Chapter 8
Ambush Marketing
McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Copyright © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
8-1
Concept of Ambush Marketing
• Defined as: a Promotional Strategy
Whereby a Nonsponsor Attempts to
Capitalize on the Popularity/Prestige of a
Property by Giving the False Impression
that It Is a Sponsor
• Often Used by Competitors of the
Property’s Official (Actual) Sponsors
8-2
Parasite Marketing
• A Parasite Attaches Itself to an Unwilling
Host and Takes Nourishment From It
• An Ambush Marketer Attempts to Attach
Itself to a Valuable Property and Extract
Benefits from that Perceived Attachment
8-3
Why Ambush?
• High Cost of Rights Fees
• It Has Been Shown to Work
• Consumers Not Offended by Ambushers
• Attitude Within Industry May Be Changing
8-4
Piracy Versus Ambushing
• Piracy Is Illegal
• Ambush Marketing Is Legal in Most
Countries
• Ambushing Represents an Ethical
Dilemma for the Marketer
8-5
Piracy
• Infringements on the Intellectual Property
Rights of the Event or Property (e.g. Using
an Event’s Trademarks and Logos without
Permission to Do So)
• Making an Overt Claim to Be Officially
Associated with the Event or Property
When Such an Association Does Not Exist
8-6
Ambush Marketing Strategies
• Sponsor Media Coverage of the Event
• Sponsor Subcategories
• Make Sponsorship-Related Contribution to
the Players’ Pool
8-7
Ambush Marketing Strategies
• Purchase Advertising Time During the
Broadcast Replay
• Engage in Advertising to Coincide with the
Timing of the Event
• Use Other Dilution Strategies
8-8
Sponsor Media Coverage
of the Event
• Advertise During the Original Broadcast
• For Example:
– Fuji Film Was an Official Sponsor of the
Olympic Games, but One of the Major
Advertisers during the Broadcast Was Kodak
8-9
Sponsor Subcategories
• “Ambushing Up” – Sponsor at a Lower
Level with Objective of Being Associated
with the Property at a Higher Level
• For Example:
– adidas Was the Official Sponsor of the 2006
World Cup of Soccer, but Nike Sponsored the
Brazilian National Team that Competed in the
Tournament
8-10
Make Sponsorship-Related
Contribution to the Players’ Pool
• Payments Are Made to Competitors Who
in Turn Acknowledge This Involvement;
May Serve as Performance Incentive
• For Example:
– Speedo Promoted a Plan to Reward Olympic
Swimmer Michael Phelps with a $1,000,000
Award if He Won Seven Gold Medals in the
2008 Olympics
8-11
Purchase Advertising Time during
the Rebroadcast of the Event
• Events Are Often Shown on TV Many Times
After the Live Broadcast. There Are Fewer
Restrictions Regarding Who Can Purchase
Advertising Time.
• For Example:
– The World Cup of Soccer Prohibits Advertising by
Ambushers during the Original Broadcast, but the
Championship Game Will Be Rebroadcast on Various
Sports Channels Where that Prohibition Will No
Longer Be in Effect. This Represents an Opportunity
for Nike to Ambush the True Sponsor, adidas.
8-12
Engage in Advertising to Coincide with
the Timing of the Event
• Even if the Ambusher Cannot Advertise on
the Event Broadcast, It Can Advertise on
Other Programs within that Timeframe
• For Example:
– Themed Advertising: Wendy’s Ambushed
McDonald’s and the Winter Olympics by
Showing Ads Featuring Winter Sports and
Former Olympic Athletes
8-13
Engage in Advertising to Coincide with
Timing of the Event (Cont’d)
• Traditional Advertising: Using Advertising
that Represents a Normal Creative
Execution for the Nonsponsor.
• For Example:
– Coors Light Was the Official Beer Sponsor of
Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. Budweiser Ran
Advertising Throughout the Football Season
on Many Networks and During Regular
Season NFL Games.
8-14
Other Dilution Strategies
• Purchase Tickets to the Event
– Distribute Tickets; Use as Contest Prizes
• Confusion Technique
– Duplicate Effort of an Actual Sponsor
• Create Own Event
– Similar Event that Appeals to Same People
8-15
Other Dilution Strategies
• Sponsor Other Events at the Event Venue
– Association with the Venue or Secondary
Event May be Mistaken for Association with
the Original Event
• Wear Nonsponsor’s Logo Clothing at the
Event
– Give away Shirts for Fans to Wear
8-16
When Should Ambush
Marketing Be Considered?
• Drop Box 8.1 in Here
8-17
Example of Ambush Marketing
• Beijing Olympics: Official Sponsor Was
Panasonic; the Ambush Marketer Was
Vizio
– Vizio ran series of ads called “Splash” in an
effort ambush Panasonic. The ads ran during
the Olympic broadcast, and the creative
execution featured a diver in slow motion with
an American flag in the background.
8-18
Example of Ambush Marketing
• EURO 2008: Official Sponsor Was
McDonald’s; Ambusher Was Burger King
– Burger King ran ads in host countries where
games were played. They featured a “Red
Card” theme that has obvious soccer
connotation. Ads featuring images of
celebrating fans were run during same
timeframe as the actual competition.
8-19
Protection from Ambushers
• Sponsors Should Learn How to Ambush
• Leverage with Collateral Support
(Remember: Sponsorship Is Not a Standalone Promotional Activity)
• Clean Stadium (Devoid of Nonsponsor
Signage)
8-20
Protection from Ambushers
(Cont’d)
• Establish More Control Over Advertising
• Restrict Use of Virtual Advertising
• Limit Ability of Players to Endorse Brands
of Nonsponsors
8-21
Protection from Ambushers (Cont’d)
• Educate Consumers
• Engage in Surveillance Programs
• Limit Number of Sponsorships
8-22
Protection from Ambushers (Cont’d)
• Prohibit Pass-Along Strategy
• Incorporate Sponsor’s Name
• Lobby Governments to Enact Legal
Restrictions
8-23
Are Preventative
Measures Effective?
• No Event Is Immune to Ambushing
• Sponsor Who Understands How to Ambush Is
Better Prepared to Assess Its Own Vulnerability
• Many Ambushing Techniques Are Effective
• Many Events Now Require New Laws and Clean
Stadia as Conditions for Staging an Event
8-24
Closing Capsule
• Ambushing Is Cheaper Than Sponsorship
• Ambushing Can Be Effective
• Ambushing Reduces Sponsor’s Benefits
• Sponsors Must Effectively Leverage
8-25
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Chapter 8 Ambush Marketing 8-1