Title: Sporting sign wars: advertising and the contested terrain of sporting events and venues

Authors: Jay Scherer, Michael Sam, Richard Batty

Addresses: School of Physical Education, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. ' School of Physical Education, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. ' Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, 4046 Solano Hall, California State University-Sacramento, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6110, USA

Abstract: Local sporting stadia exist as sought-after promotional platforms for multinational corporations to associate their brands with major international mega-sporting events. However, in conjunction with a global climate of corporate sign wars (Goldman and Papson, 1996) and the continued threat of ambush marketing, these sporting spaces exist as contested terrains where a range of power relations are effectively played out at the global-local nexus. In this paper, we examine issues pertaining to ambush marketing and the brand protection/clean venue policies employed by local organising committees in two case studies: the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Soccer Championships in New Zealand. We identify similar strategies utilised at both sporting events to protect official sponsors while discussing some of the implications of these issues on the lived experiences of spectators and citizens who are inevitably connected to the wider structures of power operating within and through these local sporting spaces.

Keywords: sport advertising; corporate sign wars; sporting events; local sporting venues; sport marketing; multinational corporations; branding; Sydney Olympics; 2000 Olympic Games; Under-17 World Soccer Championships; official sponsorship; corporate sponsors; ambush marketing; brand protection; clean venue policies; globalisation; local issues.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2005.007119

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2005 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.17 - 36

Published online: 27 May 2005 *

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