chapter  11
Protecting the Olympic brand: winners and losers
Pages 14

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).