The main aim of the study is to verify how event involvement in the UEFA Euro 2012 influenced the recognition of both sponsors’ and ambushers’ brands. Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews were conducted on a representative sample of the Polish society (N = 1,000). On the basis of five groups of consumers regarding involvement in the event, authors examined brand recognition, using Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) tests of official sponsors and ambushers.
The highest TOMA rate was observed in the group of heavy viewers. The lower the quantity and intensity of the matches watched, the lower the percentage of people who recalled a brand of the official sponsor at first. An inverse relationship exists in the case of people who identified the ambush marketers.
Ambush marketing phenomenon does not seem to threaten official sponsors of the event among consumers involved in the event. Therefore, it seems to be crucial to take into account the division between fans and non- fans of the event and level of their event involvement whilst measuring brand recognition.
It is noticeable that in the current literature the issue of effects of ambushing on consumers divided into groups of fans and non-fans has been largely ignored. Thus this study shows how important conducting a test of brand recognisability based on involvement of consumers in the sport event is.
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