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On researching ambush marketing

Published by Mark Bodnar

I happened to catch a very entertaining (and educational) overview of ambush marketing on CBC Radio's Under the Influence program this weekend, then came across a related news story that connected the topic to the Olympics: Sochi Olympics on lookout for ambush marketing.

I thought I'd do a quick bit of exploring to see what our library had to offer on this topic. Here are a few highlights from my searches:

  1. A 2013 ebook: Ambush marketing in sports : theory and practice
  2. Business Source Complete offers many articles from industry magazines on ambush marketing
  3. Still in Business Source, there's an interesting 12-page case study with a direct link in our catalogue: Ambush Marketing Case Study: Successfully Leveraging High-Profile Events to Raise Brand Profile
  4. In hopes of finding more real-world examples, I jumped over to our newest database, Factiva, and search for the phrase (in quotation marks) "ambush marketing" in all dates (changing the default from 3 months to "all dates"). This got me thousands of articles from publications such as the WSJ, the Guardian, The Times of India, and Advertising Age.
  5. Hoping to tighten that last Factiva search up a bit, I changed it to "ambush marketing" w/10 (olympic or sochi) (The w/10 means the phrase ambush marketing must be within 10 words (any order) of either Olympic or Sochi). This cut my results down to mere hundreds, instead of thousands, of articles.
  6. One last stab at the Factiva search: I added and wc>500 to the search to get only those articles which have a word count of more than 500 words. This cut my result list in half.  Many are long just because they are digests on a number of topics, but some of them truly are in-depth looks at the topic in publications such as Deutsche Welle, Smart Money, and Mondaq Business Briefing.

All great fun.  And did you notice how I managed to squeeze a few more mentions of our new database, Factiva, into this post.  Not quite ambush marketing, I'll admit (how can I ambush myself?) - more opportunistic, I guess!  :-)   If you haven't tried Factiva yet, do give it a shot and let us know what you think. Contact info for your Bus/Econ Librarian team is below.



  • Mark Bodnar (Business – Burnaby): mbodnar@sfu.ca
  • Megan Sorenson (Business – Vancouver): megan_sorenson@sfu.ca
  • Andrea Cameron (Business – Surrey): amcamero@sfu.ca
  • Carla Graebner (Economics – Burnaby):cgraebne@sfu.ca
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