USOC Warns Congress of Ambush Marketing’s Evils

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In the months leading up to this fall’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, there was much ado about the unauthorized piggyback practice of ambush marketing by non-sponsors.

New regulations and practices were put in place to be sure that any brand that hadn’t paid a massive chunk to sponsor the matches found even the teensiest way to affiliate itself with the event. The preparation for such a possible catastrophe seemed to put ambush marketing on par with terrorism.

Other than a bunch of scantily clad gals in stilettos handing out flyers for a strip club after one particular match, the RWC went ambush-free.

Now a much bigger event is coming, next year’s Summer Olympics in London (which organizers refuse to identify with its XXX Roman numerals, for some reason), and nobody wants any big-spending sponsors to be outdone by some fancy bit of ambush marketing.[more]

The United States Olympic Committee, for one, is very concerned about the issue because America is one of the few nation’s on the globe to not rely on government bucks to support its athletic programs. It is so concerned that it hosted a panel discussion Tuesday in D.C. to help educate members of Congress on the issue, according to Boxscore News.

In attendance were USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird and USOC Associate General Counsel Kelly Maser along with bigwigs from McDonald’s, Visa, AT&T, and Kellogg, Boxscore reports.

“Sponsor support is critical to the success of Team USA athletes and we appreciate having these sponsors with us here today to reinforce the important topic of ambush marketing around the Olympic and Paralympic Movements,” said Baird on Tuesday, according to Boxscore News.

“We are charged with protecting the Olympic brand, and this event today is part of a broad effort by the USOC and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family to uphold the Olympic ideals and create stronger ambush protection for sponsors. When ambush marketing hurts our sponsors, it hurts America’s elite athletes.”

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