FIFA World Cup 2018 Ambush Marketing: ”Easier to circumvent official sponsor exclusivity”

As FIFA and the International Olympic Committee have become better at protecting the exclusivity of official sponsors, marketers have turned to more indirect forms of ambush, such as aligning promotions using imagery and themes to build a mental connection to an event without actually mentioning it.

The tactic is known as ambush marketing, in which companies use celebrities, themes or imagery to make audiences draw a connection to an event without having to pay an official fee to the organizers.

“If you can produce a World Cup campaign without being an official sponsor to FIFA, the championship in Russia or the national team, why should you buy expensive rights?” said Magnus Berglund, a sponsorship and brand consultant.

“Today, there are so many platforms to advertise on that it’s easier to circumvent official sponsor exclusivity”, Berglund said in a telephone interview.

More on Ambush Marketing during FIFA World Cup 2018

In stark opposition, former Paddy Power head of mischief, Ken Robertson, jokes that CMOs spending up to £100m on a top level football sponsorship “should be shot”.

Robertson, who recently founded his own agency called Tenth Man, says:

“I think it is an appalling waste of money. It is a wallpaper logo. People expect more from brands now than seeing it on the perimeter boards during a major event. They expect more sophisticated comms from brands. These CMOs show a lack of imagination and insecurity.”

For non-sponsors seeking to associate themselves with the FIFA World Cup, it’s critical to understand the rules of the road as so-called ”ambush marketing” laws vary.

Like host nations of the past, Russia has also passed a law to address such activities: Federal Law of June 7, 2013 No. 108-FZ, which confirms that the existing offense of ”unlawful trade” will be committed where any products or services are associated, directly or indirectly with FIFA or the World Cup without permission of FIFA.

Tour de France – Team Sponsor Guide 2017

For three weeks, television commentators will praise sponsor after sponsor in one of the world’s most beautiful sports environments. Of course, I’m talking about the Tour de France.

The event is, by some, described as ”the world’s biggest annual sporting event”.

I won’t get in their, but rather state that depending on how you count, Tour de France really is the largest [insert the fact that makes ”Le Tour” the greatest] in the world. (Isn’t that a-m-a-z-i-n-g!)

But ok, which are the companies you will hear for countless hours the upcoming weeks?

Let’s take a look at the teams’ largest sponsors, also known as their title sponsors.

AG2R LA MONDIALE / France 

The team name is an amalgamation of two different financial firms from France; AG2R Group and La Mondiale Group. AG2R Group is an interprofessional insurance and supplementary retirement fund group. La Mondiale Group is an international group for supplementary pension and estate planning insurance.

ASTANA PRO TEAM / Kazakhstan 

Team Astana have gotten its name from the capital of Kazakhstan, as well as the colors of the cycling clothes. The actual sponsor is the National Welfare Fund ”Samruk-Kazyna”, a coalition of state-owned companies.

BAHRAIN – MERIDA / Bahrein 

Team Bahrain-Merida is an easy one. The name refers to the country Bahrain, whose government funds the team, and Merida, who make bicycles.

BMC RACING TEAM / United States 

BMC is an acronym for Bicycle Manufacturing Company. The company is based in Switzerland and manufactures bicycles.

BORA – HANSGROHE / Germany 

Two German companies sponsor this team. Bora is a Bavarian manufacturer of extractor fans (pictures) and the second name, Hansgrohe, is one of the world’s leading producers of shower heads.

CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM / United States 

Cannondale makes premium bicycles and the second title sponsor is Drapac Capital Partners, an American-based real estate firm.
Team Cofidis is a classic cycling team name. The main sponsor (Cofidis is a French company offering consumer loans either by phone or over the Internet. Their primary markets are, among others, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy (so a cycling team feels pretty ok, let’s be honest).

DIRECT ENERGIE / France 

The team name Direct Energie comes from French gas and electricity company with the same name.

FDJ / France 

FDJ is a short term for Française des Jeux, which operates the French national lottery. It’s a very classic Tour de France team that many spectators cheer some extra for. (Normally without particular success.)

LOTTO SOUDAL / Belgium 

As FDJ, Lotto Soudal is named by a gambling (lottery) company. The team has ”Lotto” from Belgium’s lottery, while ”Soudal” works with sealants, foams and adhesives.

MOVISTAR TEAM / Spain 

Movistar is a large telecommunications brand, owned by Telefónica. They are operating in Spain and Hispanic American countries.

ORICA – SCOTT / Australia 

This one is interesting. Orica is “the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems to the mining, quarrying, oil and gas and construction markets” (source). An odd bird, unlike bike manufacturer Scott.

QUICK – STEP FLOORS / Belgium 

Quick-Step, a classic cycling sponsor, is a manufacturer of laminate flooring. They have been sponsoring the team for many, many years – but this is the first year they are solo (which explains the addition of ”Floors” in the name).

TEAM DIMENSION DATA / South Africa 

Until last year this team was known as ”Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka”, with ”Qhubeka” being a bicycle-related African charity. However, the team had to cut Qhubeka of the official name because people thought the organization was so risch they no longer needed donations. Dimension Data are an IT company.

TEAM FORTUNEO – OSCARO / France 

Fortuneo is an online bank, while Oscaro sells car parts online. There is some questions about if the team name will be Team Fortuneo-Vital, and if you hear that one you might want to know that Vital comes from Vital Concept, who sell agricultural and equestrian equipment.

Katusha Sports makes sporting clothes and Alpecin make hair products, like ”caffeine shampoos and caffeine liquids” (no joke).

TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO / Netherlands 

How about another lottery brand? This one it’s time for the Dutchmen, explaining the addition ”NL” to the name. The second part, Jumbo, is a supermarket chain.

TEAM SKY / Great Britain 

Maybe the most well-known team name these days comes from Great Britain and the television brand Sky.

TEAM SUNWEB / Germany 

Sunweb offers summer package holidays, winter sports deals, hotels and all inclusive holidays. A travel brand, that is.

TREK – SEGAFREDO / United States 

This combo-name is built from Trek, that makes bicycles, and Segafredo Zanetti, the leading Espresso producer in Italy.

UAE TEAM EMIRATES / United Arab Emirates 

Yes, you guessed it, of course the United Arab Emirates has their own team. (Or at least their own team name.)

WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT / France 

Wanty is an international company active in the sectors of construction, earthmoving and demolition. Their sponsor-mate, Gobert Group, sell construction materials.

Tour de France – Tour Sponsors

For better resolution: Tour de France Partners 2017

TOUR’S CLUB

  
 

OFFICIAL BROADCASTERS

 

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

    
   

OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS

       
      

OFFICIALS SUPPORTERS

  

TECHNICAL PARTNERS

  
  

OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNERS

   

INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS

  

It’s hard to see and feel when you look at the actual event, but Tour de France could be one of the most commercialized sports events in the world.