World Cup Special 2: Question – I am an official sponsor. How do I stop ambush marketing?

Answer: Review the Mallesons’ “I am an Official Sponsor: Top 10 Things to Do List”.  And yes, we have implemented this successfully with our clients on previous occasions.  We know it works.  Here’s a sneak peak of four of our Top 10 Tips:

  1. Make sure you own the whole space.  If it is a televised event, consider carefully whether you should incur the extra cost and become a broadcast partner as well.  In addition, if the event is to be held at a stadium, ensure you have purchased banner advertising in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, not just inside it.  One of our favourite (local) examples concerns 2004 Melbourne Fashion Week.  Perrier Jouet was the official sponsor of Fashion Week.  Yet it was Moet & Chandon which set up a tent outside venues.  It aimed to become the ‘place to be’ and hosted its own break away parades.
  2. Endeavour to own the ambush marketing space as well.  Why let others come up with cheeky campaigns? So you are the official sponsor.  It doesn’t mean you must be serious!
  3. Plan for contingencies well in advance.  Meet with the governing body.  Divide up responsibilities.  Will the governing body have sufficient scouts at venues to look out for impermissible competitive activity?  Do you need to augment this activity.
  4. Establish an internal review process for suspect activity and plan well in advance.  This can be as sophisticated as briefing counsel and having template letters of demands and pleadings ready to go.  Remember: You don’t have a turnaround of days on a letter of demand.  The event might only last a week.  Your timeframe is hours, and you need to be ready for court.

Best of luck!

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