Feb 23, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Fireworks are displayed during the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

Red Bull captured ambush marketing gold at Sochi Olympics

Thanks to their strong affiliation with “extreme” sports such as snowboarding, Red Bull was, according to the Global Language Monitor, the big brand winner at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

For a big spectacle like the Olympics, the Global Language Monitor publishes studies about which brands are most closely associated with the event, using a metric called Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) to rank each brand. The higher the BAI, the more closely a brand is associated with the event (duh). The results provide good insight into the effectiveness of “ambush marketing” — a strategy used by unofficial sponsors/non-affiliated marketers to capitalize on the popularity of a major event by giving the appearance of actually being official sponsors. (For example, after the first week of the Sochi Olympics, Subway had the highest BAI of any brand even though Subway is no an official Olympic sponsor, blowing official sponsors like McDonald’s out of the water.)

The Global Language Monitor’s final analysis of Sochi has been released — you can download it here — and, according to Inside the Games, it appears Red Bull wasn’t the only unofficial brand to outperform the competition. Subway earned a higher BAI than Coca-Cola and Panasonic, and both Rolex and Siemens AG earned better BAI scores than official sponsors GE and Dow. Of all the official sponsors, Visa, Omega, and Atos performed the worst, beaten out by unaffiliated brands such as Starbucks and Pepsi.

So when the next Olympics roll around, remember that the real competition occurs between brands, not between those pesky athletes.

[Source: Inside the Games]

Tags: Global Language Monitor Red Bull Sochi

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