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SBD Global/November 7, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Guerilla Marketers Found Form At London 2012, Now Targeting Next Mega Events

With London 2012 slowly receding into the past, and the next wave of global sporting events such as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games imminent, it is time to "consider the state of ambush, or guerrilla, marketing in the sports world," according to David Atkinson of the HUFFINGTON POST. There is no doubt "the threat of these aggressive marketing tactics loomed ominously over those involved in London 2012, but the Olympics also formed a landmark in the way that guerrilla marketing was managed for major global events. " There "are two kinds of guerrilla marketing." The first comes from smaller, "occasionally controversial brands with comparatively small budgets trying to afford some of the glory of the bigger players." Think "Paddy Power." Then there are the major global brands, "where there are just two competitors in any given market." Both "will be competing for the same audience, but only one is able to command the official partner or sponsor status" -- think Coke/Pepsi, Nike/adidas etc. There is a third element to consider in guerrilla marketing -- "when brand activities cross the line from association into endorsement, and non-sponsors try to pass themselves off as having official status." This "was the biggest concern of the Olympics." What next "for guerrilla marketing?" What "can we expect in Brazil and Glasgow next year?" One thing "is certain: as the cost of holding big ticket events such as the Olympics and World Cup continues to grow; sponsor presence will continue." Where there are sponsors, "there are brands that want a slice of the action." 2012 was a watershed moment -- "brands using guerrilla marketing avoided the backstreet tactics and earned a little more respect for remaining on the right side of the line" (HUFFINGTON POST, 11/6).

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