consumers as well as businesses from the effects of false advertising. at least one scholar argues that ambush advertising which creates a misleading impression of official sponsorship can trigger a violation of section 43(a). is likelihood of damage. services or commercial activities of another person. Thus.51 - . During the Sydney Olympics in 2000 the Sydney 2000 Act was passed to protect the sponsors. . under this statute. While there is no American case on point.AMBUSH MARKETING (b) the goods. in addition to the above-listed elements. all a plaintiff need prove. (6) and plaintiff has been or is likely to be damaged by these acts.

 Benefits not meeting price Sponsoring an event requires millions of dollars as sponsorship fees. It keeps the sponsors on their toes and allows for the Consumer to get a complete picture.  Its my turn This is the argument put forward by Ambush Marketers which points out to the fact that every company resorts to such strategy. . POINTS IN FAVOUR OF AMBUSH MARKETING  Gives a Level Playing Field Ambush Marketer opens up an Avenue for Non Sponsors to promote their brand awareness and identity thus giving them a level playing field against their rivals who have attained a high platform by attaining Sponsorship right.  Competitive Marketing Ambush marketing according to some analysts is a form of competitive marketing.AMBUSH MARKETING 13.52 - . The benefits derived out of such sponsorships is not matched by the benefits derived which are limited in number. If I do it today someone else will do it tomorrow.

AMBUSH MARKETING 14.  Not good for Image of the firm The argument being raised is that Ambush marketing could do more worse than good to the image of the Ambush Marketer if the audience perceives it as an anti-event activity.53 - . .  Financially Detrimental The argument raised by Event Organizers is that Ambush Marketing will make finding sponsorship difficult in the future and this will be detrimental to the holding of such event in the future. POINTS AGAINST AMBUSH MARKETING  Ethical issue: The argument waged against Ambush Marketing is that it is against ethical norms to ambush someone who has paid millions of Dollars for recognition as an Olympic Sponsor.  Confusion The argument here is that Ambush Marketers confuse the audience about the Sponsors of the event.

54 - .AMBUSH MARKETING SECTION VI CASE STUDIES Zaheer Khan of Indian Cricket team without the Sahara Logo on the Shirt. .

this year's World Cup was one of the most competitive yet.AMBUSH MARKETING 15.with their highly effective above-theline activity. some hard facts released by Adidas regarding their return on sponsorship investment clearly illustrate a bottom . While the true winners can only be known by the respective brands and their own final evaluation against objectives for the campaigns.1 CASE 1 AMBUSH MARKETING VS CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP: CASE WORLD CUP 2002 It is with the help of events such as World Cup 2002 that sponsorship industry spend in the Republic of Ireland continues to grow and is expected to reach circa €60m in 2002. From a sponsor's perspective. CASE STUDIES: AMBUSH MARKETING AND RELATED ASPECTS 15. On the global stage. National and international brands have invested significantly in seeking to use this powerful platform to make deeper connections with their target consumers.55 - .8m) and Nike . the most talked about category battle in terms of 'official sponsors' versus 'ambush marketing' was between sportswear giants Adidas (an official FIFA partner for a fee of minimum €15. with some major battles played out between major brands in an attempt to gain as much bang for their sponsorship buck/ euro as possible in this global sport's arena.

it is certainly a critical one to deliver desired results at a more attitudinal level.have emerged from various research studies as victors over category rivals Pepsi.56 - . While sponsorship awareness is only step 1 in achieving sponsorship success. as well as the finals referee Pierluigi Collina being a participant in Adidas's world cup ad campaign .AMBUSH MARKETING line benefit to their sponsorship: • Adidas hopes to boost Asian sales as a percentage of the total from 15% to 20% in the next 3 years. Coke finished 4 times ahead of rivals Pepsi on spontaneous awareness measures. Nike were found victors among the 35-44 age group with 23% awareness versus 19% for Adidas. UK research by Carat found that Adidas clearly gained a victory overall and in particular with a younger 15-24 age group. Thus.5 million • 7 million Adidas World Cup balls were sold…all adding directly to the bottom line in a financially measurable way. Coca-Cola .000 Japanese national soccer team jerseys. generating a profit to the company of €24. • Adidas sold 600. Other wins for Adidas included their sponsoring semi-finalists Turkey and finalists Germany. Consumer brand association research in certain markets tends to share a common finding…overall Nike lost the war to the official sponsor who beat the American giant on awareness levels. Meanwhile in the soft drinks sector.all ensuring the types of results evident from various sources of consumer research. For example. In the UK. the lessons learned from this year's World Cup would on the surface suggest that .official sponsors . by achieving 40% spontaneous awareness versus Nike 30%.

