Ambush Branding: A reconceptualization of ambush marketing from the ambusher’s perspective
Abstract: Thesis purpose: The purpose is to explore ambush marketing by reconceptualizing the phenomenon from the ambusher’s perspective in the context of mega sports events. Methodology: This study conducted a relativist ontology and a constructionist epistemology to allow for the most relevant interpretations of the empirical data. This qualitative research adopts an inductive approach which reflects over the perceptual perspective of the ambusher. Theoretical Perspective: A new framework is developed to improve the understanding of the ambusher’s perspective of ambush marketing. This framework includes the four research areas of ambush marketing, sponsorships, brand identity and ethical justification which allowed the reconceptualization. Empirical Data: The empirical data follows a multiple research design and consists of five semi-structured interviews based on purposive sampling and a content analysis of five cases chosen by theoretical sampling. Findings/conclusions: The main finding provides a reconceptualization of ambush marketing from the ambusher’s perspective. This new framework provides novelty insights on the topic of ambush marketing. It proposes how this marketing approach can be used as a legitimate branding strategy in the context of mega sports events. Practical implications: Ambush branding is a framework that allows companies to approach mega sports events in a legitimate way, without the need to secure any official sponsorship deals. Furthermore, this thesis sheds light on the discrepancies of the marketer’s intentions to refrain from ambushing activities while still getting involved with it on a small scale. Therefore, this provides the marketer to change marketing activities if it indeed wishes to refrain from ambush marketing.
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