Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-rcw2t Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-27T10:30:20.376Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Defending the Co-Branding Benefits of Sponsorship B2B Partnerships: The Case of Ambush Marketing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2006

Monash University,
University of Adelaide,
Harvard University,
Get access


This global study analyzes ambush marketing from the perspective of the sponsor and sport entity as partners in a business-to-business relationship. While it remains a real threat to the strategic co-branding objectives sought from the relationship, ambush is not necessarily as dangerous to sponsors as it has been in the past. Sponsors can use ambushers' attacks to their advantage by drawing attention to issues of legitimacy, by enhancing brand or corporate authenticity, and by appealing to consumers increasingly wary of disingenuous brands. Our findings confirm the potential to approach the sponsorship relationship as a co-marketing alliance to optimize co-branding objectives and to negate the effects of ambush.

Research Article
© Copyright © 1960-2005, The ARF

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Aaker, D. A.Leveraging the Corporate Brand.” California Management Review 46, 3 (2004): 619.Google Scholar
Bayless, A.Ambush Marketing Is Becoming a Popular Event at Olympic Games.” Wall Street Journal, February 8, 1988.
Cliffe, S. J., and J. Motion. “Building Contemporary Brands: A Sponsorship-Based Strategy.” Journal of Business Research 58, 8 (2005): 106877.Google Scholar
Cornwell, T. B.Sponsorship-Linked Marketing Development.” Sports Marketing Quarterly 4, 4 (1995): 1324.Google Scholar
Greyser, S.NBC's Olympic Broadcast Strategy,” based on interviews with Nicholas P. Schiavone, Harvard Business of Sports course, September 2004.
Inkpen, A. C., and J. Ross. “Why Do Some Strategic Partnerships Persist Beyond Their Useful Life?California Management Review 44, 1 (2001): 13259.Google Scholar
Johar, G., and M. T. Pham. “Relatedness, Prominence, and Constructive Sponsor Identification.” Journal of Marketing Research 36, 3 (1999): 299312.Google Scholar
Keller, K. L.Managing Brands in the Long Run: Brand Reinforcement and Revitalization Strategies.” California Management Review 41, 3 (1999): 10225.Google Scholar
Lardinois, T., and P. Quester. “Attitudinal Effects of Sponsorship on Television Audiences and the Influence of Sponsors' Prominence: Interaction and Main Effects of Two Types of Sponsorship.” Journal of Advertising Research 41, 1 (2001): 4858.Google Scholar
Meenaghan, T.Ambush Marketing—A Threat to Corporate Sponsorship.” Sloan Management Review 38, 1 (1996): 10313.Google Scholar
Murphy, C., and C. Dignam. “How to Steal the World Cup.” Marketing, May 9, 2002.
Penaloza, L.The Commodification of the American West: Marketers' Production of Cultural Meanings at the Trade Show.” Journal of Marketing 64, 4 (2000): 82109.Google Scholar
Pine, B. J., and J. H. Gilmore. “Welcome to the Experience Economy.” Harvard Business Review, July–August 1998.
Quester, P. G.Awareness as a Measure of Sponsorship Effectiveness: The Adelaide Formula One Grand Prix and Evidence of Incidental Ambush Effects.” Journal of Marketing Communications 3, 2 (1997): 2431.Google Scholar
Quester, P. G., and B. Thompson. “Advertising and Promotion Leverage on Arts Sponsorship Effectiveness.” Journal of Advertising Research 41, 1 (2001): 3347.Google Scholar
Speed, R., and P. Thompson. “Determinants of Sports Sponsorship Response.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28, 2 (2000): 22638.Google Scholar
Stipp, H., and N. P. Schiavone. “Modeling the Impact of Olympic Sponsorship on Corporate Image.” Journal of Advertising Research 36, 4 (1996): 2228.Google Scholar
Walliser, B.Les Determinants de la Memorisation des Sponsors.” Proceedings de la Deuxieme Journee de recherche de L'AFM, Chambray, France, 1994.