People often feel and think it’s a major rival or competitor of the official sponsor.
You may know that brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars for their Olympic sponsorships. Estimates that spending on sports-related marketing has reached nearly $100 Billion a year.
There can be incidental or associative Olympic ambushing, when consumers think or feel that a brand is a sponsor or is associated with an event, such as the Olympics. This kind of ambushing can create marketing and sponsorship headaches for the host organization and for other sponsors because it clutters the competitive environment.
Here are some key questions, concerning the 2012 Olympics for you:
- Is FedEx sponsoring the Olympics?
- Is USPS sponsoring the Olympics and Lance Armstrong?
- Is UPS sponsoring the Olympics?
- Is Nike or Reebok?
- Here’s the easiest one, is it Coke or Pepsi?
When asked consumers thought that Nike, Pepsi, Burger King, Google and Continental were sponsors and were the “Brands behind the games,” according to AdAge (Toluna), 7/26/2012.
Sports organizations and official sponsors must come up with new ways to protect the value of their franchises against competitors and ambushes that are growing in number and creativity.
The marketing strategies ambushers use continue to multiply. Ambush Marketing assumes many forms of Promotion (see Promotion under Londre’s 9P’s (Copyright 2007). “Ambush Marketing” use to describe a brand's marketing strategies and tactics to associate itself with a team or event without buying the rights to do so, in order to detract from a rival that paid to be an official sponsorship.
In ’84 Nike bought outdoor (OOH-Out of Home advertising) plus other forms of Promotion. So much that the citizens of Los Angeles thought Nike was the sponsor and not Converse. In ’92 American Express use TV advertising with scenes of Barcelona, Spain, the host city for the Summer Olympics with: "You don't need a visa" to visit Spain. Visa Inc., the official sponsor complained.
Nike once said: "With respect to all our product and campaigns, we respect the intellectual property rights of others (including the IOC and our competitors), and always strive to remain within legal boundaries."
The “true” brands behind the 2012 Olympic Games are: Adidas, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa, P&G Samsung, GE, British Air, UPS, BMW, BP, Cadbury, and others.
- “In an online survey of 1,034 U.S. consumers taken in mid-July, 37% of respondents identified Nike as an Olympic sponsor, and just 24% said, correctly, that Adidas is one. Coca-Cola was cited by 47% of respondents as an Olympic sponsor, more than any other brand, but 28% incorrectly believed that Pepsi is a sponsor.”
There will be more examples on better marketing strategies and tactics, plus sponsorships from both official sponsors and others in coming posts.