The 2012 Summer Olympics in London hasn’t just been a venue for world-class athletes to showcase their talents to millions of viewers around the globe. For Beats by Dre — a producer of audio/music equipment and established by rap artist Andre “Dr. Dre” Young — the Olympics has been an opportunity to launch an ambush marketing campaign with its sleek and trendy headphones.
To put it simply, Ambush Marketing 101 is marketers and public relations personnel capitalizing on a particular sporting event to highlight a product without paying any sponsorship fees.
From the Beats by Dre perspective, it’s meant a tremendous amount of exposure at a minimal financial cost of supplying the customized headphones. However, the International Olympic Committee and its regulations expressly prohibit “advertising” from companies that aren’t official sponsors.
“If there is a blatant attempt at ambush marketing or by a group of people with commercial views, then of course we will intervene,” IOC President Jacques Rogge said to Yahoo! Sports.
Beats by Dre Popular at the Pool
The Beats by Dre headphones have been especially present at the London Aquatics Center, where team USA swimmers Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones, to name a few, have been sporting the Beats on the pool deck prior to competition.
Additionally, Beats by Dre specifically created customized headphones for British athletes and had representatives distributing the popular product to team members in the Olympic Village. The company supplied athletes from at least 19 countries as well, including the United States, China, and Great Britain. As of late Thursday night, though, British Olympic Association spokesman, Darryl Seibel, said that country officials reminded its athletes of the rules and regulations against endorsing commercial products on Twitter that don’t hold any sponsorship rights. Moreover, athletes promoting their own sponsors before/after competition or through social media networks violates the IOC’s Rule 40.
“We have to be careful because without these measures, there could be no sponsorships, and without sponsorships, there would be no Olympics,” IOC President Rogge said.
Photo Credit: 1) Johnny Nunez – WireImage; 2) Jed Jacobsohn – New York Times