AMBUSH MARKETING ambush marketing is no substitute for official sponsorship…but there can be more than one winner if clear objectives are at the centre of a brand's sponsorship strategy. .57 - .


15.2 CASE 2

1. Efforts taken by IOC to prevent Ambush Marketing at Salt Lake City: In an effort to clear things up, the IOC is getting very strict about the size and location of all the supplier logos, even the ones on the Columbia jackets, and also keeping nonOlympic companies from using billboards to tout their wares in Salt Lake. The Olympic properties unit of the United States that controls Olympic marketing has bought up all the billboards, which were later sold only to official Olympic sponsors.

2. Protection Programme at Summer Olympics in Atlanta: At the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Atlanta Committee had established a sponsor protection program. The programme was as follows: To present the ambusher with market research within 48 hours of the ad's first appearance, indicating that its advertising is deceiving the public. If the ad is not immediately pulled, To call a press conference announcing the ambush incident. - Running ads in major publications condemning the ambusher for exploiting the Olympic Games without paying the sponsorship fees that are used to pay for, among other things, the training of Olympic athletes.

3. Efforts to Protect Sponsors at Sydney Olympics, 2000: During the Sydney Olympics the Sydney 2000 act was passed to protect the sponsors against Ambush Marketing. This Act gave the organizers more power to deal with Ambush Marketers. - 58 -


4. Efforts taken by FIFA at 2002 World Cup: Pepsico was ordered to immediately cease the use of an advertisement related to the FIFA World Cup by an Argentinean court on 5 June.

The court found that the prohibited advertisement would cause confusion among consumers as it suggested a "presumed sponsorship relationship" between Pepsico and the FIFA World Cup. The advertisement in question combined the use of the phrase "Tokyo 2002", famous footballers and other football imagery in association with the logo of Pepsico, and the court has ordered Pepsico not to use the ad in TV, printed media or by any other means.

In the wake of the Pepsi ad, in Ecuador, FIFA had instructed counsel to initiate legal proceedings against Pepsico as a result of similar TV commercials. In Mexico, Pepsico is in the midst of negotiations with FIFA to settle a case involving the unauthorised use of the FIFA's trademark-protected emblem of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Most recently, FIFA has identified a case in Russia which involves similar unauthorised uses of FIFA's trademarks, and FIFA is currently investigating potential actions. The legal activities against Pepsico's ambush of the event represent a small part of FIFA's worldwide rights protection program. FIFA's rights protection efforts commenced well in advance of the event, beginning with a worldwide trade mark registration programme. The official marks of the event, namely "FIFA World Cup", the Official Mascots, the Official Emblem and the FIFA World Cup Trophy, were protected thanks to worldwide trademark registration. These measures were taken to ensure that FIFA ends up in a strong position to protect its rights and the rights of the Official Partners, the Official Suppliers and Licensees.

- 59 -


Since the conclusion of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, FIFA has been cracking down on manufacturers of unauthorised goods and other companies and individuals attempting to "ambush" the 2002 FIFA World Cup through various parasitic activities. The success of this campaign is the result of considerable efforts on the part of the specialised "anti-ambush" team, comprising trade mark specialists, commercial lawyers and sports marketing specialists based in Switzerland as well as in the two host countries, Korea and Japan. The team put in place a worldwide network of legal experts in intellectual property and event marketing and successfully dealt with hundreds of reports of counterfeiting and illegal use of FIFA marks. These lawyers based in some 80 countries, including many of the areas often associated with the production of counterfeit merchandise, such as Thailand, Pakistan, and Hong Kong. In each of the host countries as well as China, two central legal firms were appointed to deal with infringements. While the tournament was underway, FIFA has also implemented an on-site strategy. During the event, Rights Protection Patrol teams at each of the stadia and around the Host Cities are positioned to protect the rights of FIFA and the Official Partners, Official Suppliers and Licensees. On match days, teams monitored specifically-targeted locations immediately around the stadia, including train and subway stations, to identify any illegal ambush or counterfeit activity and bring it to the attention of the authorities. The teams also work closely with the stadium security and local police to ensure that prohibited marketing items do not enter the stadium. In addition to this, FIFA directed that David Becham should not be a part of Pepsi campaign and his images were used on Coca Cola cans.

