Enclosure, economic discourse and ambush marketing in the 2012 London Olympic games

Wei, L. and Erickson, K. (2013) Enclosure, economic discourse and ambush marketing in the 2012 London Olympic games. In: Annual Conference of the European Association for Sport Management, Istanbul, Turkey, 11-15 Sep 2013, p. 273.

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Abstract

The growth of special legislation to protect images and words associated with high-profile sporting events has attracted a great deal of controversy and attention. Since the Sydney Olympics in 2000, all subsequent Olympic events and some other major events have been accompanied by such legislation: rules imposed on the host country that surpass and sometimes contradict existing intellectual property law. Over time, the rules have grown to include generic words or phrases normally not protected under existing trademark regimes. It is in the context of this growing enclosure of public events that the present research explores the purpose and effects of special legislation. The researchers employed a content analysis methodology to capture and analyse advertising campaigns that appeared in national newspapers from 21st May to 19th August 2012. While this method excluded marketing that may have taken place in other media (physical, TV, radio), newspapers permitted systematic sampling and archiving not possible with other techniques. The study period included the build-up before the event, the games themselves, and the denouement directly following the closing ceremonies. The study identified 114 individual print advertising campaigns by non-sponsors that referenced the Olympics. Results show that the special legislation was somewhat effective at preventing the use of banned words, logos and images in the print media. Less than half of the advertisements surveyed made use of a prohibited word. Less than 10 per cent of the advertisements studied included a prohibited logo and these were often retail shops selling products belonging to official sponsors. The data show that advertisers used a range of indirect non-infringing tactics in their campaigns: national flags, images of sport by non-professional athletes, textual references to celebration, internationalism and sportsmanship.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Erickson, Dr Kristofer
Authors: Wei, L., and Erickson, K.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
K Law > K Law (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law

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