Whether or not the organizers move to protect sponsors of the London Olympics online, people seem fascinated with their new lifestyle on the social media. You cannot stop Athletes, fans, business people from tweeting real time on twitter.com or posting pictures on facebook or even posting videos on their personal channel on youtube. You cannot stop them from using the word “Olympics” or posting pictures with the “five rings” trademark. You cannot just stop the thrill people will enjoy online during the London Olympics. As predicted by Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Business Management at Coventry University, THIS IS GOING TO BE THE FIRST BIG TWITTER OLYMPICS.
Over 800 million people will converge on major social media websites to interact about the Olympics. This is the area no one can ignore. According to Charles Kirkland, a sport marketing consultant, “Social media is a very very difficult area to control dissemination of information – it’s fast paced and hard for right protection officers to track and monitor.” Unfortunately, this is where marketers target to ambush sponsors during the London Olympics.
Ambush marketing is a planned effort by an individual or organization to associate themselves indirectly with an event in order to gain at least some of the recognitions and benefits that are associated with being an official sponsor. Its important that organizers protect the sponsors from Ambushers. According to Huge Robertson, minister of sports and the Olympics, “without the sponsors, there will be no Olympics and we must protect the $1 billion investment and the right they deserve in London Olympics.”
The organizers of the Olympics, IOC and LOCOG, have gone ahead of the time in 2006, to amend the law. Ambushers may now pay a fine of #20, 000 pounds or go to jail. The organizers have also auctioned 4, 000 advertising space to members and sponsors, especially billboards around the event places; to prevent ambushers from adopting what is now referred as “Nike Ambush Technique.”
In 1996 Centennial Olympics in Atlanta, Nike wasn’t an official sponsor and therefore was forbidden from using the word “Olympics” or the trademark “five rings” on its advertisements. Nike then decided to use on its advertisements the many top Olympics it sponsors. Nike also spent money to create billboards throughout Atlanta. This ambush by Nike confused most public into thinking that Nike was the Official sponsor of the Centennial game.
Smart marketers know you can adopt the Nike Technique online and “legally ambush” the Olympics sponsors.
Legal ambush is a whole variety of wholly legitimate and morally correct methods to intruding upon public consciousness surrounding an event, not paying as an official sponsor. Sport Marketers plan to take advantage of the enormous attention and interest the Olympics will generate on the social media to sell their brand online. They are going to adopt the following strategies:
1. Ad on Social Media Websites: Though, Sport marketers may not use the word “Olympics” or use the logo on their Ad, yet they hope to indirectly benefit from the enormous interest the Olympics will generate at time – by placing their Ad on facebook or googles Ad, where many people will be interacting and searching about the Olympics online.
2. Blogging on twitter: Sport marketers will be tweeting more to Athletes, fans and other sport consumers during the Olympics – when interest will be high and when sport consumers are ready to take action. The marketers will sell their brand to them even without the Olympics logo. It is called “Derived Perception Marketing.”
3. Using Sport Applications Software: We should expect it. One young lad somewhere will develop an application software that will ask social media users to endorse an Athlete or a sport during the Olympics We saw it on facebook during the South Africa World Cup 2010, where users were asked to adopt and customize a favorite country's Jersey. Marketers will be taking advantage of the interest to develop such applications that will enable them to get social media users to voluntarily allow them take their personal demography and Psychographic data for business purposes.
The London Olympics will see football steal the show and Ambush marketers are so targeting the football event.