Ambush Marketing

ambush - Copy

Ambush Marketing (AM) is where a company takes advantage of the ‘Commercial’ platform offered by an event without the authorisation of the event organisers and without paying a share of the event costs.

AM is usually adopted at an event without paying the required sponsorship fee yet obtaining maximum brand exposure at minimal cost. The aim might also be to diminish the marketing benefit that a competitor gains who has paid the full sponsorship fee!

Ambush marketing first appeared in 1984 when the Los Angeles Olympics developed exclusive packages.
Ambush Marketing is becoming more popular especially with some ‘cheeky’ brands as a cheap why to get media coverage!

At a 2002 Australia v New Zealand rugby match, two naked men sole the limelight by streaking on to the playing field sporting only the logo of a competitor to the main sponsor.

As more and more events come to Northern Ireland it is important for the Marketer to be aware of AM:

• Make sure your event logo and intellectual property is trademarked and copywrite.

• Ambushing only works when the official sponsorship doesn’t – make sure you have the appropriate activation budget in place to ensure the sponsorship does work for you.

• Place an onus on the event owner that all necessary plans have been put in place to ensure AM does not happen at the event you are sponsoring.

• Online and specifically social networking is the new landscape that Ambush Marketers will try to attack. So make sure you have robust digital plans in place.

Geoff runs his own Sports Consultancy, working with clients such as FIFA across the world. He is also on the board of Tourism Northern Ireland. You can follow Geoff on twitter @geoffwnjwilson or connect on Linkedin at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s