“Nigerian Brands engage in ambush marketing”, prompting calls for genuine support of causes

By Zion Rufus 

In a disheartening trend that has recently come to light, numerous brands in Nigeria have been accused of practicing ambush marketing.

This strategic maneuver involves refraining from supporting causes, initiatives, events, or competitions initially, only to announce their intended partnerships or sponsorship of winners after the success of these endeavors.

This behavior, which has caught the attention of fans, agencies, and athletes alike, raises concerns about the authenticity of brand support and the underlying motivations of these companies.

Amid the mounting cases of ambush marketing, the Chief Operating Officer of Brila Media, Debbie Larry-Izamoje, has taken a stand, urging brands to rally behind Nigeria’s Super Falcons ahead of the upcoming Women’s World Cup. With just seven days remaining until the tournament kicks off, Larry-Izamoje emphasizes the significance of supporting the national women’s football team, which has demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication.

“Our Super Falcons need our support, and it would be a major boost for them,” Larry-Izamoje asserted. “Their hard work and dedication have already earned us a higher ranking in FIFA’s 2023 standings. These women are easily Nigeria’s best football team.”

The Brila Media executive called on fans to show their support through various means, such as actively posting about the team, proudly wearing their jerseys, and demonstrating genuine care for their success. By sustaining the momentum and continually inspiring and motivating the Super Falcons, Nigerian football enthusiasts can help propel the team to victory in the forthcoming Women’s World Cup.

In an exclusive interview with Marketing Edge, Larry-Izamoje shed further light on the issue of ambush marketing prevalent among Nigerian brands. She expressed her observations, stating, “I have noticed a trend among Nigerian brands recently. It seems that many of them are practicing ambush marketing, waiting to see the success of a particular entity or concept before committing themselves.”

While financial limitations or a lack of a clear brand strategy may contribute to this behavior, Larry-Izamoje believes that what the country needs are leaders who are willing to take risks and support individuals who align with their values, irrespective of their current popularity. She stressed the importance of guiding brands in the right direction and assisting them in engaging in meaningful discussions.

A Prominent PR agency leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity said “This issue is both concerning and eye-opening. For me, it basically underscores the unfortunate reality that some brands have been engaging in opportunistic practices for quite some time. Even in most recent and notable events like the Hilda Baci Guinness World Record Cook-a-Thon. I know so many brands that didn’t even buy into the idea or honor several requests for partnership. But when the Hilda Baci sensation became popular, we started seeing these same brands latching onto the popularity by promising this and that.”

The PR agency head urged the industry to address this “unethical behavior” and prioritize genuine support and collaboration. 

“Transparency and integrity should be at the forefront of brand strategies, fostering an environment where fair partnerships and authentic engagement can flourish.”

Meanwhile, the call to action from Debbie Larry-Izamoje also resonates with fans, athletes, and concerned citizens alike. 

Lydia Ajude, a presenter and OAP told Marketing Edge “In my opinion, ambush marketing reflects a lack of integrity and commitment from brands. Our athletes work tirelessly to represent our country, and they deserve consistent support throughout their journey. As fans, let’s amplify their achievements and call out brands that engage in such opportunistic practices.”

The practice of ambush marketing not only undermines the authenticity of brand support but also hinders the growth and development of Nigerian sports and culture. It is imperative for brands to display genuine commitment and actively invest in initiatives, events, and athletes, rather than opportunistically capitalizing on their success.



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