n Journal of Contemporary Management - The changing nature of ambush marketing : a content analysis of ambush marketing commentary of the London Olympics

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Global sporting events such as the Olympics require large sums of money to host successfully. Much of this funding is sourced from private sector sponsors who contribute significant sums of sponsorship revenue to the organisers of the events. Rather than paying for sponsorship, companies can achieve an association with the event by ambushing it.

Successful ambushing tactics have evolved with each global sporting event. Previous ambushes used direct methods such as broadcasting or advertising. With strict regulations and policing of the event, these methods were no longer effective; rather, the changing environment of global sporting events has required ambush methods to evolve into more subtle yet highly effective techniques.
The paper provides an analysis of the changing nature of ambush marketing by presenting a content analysis of over one million words using Leximancer software through which the online reporting and commentary of ambush marketing before, during and after the London Olympic Games were tracked. Despite a stricter regulatory environment, ambush marketing is still found to be effective albeit in a different form. Implications for official sponsors, ambushing companies and governmental bodies are included.

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