Ambush Marketing – Let the Games Begin.
The London Olympic Games Organising Committee (Locog) has been doing a lot of work to stop non sponsors use the Games as a promotional opportunity. This includes a deal with Twitter that will not allow non sponsor to buy Twitter ads using official games hash tags and Foursquare who will not allow non sponsors to create check-ins around Olympic Park.
Outside of social media the organisers have created the “Ambush Police” that will police exclusive marketing zones with the power to take items off sports fans, including their clothes as the organisers take a zero tolerance to ambush marketing. During the soccer world cup in Germany in 2006 groups of supporters were forced to watch the game in their underwear when they had to remove their clothes that promoted a rival brewer.
It is not the marketing in and around the events that organisers should be concerned. You would have to expect that there will be some very creative campaigns where brands align themselves with sporting success just at the same time the world is focused on the Olympics. You can accept that the organisers need to protect the sponsors at the events but it is going to be very interesting to see who leverages the opportunity of social at this time. This itself will be an interesting event to watch during the games.