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Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
IBS Center for Management Research (2011)
18 pages
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The case is about the ambush marketing strategy of US-based sportswear giant Nike, Inc during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was reported that Nike generated more buzz and had a stronger connection with consumers than adidas-Salomon AG, the official sponsor of the tournament. This case talks about the different promotional approaches adopted by Nike during the FIFA World Cups. It describes in detail the ‘Write the Future’ campaign launched during the 2010 World Cup. According to analysts, the campaign which contained several TV ads and on-line videos featuring star athletes, was successful in building a massive online buzz for the Nike brand. The case discusses how Nike ambushed adidas with its World Cup themed promotional campaigns and dominated adidas in terms of brand identity. Experts felt that though adidas had spent millions of dollars on becoming an official sponsor of the 2010 World Cup it had been unable to build up the pre World Cup momentum and was less effective in connecting with soccer fans and customers. The case concludes by discussing whether it is more beneficial to sponsor an event or to just ambush it through the creation of relevant and unofficial communication.

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This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.


Ambush marketing; Brand sponsorship; Brand communications; Brand association; Brand identity; Brand value; ‘Pyramid of influence’; Innovative marketing campaign; Buzz marketing; Word-of-mouth strategy; Social media channels; Product placement; FIFA World Cup branding; Nike; adidas
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