73630655_Ambush Marketing in the Sports World
Sports event owners, organizers and officially certified sponsors have continuously voiced concerns over ambush marketing. The simple fact that the world of sports has been attracting passionate spectators and audiences by the hundreds of millions, the quest for sponsorship deals has also increased exponentially in an effort to tap into the commercial enterprise in the world of sports (Wall, 2002). This is because international sports events such as the Football World Cup, Olympics, the NFL, NBA, NASCAR all have the effect of attracting a marketing goldmine that most companies are head over heals to capture (Emmett, 2010).
In the sports world ambush marketing can be described as any sought of unauthorized intervention by an entity in an effort to suppose some form of association in one form or another and in the process gain economic rewards from the sporting event (Wall, 2002). Ambush can be considered as marketing strategy to gain headway in markets that they have lost to sponsoring competitors in a man eat man market environment that runs for the period of a sports events duration, shortly before and after. Ambush marketing utilizes well laid out plans aimed at taking full advantage of the shortcomings of the commercial section of a sports event organizing committee (Anderson & Vincze, 2000).
Ambush marketing has grown as a means by competitors to enter into the lucrative sports world industry as sponsorship deals for such events became more elusive as competition among bidding entities increased forcing the sponsorship quotas to rise immensely (Emmett, 2010). This is described as the driving force for companies that had earlier on landed major sponsorship deals in such big sporting events and realized extraordinary gains from the ventures (Anderson & Vincze, 2000).
Ambush marketing has been lauded by a number of marketing experts as highly effective and described it as being as advertising in its most creative and boldest form. However, it has also been regarded as a marketing that has the overall effect of diminishing the integrity of the sports world as a commercial industry in magnetizing future sponsors to major national and international events in the sporting industry’s arena (Emmett, 2010).
There are three types of ambush marketing and these are direct ambush marketing and indirect ambush marketing.
Direct ambush marketing involves activities that include the unauthorized or otherwise illegal infringement on an officially certified sponsor through hijacking the application of registered logos or claims that are false and misleading to the effect that the ambush marketer are the officially certified sports event sponsors (Wall, 2002). Direct ambush marketing is associated with activities generally deemed to be piracy.
Indirect ambush marketing however, is considered to lie within legal boundaries referred to as the grey area. Marketers who tend to employ ambush marketing strategies seek to relate the sponsored sporting event to their own brand by ensuring they do so while not infringing on copyright laws or registered trademarks (Wall, 2002).
Organizations embark on far-reaching marketing promotions and campaigns to coincide with main sporting events in the lucrative sporting industry in an effort to maximize on the public’s awareness with regards to brand names. The main aim is to get the targeted consumers to attribute the brand to the sporting events’ success, competitive spirit, international reach, fair play, among other positive aspects with which sporting events are associated with (Moorman & Greenwell, 2005).
In the sports industry, usually one organization in a particular industry is permitted to enjoy the benefits of having the exclusive rights as an official sponsor (Wall, 2002). It is through ambush marketing that rival players in a particular industry seek other means of exploiting the publicity and hype surrounding a particular sporting event.
Ambush marketing irks many sponsors and events organizing committees but it is however not explicitly prohibited by most governments (Anderson & Vincze, 2000). Organizing committees have taken upon themselves to register event trademarks and copyrights way before an event is held to maintain integrity (Soldner, 2010). To protect against ambush marketing, events organizers and sponsors peg their hopes on universally acknowledged trademark laws as well as unfair competition legislature (Wall, 2002). According to contract law and legislation governing leases, events organizes have to protect the exclusive rights of the officially recognized sponsors.
Ambushing marketing as a question of morality depends on the perspective of the beholder. Big shot companies with the resources to stage massive marketing campaigns against rival usually employ this tactic (Anderson & Vincze, 2000). The sports industry is ever growing as the traditional mass media channels reach out to more and more people all across the globe. Emerging media suc