Sandler and Shani (1989, p. 10) describe ambush marketing as ‘a planned effort by an
organisation to associate themselves indirectly with an event in order to gain at least some
of the recognition and beneﬁts that are associated with being an ofﬁcial sponsor’. The
concept of ambush marketing, also described as parasite and guerrilla marketing (Mullin,
Hardy, & Sutton, 2000) and vigilante marketing (Kolah, 2003) is, however, not new and
Smith and Zook (2011) suggest that it has been around almost as long as sponsorship itself.
It has, nevertheless, been referred to as ‘one of the most disquieting developments in
sponsorship’ (Meenaghan, 1998, p. 20). The 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games has been
identiﬁed as the ﬁrst event to be targeted by ambush marketing, since which time it has
become a ‘major issue for the sponsoring industry’ (Meenaghan, 1998, p. 21).