This research examined the efforts of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to frame ambush marketing as an ethically or morally dubious practice and thus influence consumer opinion. After an extensive documentary content analysis of internal Olympic-marketing and Games-development archival materials from the International Olympic Committee’s Library and Olympic Studies Centre, the study’s findings offer new insight into the IOC’s overt influence on ambush discourse as a strategic communication objective in combatting ambush marketing. Results evidence a deliberate attempt on the part of stakeholders to employ “name and shame” public relations and educational campaigns to position ambush marketing as ethically objectionable. In thus examining the discursive power wielded by the IOC, the study offers new perspective on the implications of such ethical framing and illustrates the way that ambush-marketing research and conceptualizations have been defined by rights holders’ influence and censure.
Nicholas Burton and Cheri Bradish
Cheri Bradish and J. Joseph Cronin
Over the past decade, there has been a groundswell of support within the sport industry to be “good sports”, as evidenced by a growing number of, and commitment to, “giving” initiatives and “charitable” programs. Consider the following examples:
• In 1998, the “Sports Philanthropy Project” was founded, devoted to “harnessing the power of professional sports to support the development of healthy communities.” (Sports Philanthropy Project, 2009) To date, this organization has supported and sustained over 400 philanthropic-related organizations associated with athlete charities, league initiatives, and team foundations in the United States and Canada.
• In 2003, “Right To Play” (formerly Olympic Aid) the international humanitarian organization was established, which has used sport to bring about change in over 40 of the world's most disadvantaged communities. Of note is their vision to “engage leaders on all sides of sport, business and media, to ensure every child's right to play” (www.righttoplay.com).
• In 2005, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) became one of the first sport organizations to create an internal corporate social responsibility unit, and soon thereafter committed a significant percentage of their revenues to related corporate social responsibility programs (FIFA, 2005).
Chris Chard, Cheryl Mallen and Cheri L. Bradish
In 2008, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) announced that they had signed a $58 million (US) sponsorship agreement with British Petroleum (BP), an oil company with well-known environmental concerns and offenses. The current case is set in July 2010 amidst BP’s most recent, and largest, environmental incident. The purpose of this case is to answer a key question: What action (if any) should LOCOG take with respect to its partnership with BP given the Gulf Coast oil spill? Additionally, students are challenged to form opinions regarding the environmental and social responsibilities of an Olympic sponsor, and to develop a strategic plan and policies for Olympic partners related to their environmental and social actions in the future.
Julie Stevens, Anna Lathrop and Cheri Bradish
In response to the recent impact of Generation Y in the sport marketplace, this researach article examines the association between consumer behavior preferences and two segmentation variables, gender and physical activity level, for an adolescent segment (ages 14-17 years) of Canadian Generation Y youth. Questionnaire results from a sample of 1,127 respondents yielded data related to various consumer preferences for sporting goods purchases. These factors include purchase decision making, price, frequency, location, and product features. Results indicate an association among Generation Y, gender, and physical activity level with respect to a number of consumer preferences related to sport footwear, apparel, and equipment. Discussion and implications address how sport marketers might interpret the consumer profile results according to both age and cohort perspectives.