Official sponsors of the Sydney Olympic Games are likely to be assailed by guerrilla marketing, despite measures put in place by the Olympic committee, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Asked to recall the brand which they most identified with the event, 33 per cent of a pool of more than 1,000 adults identified either Adidas or Reebok. Neither of these are official partners of the Games. The official sponsor most frequently identified with the Games was Coca-Cola, which was recognised by more than 22 per cent.
Ironically, official sponsor Nike – which won fame for its ambushing tactics at the Los Angeles Olympics after buying up outdoor media space all over the city – was less associated with the games in the minds of consumers, than its rival Adidas.
Official partners Kodak and Visa fared only as well as non-sponsors Speedo, American Express and Accurist.
A CIM spokesman says: “The research suggests that the point of sponsoring a major event is to make the most of the build up.”
He adds: “Nike’s sponsorship could prove to be a waste of money unless it stays on board for the next time. There are so many sponsors for these events that it is easy for the message to get lost.”
The Olympic Committee has attempted to minimise the use of ambush tactics by preventing unofficial sponsors from using the authorised logo and the word Olympic.