Objectives

This case study helps student understand Marketing tools such as research, segmentation, for company marketing, take, for instance in this case Nike company.

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· Discuss and debate the reasons behind the success of Nikes Risk Everything campaign.

· Examine the pros and cons of ambush marketing compared to the conventional sponsorship based promotional campaigns.

· Analyze the growing success of Nikes ambush marketing strategies over the years.

· Understand the growing importance of social media in effectively reaching target customers.

· Explore what companies like Adidas can do to overcome the challenges posed by companies like Nike that indulge in ambush marketing.

Additionally, the case study is meant to cover three basic components of sports marketing: (1) the use of sports as a marketing tool for other products; (2) the marketing of sports products; and (3) the emerging considerations relevant for both marketing through and the marketing of sports. Component one addresses the various domains of the sports marketing environment and traditional sponsorship

What the Case study about.

About a scenario where Nike had to strategize over again on its marketing strategy to outshine Addidas.

Nike relied heavily on social media as a fundamental tool for marketing. The prominent value of social media as a prompt or ambush marketing tool is no doubt intriguing. As outlined in this essay, the social media can be used to create an implication that a company has official relationship rights with an event or property and effectively divert attention from an official company sponsor of the same incident or property.

So, why would the social media be such an effective game changing ambush marketing technique, where the official sponsors should be dominating at ease? The immediate answer to this lays within the popularity of social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google and YouTube amongst target fan bases. The social media helps ambush marketers to create and efficiently maintain long-term links with their fans and target consumers. So great is the impression created via social media, that it well surpasses that done by official event sponsor activities.

Why companies are investing on social media

Days are gone when a company had to consider investing millions of dollars on event sponsorship for marketing rights in the event. These days, with the age of ambush marketing (or the trick shot), a company can gain such marketing rights and still command substantial benefits as well via social media.

Savvy marketers have found less expensive ways to integrate their brands digitally into an upcoming event without investing huge advert and sponsorship charges.

How the social media is employed in marketing.

Online social media services such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have provided companies with the opportunity to do real-time marketing. Whereas marketing campaigns used to be carefully planned over weeks, or even months, businesses now engage in offering social media leads to running events or any other topic that is trending at a given day. By simply chipping in a hashtag that somehow relates to a participant in the event, (for instance #KobesLastGame) a non-sponsor firm effectively ambush markets itself through social media.

Official sponsors spend millions for the right to promote themselves alongside the major sports events. For instance, in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, analyzing the social media content put up by several brands during the tournament, its not necessarily the organizers official partners that come to mind. From poking fun at the players flying their flags to being pilloried for questionable tweets, the non-sponsors featured at the frontline of publicity.

Notable examples include the tweets pointing out at Uruguay soccer player Luis Suarez taking a bite out of some Nandos chicken; Shakira and Activias YouTube collaboration and the video showing Brazilian player Neymar enjoying music via Beats by Dre headphones.

These non-sponsors can use their Facebook pages, and Twitter handles to evade creatively the sponsorship bans imposed by some event organizers. Pepsi and other brands were able to ride the some of the events by just running their social music campaigns parallel to the games.

Another example is, for instance, a company that posts a suggestive phrase on derby day like, We run as smoothly as the victor in the #KentuckyDerby. Such a business will have taken advantage of being a part of all the #KentuckyDerby tagged posts to market their brand. Infrastructure or business service providers like Google, appear to be part of every event, yet they have no active involvement in them. Google usually brands all that they do, with accordance to the traditional rules that have shaped up branding for several years. (Nufer, 2013)

Crackdown by Authorities and Organizers

Event organizers have always shown the goodwill to take action against unauthorized brand activity on social media. A recent example is when a firm known as Zippo noted the use of its lighter in the re-lit of the Winter Olympic torch and ran up a photo of that moment on its official Facebook page, alongside a comment that, Zippo saves the Olympics. (Piatkowska, Zysko, & Goclowska, 2015). The organizing Olympic Committee did not hesitate on acting against it.

Apart from the prevalence of online video and social media, successful hijacking of Olympic advertising has taken a massive toll. This is enabled through the upcoming dominance of tablet and mobile channels for mass media. A Google report indicates that forty-four percent of Olympic viewers used a mobile device while viewing the games as a primary or secondary screen.

The hijackers take advantage of the official Olympic sponsors themselves using social media and online video adverts to great effect, in addition to traditional television spots and printed media.

On hashtags that contain trademark protected terms (for instance #CocaCola), several federal courts have held that the incorporation of a hashtag with a trademark itself is not a marketing breach. The court views hashtag as a functional aid in social media conversations.

Another federal court, however, has declined to reject a case in light of charges of branding approaches breach including the utilization of a hashtag. That court noticed that hashtags could be utilized as a part of a cunning and confounding way to customers.