15.3 CASE 3
- 60 -

the imaging clause. The governing body for Indian cricket. The standoff between the ICC and the Indian players continued for more than 40 days with both the Indian players and the ICC refusing to budge. The contract included sponsors like. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also agreed to compensate the players for any losses that may occur due to non compliance of their contracts. . However. with Global Cricketing Corporation(GCC). However. ace legspinner of Indian Cricket team said it was a matter of Integrity and not Money. . South African Airlines. LG and others. which allowed the official sponsors of the tournament to use images of participating players for up to six months after the event This contract was signed by the boards of participating countries. Pepsi.AMBUSH MARKETING STANDOFF BETWEEN ICC AND CRICKET PLAYERS The International Cricket Council ICC managed to secure $550 million through a commercial rights agreement for all ICC-run events through 2007. Anil Kumble. the players of the Indian Cricketing team rejected to go along with this agreement since. At a meeting between the Indian Cricket Players and the ICC a common point was met. they already had long term commitments with rival companies of those that sponsored the event.61 - .One relating to Ambush Marketing which prohibited a player from endorsing products that rivaled those of the official sponsors' for a period of 30 days before and after the tournament and during the tournament. Hero Honda. the contract signed by the ICC and GCC had two major clauses: .

. of South African Airlines who was an official sponsor of the ICC champions trophy. It was a momentary truce before the tempers between the BCCI and the ICC rose again. Sahara decided to snap its relations of an official sponsor with the Indian Cricket team.AMBUSH MARKETING The new terms of the contract were. . The ICC asked the Indian Board to remove the logo of the Indian team sponsor Sahara from the team shirts since. it was considered to be a competitor Zaheer Khan of Indian Cricket team without the Sahara Logo on the Shirt. However. did not agree to these terms as it made BCCI susceptible to claims of ICC and its sponsors for financial losses. The BCCI however.Reducing the duration of the ambush clause from 30 days before and after the event and during the event to 17 days after the event and during the event. Finally.62 - . this too was rejected by the ICC. Sahara decided to put the name Subrata instead of Sahara on Indian team shirts. Only after the BCCI got indemnity from such claims did it allow the Indian Players to participate in the agreement.

in their routinely poor packaging and in their flawed presentation to potential sponsors.indeed its inevitability -. I was shocked. Believing that there is no better time than now to return to the realm of common sense in talking of competitive some. category-exclusive sponsorships. Surprisingly. and in noting its virtual necessity in modern competitive business practice. The roots of Ambush Marketing can be found in several phenomena typical of modern sponsorships: the escalating prices for. however. I'm writing this brief piece assaying the origins and principles of Ambush Marketing.something akin to commercial theft. I accessed the search engine "Google" to see what's new in Ambush Marketing.there is no need to discuss ethics or morality.AMBUSH MARKETING – JERRY WELSH A while ago. a term I coined years ago when I was at American Express. and in advocating its desirability -. and often the distressed imagery of.63 - . I suspect -. Companies . to encounter the mindless drivel that now must be passing for legitimate commentary on Ambush Marketing. and in the increasing level of marketing competition in major categories of consumer products and services. In explaining the practice of Ambush Marketing. which evidently has come to mean -. I saw page after page of entries on Ambush Marketing. and simultaneously to expose self-serving pleading in the guise of disinterested intellectual commentary.AMBUSH MARKETING ANNEXURE I AN ARTICLE BY THE PERSON WHO COINED THE TERM . mostly sports event organizers.

64 - .marketing practice.the meaning of Ambush Marketing and its significance for good -. with its constituent parts and attendant rights (and its liabilities). of the scandals and other misadventures often associated with large modern sponsored properties.weapons. correctly understood and rightly practiced. In sponsoring. we hope and expect. Let's acknowledge that. mostly. or can afford to buy. it is hardly surprising that some companies willingly pass on the opportunity to sponsor. in major sponsorships packaged for sale. that's their game. and often the heavy burden. and. and Ambush Marketing. competitive tool in a non-sponsoring company's arsenal of business. the company does not thereby purchase the rights to all avenues leading to the public's awareness of that property. Event organizers hope to sell their event-sponsoring wares at an auction among major intra-category competitors.or willfully to misrepresent -. often do buy. given the already high and continually rising prices for some of these sponsorships. in buying a sponsorship. it is true that. others must consider their marketing alternatives. honestly and hard. To think otherwise is either not to understand -. offered as it is.and image-building-. The point to understand is that.AMBUSH MARKETING routinely compete. particularly some of those in professional sports. a company buys only that specific. is an important. To begin with the unarguably obvious. after all. there is room for only one company or product in each available category. ethically correct. more importantly. packaged product. their core business. the company does not buy the rights to the entire thematic space in which the purchased property is usually only one resident.and winning -. . Those companies who want to buy. and undertake the search for ways to compete in the sponsored space without bearing the onerous costs.

