By Dr Tay Pek San
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil ended recently. As is the case with previous mega-sporting events such as the Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, the age-old advertising trick of ambush marketing struck again during the days leading up to as well as during the month long event. ‘Ambush marketing’ refers to the unauthorised association by corporations with major events through the use of creative marketing strategies without paying sponsorship fees. The effect is to draw the attention of the public or consumers away from the products of the official sponsor to that of the ambush marketer, who is almost always the sponsor’s rival. As a result, the official sponsor is denied the full commercial value attached to its sponsorship.