Becoming a sponsor of a tournament like WEURO 2017 is a as the Women’s Euro Cup is a far-reaching decision. The investment to acquire a set of assets is high. However, it also ends up carrying more responsibilities and risks.
National and continental competitions of the size of the WEURO 2017 provide their sponsors a great media impact. Among others, one of the main reasons to finance part of the “party”. Undoubtedly, one of the core principles of a sponsorship proposal. For this same reason, what is known as ambush marketing takes place. According to Show Me the Money by Esteve Calzada, “ambush marketing is the set of activities driven by a brand with the objective of associating itself with a certain sports property. Using in its communication different supports, contents and/or distinctive signs from those corresponding to the sport property at issue.” In short, driving the use of non-permitted communication rights.
Therefore, Adidas, Carlsberg, Coca Cola, Continental, Hisense, KIA, McDonald’s, Socar, Turkish Airlines and Intersport will all have extra homework apart from ensuring the proper activation of their deal rights. Either being partial ambush marketing with the association with players, coaches or youth teams, these partners should be very aware of their competition movements. In addition, as it can be seen in tournaments like the American Super Bowl, the so-called agile marketing will also become a risk for sponsors’ assets. That is, taking advantage of specific circumstances of the event to launch viral content. For example, the cookies brand Oreo during the blackout in Super Bowl finals.
More discreetly, the following example might be considered a case of partial ambush marketing. On the post of the Swedish national player, Kosovare Asllani, Nike pursues brand association with WEURO 2017. While being Adidas an official sponsor, the American brand takes advantage of its brand ambassador to promote social content along with the name and official hashtag of the European major event. While it is true that there is only one question related to the championship, it turns out to be the first and the message of the post makes it clear enough. The message “Chatting with Nike about the Euros. Exciting weeks ahead! #nikewomen #weuro2017” leaves no room for doubts.
It should neither become an obsession nor affect negatively the development of areas like sponsorship activation. Nevertheless, pursuing and eliminating cases of ambush marketing involves work that is not usually seen from the outside but which, without any doubt, multiplies results.