then I'm free to pursue other Olympicrelated activities (e.not to all frogs. and maybe not even to all green ones.65 - . images. the thematic space which Olympic sports occupy. all else other than that which is specifically purchased is up for commercial grabs. say. for example. or non-Olympic -but nevertheless sports-related -. and so long as I refrain from any other action or claim directly misleading to the public. that gives me roughly the same amount (assuming I want parity in marketing expenditures with my competitor) to get a similar benefit for my product or service without sponsoring the Olympics.g. Olympic-type sporting events? If so. former Olympic athletes. and events in this sponsored space?" In the case of the Olympics. and customer entertainment in the Olympic city). perhaps onsite events. children's athletic causes and programs in Olympic-featured sports) to underscore my company's support of. . Non-sponsors who are sophisticated about marketing begin by asking themselves the basic question about the thematic space in which the sponsorship exits: "Do I want to be identified with the ideas. television advertising on the Olympics broadcasts. and more specifically. and dedication to.AMBUSH MARKETING In other words. $100 million to secure the Olympics sponsorship.. If my competitor has just spent. So long as I do nothing to claim that I'm indeed an Olympic sponsor.activities and similar sponsorships (national teams. do I as a non-sponsoring marketer want my products or services identified with this generic space of sport. That's as it should be in sponsorship and as it is in the larger world of both commerce and life: when you own and license Kermit you have only given the rights you own to one specific frog . then I begin to look for ways to purchase the imagery and values of the Olympics in properties and events other than those specifically Olympic-sponsored.

66 - . without having paid the fee for the sponsorship in that space. What's wrong with that? Where's the "parasitic marketing. protect. within the space. is not an argument supporting non-ambushing activities. do not own. but is hardly the stuff of which business morality should be gauged. What the public perceives in the world of sponsorship is interesting grist for the marketing virtue of their having paid the fee -. they have no right to the natural. inclination of marketing professionals. if I'm an inventive non-sponsor. then the real marketing games begin. assuming only that non-sponsors want to occupy the thematic space that the sponsors -. events. they have not bought a thematic space. Marketers routinely portray their wares in the best possible light. and altogether legitimate. Sponsors have bought a specific property. mining the sponsored thematic space in a clever way. therefore. and. and otherwise administer what they have not bought. The competitive thinking goes like this: what programs. as well as an intellectual affront. that nonsponsors have a moral or ethical obligation to market themselves totally away from the thematic space of a sponsored occupy. but is rather a possible testament to the marketing skills of a non-sponsoring competitor. the public may come to think of me as an Olympic sponsor. the positive association with that thematic space -. The contrary notion. Once a sponsorship has been undertaken. and in times when sponsored properties are on attractive display. and other similar promotions can one do. Accordingly. put forward largely by sloppy event organizers." to quote a favorite . is simply nonsense which smart marketers have long recognized as a commercial non-starter.if not with the specific sponsored property -. have not created.AMBUSH MARKETING The argument that. to get the marketing benefits.

In the world of modern marketing.argue that the reverse obligation may well be the appropriate ethical and practical stance for me. but merely the names to be given . As I've indicated. if purchased. is some underhanded attempt to take advantage of sponsored properties without paying the associated fees. and formulated to vie with that sponsoring competitor for marketing preeminence. in that regard. the marketing decision around sponsorships involves the trade-off analysis of the sponsorship costs. clearly. can de defended against successful ambush. and the extent to which the sponsorship.AMBUSH MARKETING phrase of the putatively aggrieved event organizers and their sponsors? Smart marketing is "parasitic" only to those who foolishly have not sufficiently covered their sponsorships with adequate. What Ambush Marketing is not. Ambush Marketing ought to be understood simply as a marketing strategy with its programmatic outcomes. occupying the thematic space of a sponsoring competitor. anti-competitive bulletproofing. over time.but will not do so here -. as offered. As your competitor. is really commercially viable. I could -. sponsor and ambusher are not moral labels to be assigned by the self-appointed arbiters of ethics. Successful ambush strategies feed on ill-conceived sponsorships and inept sponsors. or worth anything approximating its cost in the marketplace of available marketing propositions. This is but another way to ask the simple question of whether or not the sponsorship.67 - . in that successful ambushes. help to weed out inferior sponsorship propositions. Ambush Marketing is the natural result of healthy competition and has the long-range effect of making sponsored properties more valuable. not less. I do not have the ethical obligation to make sure that your sponsorship is successful. liabilities.

I trust that I won't have to consult "Google!" again in the near future. conceptual marketing child. .roles played by competitors vying for consumer loyalty and recognition in the same thematic space.68 - . only to be horrified at what an unrecognizable ogre has been made of my beautiful.and complementary. So that is the story of Ambush Marketing.AMBUSH MARKETING to two different -. if competing -. Ambush Marketing.