There’s nothing like a big sporting event to get marketeers excited. Consumer and B2B brands with big budgets vie with each for the privilege of being the official provider of everything from clothing and equipment to (the somewhat more tenuously linked) beer and confectionery. Adidas will have invested heavily to place its Jabulani as the official match ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup; although it may not be relishing the criticism it has been receiving.
With all the media exposure surrounding these sporting circuses, some companies may be tempted to share in the reflected glow. However, they should be very careful before making what may be considered an explicit link to a ‘protected’ event. Ambush marketing, which has hit the headlines recently in South Africa, has been dealt with severely by the governing authorities. And draconian penalties are in store for anyone who strays too far when making an association of their product with the 2012 London Olympics. For those that may be considering embarking on a sport-themed campaign, the BBC documents the list of words that are taboo for unlicensed marketers.