ambush marketing Archives - Power Sponsorship

The Evil Genius Guide to Ambushing Your Own Sponsorship

In an era of massive sponsorship clutter, many sponsors believe that if their investments are going to have a real impact – to “break through the clutter” – they need to sponsor at a high level. I’ve heard the phrase, “Go big or go home”, espoused at more sponsorship conferences than I can count. And while I understand the fired-up, chest-beating appeal of the phrase, the implication that only high-level sponsorships will deliver big returns is flatly wrong. Before I go on, let me say that I’ve got absolutely no issue with big, high-level sponsorships, if they’ll be leveraged in a manner that will make the most of that enormous platform. But you really don’t […] Read More

Fighting the Wrong Fight: Corporate Ego vs Sponsorship Strategy

I’m on a plane, flying into a speaking gig in Minnesota. Just before getting on the plane, someone sent me a tweet referencing a stoush between the Minnesota Vikings and Wells Fargo, principal tenant of two nearby office towers. US Bank is naming rights sponsor of the new stadium and there is an agreement in place limiting the types of signage that Wells Fargo can put on the buildings. This hasn’t stopped them wanting to have offices in the building, so that would appear to be the end of that. Except that it isn’t. In addition to several 18m long, illuminated logos at the top of the 17-storey buildings, which are already allowed as part […] Read More

Sponsorship and Social Media: Getting It Right

A question I get a lot is why I don’t address specific how-tos on using social media with sponsorship – some kind of step-by-step formula for social media success. The answer to that is pretty simple: There is no formula. It’s not about a formula. We all know how social media works; people follow you, you provide compelling content and interesting experiences, those followers engage. It’s a very powerful tool for leveraging sponsorship, and sponsorship is a very powerful tool to foster that engagement. HOW you engage with sponsorship, however, isn’t something that can be done using a formula, no matter who tells you otherwise. If you know how best practice sponsorship works, social media […] Read More

The Captain Kirk Guide to Breaking Sponsorship Rules

I can admit it: I’m a nerd. I love science fiction, hate JarJar Binks, and have stood in my back garden with my daughter, waving at the International Space Station as it’s flown overhead on dozens of occasions. So, when I thought of writing a blog about breaking sponsorship’s rules, for me, there could be no better parallel than Captain Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru. For the uninitiated, this is a test given to prospective Starfleet captains. It involves rescuing the neutronic fuel carrier, Kobayashi Maru, from the Klingon neutral zone. It’s made to be unwinnable, and yet Kirk beat the test. How? He broke the rules and changed the game. Winning in sponsorship isn’t […] Read More

Is It Ever Okay to Invest in Sponsorship for Defensive Reasons?

When it comes to sponsorship selection, there are a few good reasons to do it, as well as a few bad reasons that are sometimes unavoidable, but often manageable. Good To change your target markets’ perceptions and behaviours around your brand To align with your customers and/or staff through their passions To reward your customers and/or staff To secure sales rights (provided the profit on projected sales is more than the sponsorship costs) Some combination of the above Bad, but generally manageable Senior executive choice  – for how to manage, see “How to Manage (or Get Rid of) a Senior Executive’s Pet Sponsorship“ Regional manager choice  – for how to manage, see “Sponsorship Politics: How […] Read More

Sochi Ambush Marketing, Courtesy of the Wrong Olympics and a Brilliant Audi Fan

This has been a very strange Olympics, and in so many ways. The human rights abuses and Olympic hypocrisy around them; the weather; the infrastructure issues; the undrinkable water going viral. I love the Winter Olympics, but this is the most inglorious Winter Games I can remember. That’s before we get to the sponsors, who have varied between getting it wrong and not doing much at all, leaving the door open for any ambush marketers who care to get involved. I’ve already covered the “other ambushers”; those non-sponsors who have done a better job at reflecting world outrage than the sponsors have dared to do (and good on them!). Aside from that, there hasn’t been […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Marketing “Enforcement” Gets Ridiculous Once Again

Down here in Oz, we do pretty well in the Winter Olympics, considering we have comparatively little winter. It’s pretty exciting for us to do well. But, when young alpine skier, Greta Small, did better than expected and her home resort of Mount Hotham did the unthinkable… they congratulated her on Twitter… the Australian Olympic Committee got their undies in a bundle and sent a stern letter to Hotham, demanding they remove that and any other social media mentioning any Olympic athletes. The actual tweet, now removed, can be found below. The AOC is invoking Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, stating that, “Except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer […] Read More

The Other Ambush: Standing Up for What’s Right when Sponsors Don’t

Normally, when the Olympics roll around, I’m having a field day picking apart sponsorship strategies and, in particular, analysing the ambush marketing activities. Truth be told, ambush marketing gets me a bit giddy, lying as it does at the intersection of strategy and troublemaking. But this time around, the ambushers haven’t come to the party like they have in the past. Hell, the sponsors haven’t even come to the party. I can just see all the usual ambush marketing suspects gloating – not because they’ve done something so clever to gain marketing benefit for their brands, but because they’re the lucky ones with no IOC contracts, so they can stay well away from this debacle. […] Read More

Alcohol Sponsorship Ban a Red Herring (Irish Edition)

I wrote the original version of this blog back in 2009, when Australian politicians were debating an alcohol sponsorship ban. With Ireland now considering the same, with potentially ruinous results, I thought I would give it an update and repost. So, here we go again. Irish politicians – who clearly know nothing about sponsorship – are going on about banning alcohol sponsorship of sport. This isn’t the only country where our industry is unfairly under fire from politicians on this subject, and some politicians and lobbyists keep rolling out new arguments to support the ban. One time it’s that alcohol sponsorship promotes underage drinking, then it’s that it promotes binge drinking. Pretty soon there will […] Read More

Are Lawyers Finally Seeing Sense on Ambush Marketing?

Usually, whenever you hear lawyers talking about ambush marketing, they’re talking about laws and enforcement. The general approach is the more laws there are around major events, and the more broadly defined those “rights” to be enforced are, the better. So, imagine my surprise when I was sent Ambush Marketing and the Mega-Event Monopoly: How Laws are Abused to Protect Commercial Rights to Major Sporting Events, by Andre M Louw. This book is part of the ASSER International Sports Law Series. That’s right, this is a real legal text that looks at the other side of ambush laws. No, not the ambusher’s side – the fans’ side. It’s largely about how anti-ambush legislation, and the […] Read More