The Vancouver Olympic Committee has moved strategically to secure advertising space for its official sponsors, reports The Vancouver Sun. Organizers hope to counter ambush marketing by competitors of sponsors. During the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Pepsi scooped Coke, an official sponsor and home town company, by locking up all available advertising. Likewise, Nike handed out banners just outside the stadiums, thwarting the efforts of Adidas, the official sponsor.
Vancouver isn’t the first Olympic city to counter ambush marketing. During the 2000 Games in Sydney, stadium staff confiscated Pepsi cans from specators, in an effort to preserve Coke’s role as official sponsor.
BBC News cites several examples of ambush marketing at past Olympic Games.
In Athens, official sponsors chose not to use up all available advertising space, so billboards and other media sometimes lacked advertising. Although the Vancouver Olympic Committee insists its sponsors will fill up all available media space, perhaps they could consider donating unused billboard and media time to Vancouver Legacies charities. The Games are still five years away, so only time will tell.