Protecting the Olympic Brand: Winners and Losers

Trevor Hartland, Nicola Williams-Burnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper considers the measures that have been put in place to protect brands and official sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games in an attempt to drive out the practice of ambush marketing. London’s original bid to host the Games included measures to prevent ambush marketing and once awarded, passed legislation that made it illegal for companies that are not official sponsors to link their products with the Games. Through examination of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006, together with case studies from previous Games, this paper questions the potential implications for other organisations should the letter of the law be applied. It is proposed that the Act goes far beyond its valid remit of preventing ambush marketing and is likely to severely restrict companies and other event organisers from pursing their legitimate business practices. Exploratory research revealed a colossal 2,284,414 potential infringements of the Act. And while this may mean a win for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, it could potentially mean that other organisations become losers as they will be prevented from using specified terms and images without fear of falling foul of the law.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69 - 82
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2012


    • ambush marketing
    • sponsorship
    • Olympic Games
    • London 2012
    • LOCOG
    • London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
    • London Olympic Association Right
    • LOAR


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