Eric Brownlee
T. Christopher Greenwell
and Anita Moorman

One of the benefits of being an official sponsor is the right to use the term “official sponsor” to differentiate a company’s association with a property from other companies (non-sponsors). Official sponsors may pay a premium for those designations; however, there is uncertainty as to whether or not those designations are effective. This study utilizes scenarios simulating official Major League Baseball (MLB) team sponsorship, official MLB sponsorship, and no official association with MLB or the team to assess the effect of these statuses on purchase intentions. Results from a sample of...Read more

Nicholas Burton
Kevin Snyder
and Steve McKelvey

This study examines the representation of ambush marketing in news media in an eff ort to determine how ambush marketing discourse has evolved as practices have grown in sophistication, strategy, and acceptance. Historically, much of the discussion and debate surrounding ambushing has been led by commercial rights holders who have engendered a fundamentally parasitic, pejorative view of ambushing–a bias that has informed and influenced both practitioner and academic perspectives of ambush marketing. The findings of this study shed new light on a progressive evolution in ambush marketing...Read more

John Grady

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent shock waves through the Olympic advertising and sponsorship community when it announced in February 2015 that it was relaxing Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter to allow generic (non-Olympic themed) advertising featuring athletes during the Rio 2016 Games (Mackay, 2015). According to the IOC, the purpose of the Rule is to preserve the unique nature of the Games by preventing over-commercialization and to keep the focus on the athletes’ performance (International Olympic Committee, n.d.). Notably, while the IOC does not expressly reference ambush...Read more

Steve McKelvey
Dennis Sandler
Kevin Snyder

Prior academic research studies have examined the practice of ambush marketing from the perspective of sporting event non-participants (e.g., spectators, viewers and general sport consumers).This exploratory study furthers the line of research into ambush marketing by assessing the attitudes of participants in a major sporting event toward the practice of ambush marketing. Specifically, the researchers surveyed a random sampling of runners who participated in the 2005 and the 2008 ING New York City Marathons. In contrast to the findings in prior studies of sporting event non-participants,...Read more

Eric MacIntosh
John Nadeau
Benoit Seguin
Norm O’Reilly
Cheri L. Bradish
David Legg

Sponsorship of mega-sports events continues to be one of the most popular forms of marketing. The international appeal and reach of the Olympic Games, in particular, is amongst the top advertising and sponsorship opportunities in the world for international branding. In turn, the marketing value provided by the Olympic Games has attracted the interest of multiple sponsors in various categories, leading to competitive hosting bids and ambush marketing. This study examined mega-sports event interest as a determinant of sponsorship and ambush marketing attitudes, as well as the purchase...Read more

Michael T. Friedman
Daniel S. Mason

Though not glamorous, working for a minor league sports team could be one of the most fun and challenging areas of the sports industry. Due to small staff sizes and limited budgets, employees will be called upon to perform several different tasks that demand a wide range of knowledge and skills. This case study comes directly from the experience of the lead author, who, in four years of working in both baseball and hockey, felt as if he did everything but play, and ended up as the president of the Nashville Ice Flyers of the Central Hockey League during the 1997-98 season.Read more

Aubrey Kent
Richard M. Campbell

On and around college campuses, many businesses display posters and banners, paint their storefronts with school mascots, and prominently use school team colors in promotional efforts. While many of these businesses are sponsors or members of school sanctioned booster organizations, some are not. Businesses that are not paying to be affiliated with the school, yet engage in such activities, seemingly fall within the definition of ambush marketing. We have labeled this distinct type of ambush marketing as “freeloading,” as companies realize benefits without paying for them, yet are not...Read more

Steve McKelvey

It was March 31, 2003, and the Coca-Cola Classic brand management team was excited about enjoying another Major League Baseball opening day at Turner Field against the visiting Montreal Expos. As the team drove out to Turner Field, most of the talk centered on the Atlanta Braves’ prospects for the upcoming season. Jill Smith, however, had her mind on football—specifically, the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston—only 10 months away. Although Coca-Cola was no longer the official soft drink sponsor of the National Football League—rival Pepsi-Cola had outbid Coca-Cola for those rights in 2002—Coca-...Read more