Activities belonging to ambush marketing (parasite marketing) are more and more widely undertaken with regard to subsequent, huge sports events. Therefore, this article analyzes the scope of using this form of promotion in the period that preceded the 2012 European Football Championship. A reference has been made to Poland – a country which was a co-host of the championship. On the Polish market, owners of many brands performed actions that aimed at “stealing” image effects which should be achieved only by official sponsors who support such huge tournament (which is considered to be one of the three greatest sports events all around the world – apart from the Summer Olympic Games and the Football World Cup). The article has two objectives. First, it describes a concept of promoting selected brands (based on relation to the EURO 2012), identifying the scope of using ambush marketing forms in relation to Polish consumers. Second, it presents results of research which illustrates differences in conceiving the brands of both official sponsors and those – to whom one can attribute a name of ambushers.
Keywords: sports marketing, sponsoring, ambush marketing, UEFA, EURO 2012, Poland, football championship.