Some companies have resolved to instant; non-suggestive posts like; We will be closing on Sunday to watch #SuperBowl. However, if its main rival is one of the official sponsors of the event, however, or it uses the competitors trademark in a hashtag increases the risks of being handed a cease letter

As the courts go ahead sorting out the matter, the best a firm can do when participating in the conversation on social media is to review their posts and decide whether or not their consumers might be deceived into believing that they are an official sponsor of that particular event. Congratulating an event participant or winner by integrating the events hashtag would not create such an impression.

So the battle is not lost, but there is a big question over organizers will, and resources, to deal with the mass of ambush marketing matters that do arise in a social media context. Practically, organizers will not be able to act against each of the Twitter or Facebook posts making the official sponsors knowing that the field will never be entirely free for their marketing gains. To triumph, they need to capitalize on the highly unique content they can access through official channels, and ensure swift changes for approvals, to generate the most attractive and up to date digital campaigns.

There is no doubt that smart brand marketers will ambush upcoming events, and the campaigns will use online video, social media and several of other methods to associate a firm with the event. The possibilities are limitless, and we will be observing it with sports events, music concerts, royal weddings and other avenues that promote brand publicity.

However, it is very unfortunate that the line regarding the legality of ambush marketing is not well drawn. The provision of a legal ambush marketing campaign needs that the firm does not create the impression to consumers that they are an official sponsor, have been authorized or endorsed by the trademark owner and organization hosting the event. A companys campaign is required to take advantage of the popularity and hype surrounding the occasion or product, but allow the consumers to create a link between their campaign and the event.

Due to its nature, social media marketing has pushed companies into communicating about more than just their products and services. They acknowledge that to be re-tweeted or followed by many; you cannot just pull up boring ads daily about your services or products. So they go ahead and form part of the conversation moderately ensuring they do not make the consumers believe they are in a way playing a greater role in the event than they are.

Therefore, regardless of the event hosts plan and objectives, it stands out that ambush marketing will always be a trick to attract and exploit almost all global events without officially even signing up for it. Apparently, these low-cost strategic campaigns keep on recreating to evade through the weak links of the law, and continue to prevail even with the rapid popularity of social media as cheap ambush marketing avenue.

Possible Questions would touch on following areas:

-Ambush Marketing Strategies

1. sponsor media coverage of the event

2. sponsor subcategories

3. make sponsorship-related contribution to the player's pool

4. purchase advertising time during the rebroadcast of the event

5. engage in advertising to coincide with the timing of the event

6. use other dilution strategies

Dilution Strategies

1. purchase tickets to the event

2. confusion technique

3. create your own event

4. sponsor other events at the same venue

5. wear;non-sponsor's logo clothing at the event

Effective Techniques for Social Media Management

1. building an audience

2. engaging fans

3. driving behavior

4. choosing the correct social media platform

5. avoiding pitfalls within social media organization

6. leveraging players and talent

Why might an entity engage in ambush marketing?

1. when a firm is doing a poor job supporting its official sponsorship

2. when there is a good fit with the target market

3. when adequate resources are available

4. when there is company-wide support for the strategy

5. when it does not conflict with the ambusher's existing sponsorships

6. when the ambusher is prepared for controversy

7. when it is aware of the legal restrictions

How to protect from ambushing?

1. leveraging

2. learn how to ambush

3. call out the ambusher

4. limit the number of sponsorships

5. prohibit pass-along strategy

6. incorporate sponsor's name

7. engage in surveillance programs

Resources

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/jul/25/olympics-2012-nike-ambush-ad

http://adage.com/article/the-viral-video-chart/nike-ambushes-adidas-world-stage/236400/

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ba0a3786-1ef1-11e4-9d7d-00144feabdc0.html

Nufer, G. (2013). Ambush marketing in sports. London: Routledge.

Piatkowska, M., Zysko, J., & Goclowska, S. (2015). A Systematic Literature Review on Ambush Marketing in Sport. Physical Culture And Sport. Studies And Research, 66(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pcssr-2015-0002

Chanavat, N. & Desbordes, M. (2014). Towards the regulation and restriction of ambush marketing? The first truly social and digital mega sports event: Olympic Games, London 2012. International Journal Of Sports Marketing And Sponsorship, 15(3), 2-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ijsms-15-03-2014-b002

Fortunato, J. Sports sponsorship.

Johnson, P. (2011). Ambush marketing and brand protection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Malhotra, D. Social Paradigms of the Digital Marketing - An Indian Perspective of Social Media Marketing. SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2655449

Meenaghan, T. (1998). Ambush marketing: Corporate strategy and consumer reaction. Psychology And Marketing, 15(4), 305-322. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1520-6793(199807)15:4<305::aid-mar2>3.0.co;2-c

Chandran, A. (2014). Ambush marketing gets new spin as social media rises. The Indian Express.Retrieved 4 May 2016, from http://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/ambush-marketing-gets-new-spin-as-social-media-rises/

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Fiorella, S. & Fiorella, S. (2014). Will Ambush Marketing Kill Corporate Event Sponsorship. Senseimarketing.com. Retrieved 4 May 2016, from http://www.senseimarketing.com/will-ambush-marketing-kill-corporate-event-sponsorship/

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