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Official sponsors clean bowled by ambush marketing


Kavita Mundkur Nigam

Amidst the euphoria and fervour of the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, there is frenzy in the corporate world too, says Kavita Mundkur Nigam.

In a country thriving on cricket as its staple sport, corporate houses make a beeline to run promotional campaigns around such international sporting events, most of which are unofficial.

Ambush marketing is the appellation given to marketing strategies employed by companies to waylay the exclusive rights enjoyed by their competitors that sponsor international events. Ambush marketing is an opportunistic exploitation of an event in which a company gains exposure for its own brand and other insignia without the authorisation of the event organiser.

Instances of ambush marketing came to the fore in India during the 1984 Olympics and subsequently at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, where Coca-Cola was the official sponsor and its rival Pepsi introduced a promotional campaign with the tagline ‘Nothing official about it!’.

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ICC Cricket World Cup, ambush marketing