Guerrilla marketing is not a new marketing strategy but it has taken off significantly in the last half of 2011. The incidences of guerrilla marketing leave lasting impressions, which is exactly what sports marketers want.

What is guerrilla marketing? It is a shock marketing strategy using low cost and very unconventional techniques. You could call guerrilla-marketing activities attacks, so swift and unexpected are their occurrences. In fact, that is exactly where the name comes from. The word guerrilla itself comes from the term to describe unorthodox insurgent warfare, which is known to use anything except the expected to carry out the desired mission.

From its inception, the goal of guerrilla marketing has been to carry out sets of promotions unexpected in every way. This type of marketing does not rely on big marketing budgets, rather by nature it relies on surprise, hard work and imagination.

The principles of guerrilla marketing are as follows.

• Guerrilla Marketing (GM) was originally meant for small businesses and imaginative entrepreneurs. It is now used by all components of sports marketing.

• GM has a base in human psychology and purposely tests experience, normality and the expected.

• The costs involved in GM are time, input of energy and expression of imagination.

• Normal marketing measures success in sales, GM measures success in profits.

• GM marketers count value new brand to fan contacts each month.

• GM focuses on limited brands of high quality with top quality presentation

• GM wants new contacts that provide multiple referrals, word of mouth marketing.

• GM ignores competition as if it did not exist.

• GM marketers typically use multiple marketing techniques within one campaign.

• GM marketers excel at using the latest technologies available.

• Marketing messages are aimed at individual targets not mass groups of people.

• GM rarely asks for a sale, rather relishes contact data to provide info at later date.

• GM marketers have commitment to a campaign and stick with the message.

Examples of Guerrilla Marketing in Sports

Here are some examples of how sports marketers have used the shock tactics of Guerrilla Marketing to attract attention to coming sports events. Often this type of marketing is used to introduce the acquisition of a new key player for a professional team.

• Faces of professional sport hero faces pop up on front side of escalator steps

• Escalator front face using photos of riders on roller coasters with sound effects

• Glass elevator floor. Dark on entry, clearing as elevator lifts to reveal 100-floor jumps.

• Branding the inside walls of toilet stalls. Men in women’s stalls, ladies in men’s stalls.

• Branding the inside doors of toilet stalls.

• Blacked out walls come to life with paparazzi taking photos of passing citizens.