AMBUSH MARKETING The year 2006 has been a year full of major international sporting events where the complex issue under analysis has risen, to local concern, mainly before, during and after the FIFA World Cup which took place in Germany. Ambush marketing, also called parasite marketing, is a practice common to major cultural or sporting events where an advertiser which is not an official sponsor of the event intends to associate itself to the event without paying the organizer for the right to do so. However, sports particularly provide companies with a greater opportunity to advertise their marks, goods and services to a wide and sometimes worldwide audience and, at the same time allows interested parties to be associated with a major event. We shall only refer to sporting events for our purpose. There are two types of ambush. The first is the so called ambush marketing by association, and happens when a non-sponsor gives out the impression of being an official one, whereas the second form, ambush marketing by intrusion is when the non sponsor intends to be associated with the event by means of its media and/or spectator exposure. An example of the first type of ambush marketing is when the non sponsor uses the official event’s logos, symbols or mascots. An example –among many- of ambush marketing by intrusion is when the non sponsor places banners or advertisements close to the event’s venues. Benefits of sponsoring Who benefits with sponsoring? Both, organizers and sponsors do. On the first hand, the organizers need sponsoring. In terms of sportive activities, sponsoring has become an essential part of the development of today’s sports and is one of the most fruitful means of revenue. Without the presence of sponsors, organizers of the major events such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games would not be able to obtain the sources of income to get the events going. On the other hand, sponsoring derives in many benefits for the sponsors as well, such as: RECONQUISTA 672 7TH FLOOR | C1003ABN – BUENOS AIRES | ARGENTINA TEL: (54 11) 4313-0184 | FAX: (54 11) 4313-2863 | (54 11) 4314-1266 INFO@RICHELET.COM.AR | WWW.RICHELET.COM.AR
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Getting their marks, goods and/or services advertised during the event to a massive audience, sometimes worldwide Association with the image and principles of sports and with the sponsored activity The ability to tackle new commercial markets and public Obtaining the recognition of the public and an association with the sponsored event Benefit with the association with one or some of the heroes of today’s society, that is: sportsmen
Finally, the public and the cities hosting the event also benefit with sponsoring because same permits the audience to have a well organized event, increase the town’s commercial activity in the host country and, no less important, the city and its citizens will receive improved and sometimes new venues and better and new infrastructure, among other benefits. Combating Ambush Marketing Organizers always promise and sponsors expect to have the exclusivity in the use of the official event’s marks, logos, symbols and other forms of official designations. That derives in having unique publicity and/or promotional possibilities, on site concessions and the right to define themselves as the official sponsors of the event. Therefore, the grant of exclusivity to official sponsors is a must. There is no value to sponsorship with no such exclusivity. Consequently, organizers and sponsors necessarily need to ensure a control of the marketing practices connected with the event by all means possible. In this respect, Intellectual Property (IP) protection is extremely necessary for all organizers of major events as ambush marketing by association always involves elements of deception. Usually existing IP laws and Unfair Competition regulations are sufficient to control and punish these type of...