Ambush Marketing in Sports

By Gerd Nufer and André Buehler.

Published by Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 5, 2014 $US5.00

A sports event organizer sells exclusive marketing rights for his event to official sponsors, who, in return, acquire exclusive options to utilize the event for their own advertising purposes. Ambush marketing is the practice by companies of using their own marketing, particularly marketing communications activities, to create an impression of an association with the event to the event audience, although the companies in question have no legal or only underprivileged or non-exclusive marketing rights for this event sponsored by third parties. So, the objective of ambush marketing is to benefit from the success of sports sponsorship without having the duties of an official sponsor.

It is fine line between creative marketing communication and infringing on sponsorship rights. From the perspective of the event organizers and sports sponsors ambush marketing represents an understandable threat, while from the perspective of the ambushers it offers the opportunity to reach the target audience in an attractive environment and at affordable cost. The paper defines and structures the phenomenon of ambush marketing and analyses the impacts of ambush marketing in sports. The results of an empirical study on the effects of ambush marketing in the frame of the FIFA Soccer World cup are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Ambush Marketing, Sports Sponsorship, Event Marketing, Sporting Events, Soccer World Cup, Olympics

Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization, Volume 5, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.11-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 609.961KB)).

Prof. Gerd Nufer

Professor, ESB Business School, Reutlingen University, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

Prof. Dr. André Buehler

Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Faculty of Agricultural Business, Economics and Management, Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science, Nurtingen, Germany