SBD/June 15, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Samsung Asks LOCOG To Protect Sponsorship From Ambush Marketing

David Beckham helped launch Samsung's '12 Games campaign on Monday

Samsung has asked LOCOG officials “to protect its Olympic sponsorship from ambush marketing" ahead of the '12 London Games, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES." Samsung, an IOC TOP sponsor, said that it expects LOCOG to "react rapidly to any unauthorised attempts by rivals to advertise during the Games." Samsung VP & Head of Worldwide Sports Marketing Gyehyun Kwon said that the electronics company “was spending more than $100m in marketing to underpin its Olympics sponsorship, with about two-thirds of that amount” invested in the U.K. Kwon said Olympics organizers “have to do something against ambush marketing they find, that is the issue.” Kwon: “If it is categorised as ambush marketing, as the local authorities they have to shut down the operations. They have the legal authority and the power. We have a high expectation of the London authorities and the organising committee.” Samsung on Monday launched its ’12 Olympics marketing campaign, “built around David Beckham as its global ambassador” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/14). Samsung's promotional campaign will be held under the theme "Everyone’s Olympic Games.” The company also is sponsoring the Olympic torch relay, and “will select 1,360 of the 8,000 runners who will bear the torch on a 70-day trip around” the U.K. after the torch arrives from Greece in May ’12 (KOREAHERALD.com, 6/14).

EXHIBIT A: The London DAILY MAIL reported LOCOG is "threatening legal action" against a company trying to hold an art exhibit "unless they remove the '2012' from their proposed trademark." The Great Exhibition 2012 "aims to stage a major event outside of London in August next year, at the same time as the Olympics." LOCOG is claiming that the company is "trying to cash in on the Games." LOCOG has sent a letter to the exhibit warning that if the organizers do not "drop '2012' from their application for a trademark then London 2012 'will seek to recover our costs' from ensuing legal action" (DAILYMAIL.co.uk, 6/14). The Great Exhibition Company founder Julie Benson said that she "has spent the last 12 years planning the art event." However, she admits that London winning the Games in '05 "led her to plan the timing and the name of the exhibition" (BBC.co.uk, 6/14).

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