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Olympic (Ambush) Competition Officially Under Way

Ambushers Leading Sponsors 33-17


Billions of Dollars in Brand Equity at Stake

AUSTIN, Texas.  July 18, 2012 — Of the Top Fifty Brands affiliated with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games only seventeen are official sponsors.  This according to the latest Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) analysis by the Global Language Monitor, the Internet media trend tracking company.  The longitudinal study began in July 2011 and tracks the top three tiers of official Olympic sponsorship, as designated by the LOGOC and the IOC.



“Fortunately in the Olympics there is no ‘mercy rule,’ where a winner is declared in a contest to reach twenty-one, when one side scores the first 11 points,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.   Of the top official and ‘non-affiliated marketers’ in the current study, the first twelve fall into the non-affiliated category.”

Some seventy-five brands are studied including the twenty-five premier official sponsors divided into three tiers:  The TOP partners, which pay approximately one hundred million pounds for the privilege,  the Official Olympic Partners, and the Official Olympic Sponsors.  Together these sponsors pay an estimated 30% of the cost of staging the games.

There are a number of other levels and forms of sponsorship including national sponsorships such as the USOC.  The real cost of being a TOP partner ranges from a $500 billion to over a trillion dollar investment to companies that sign on for sponsorships spanning several Olympiads.

For these rankings GLM measured the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor against those of their primary non-affiliated competitors. Though ‘ambush marketing’ is well understood to mean an organization knowingly exploiting a brand affiliation with the Games without the benefit of official sponsorship, all perceived Olympic affiliations according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for GLM’s Ambush Marketing rankings.

Ambushing by ‘Non-affiliated Marketers’ is more than Michael Phelps pitching sandwiches; it is a years-long effort to create a pseudo-sponsorship to leverage the good-well generated by having the Olympics with one’s brand.

The GLM Brand Affiliation Index for this analysis,ranged from a high of 797.90 (Royal Philips} to a low of 1.50 for VisaCard.  The higher the score, the closer the brand affiliation with the event.

The Top Twelve (all Ambushers), along with their tiers, are Listed below:

1 Royal Philips TOP-A
2 CVC Capital OOP-A
3 ExxonMobil OOP-A
4 Manpower OOS-A
5 Schroders OOP-A
6 IBM Global TOP-A
7 E ON Energy OOP-A
9 Deutsche Telekom OOP-A
11 EI DuPont TOP-A
12 Cable & Wireless OOP-A


As you can see for the above rankings, Business-to-Business brands are being subjected to the sames ambush marketing forces as B2C marketers.  ‘

Royal Philips is crushing GE by over 20:1 margin; ExxonMobil bests BP by a similar margin; and BASF and DuPont are both striding past Dow.

The Top Ten Official Sponsors ranked from No. 13 to No. 39 overall.  They are listed below, along with their tiers.


1 BT Group OOP
2 Cadbury OOS
4 Adidas OOP
5 Panasonic TOP
6 McDonald;s TOP
7 Coca-Cola TOP
10 EDF energy OOP
11 Arcelor Mittal OOS
12 Samsung TOP


Though listed at the top official sponsor, the BT group actually ranks behind both Deutsche Telekom and Cable&Wireless.

Cadbury, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are doing quite well for their investments in spite of the efforts to derail their sponsorships on the grounds of their contributing to a so-called ‘obesogenic’ environment.  Adidas is currently doubling Nike’s number.  P&G  continues to excel with their ‘Moms’ campaign.  Arcelor Mittal is a surprise standout for a company previously little known to the public.

GLM has been measuring the effects of Ambush marketing on the Olympic Movement for the last three Olympiads, in the process accumulating perhaps the most extensive database of its kind.   For London 2012, GLM began tracking the three tiers of official sponsors since the third quarter of 2011.  GLM also tracks the brand equity of the athletes before and during the Games. For more information, call +1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or click on www.LanguageMonitor.com