Olympic brand and ambush marketing in Italy


  • David Grassi




Olympism, brand, ambush marketing, WOG 2026, Italy


The livelihood of the International Olympic Committee, owner of the Olympic Games, depends on the protection of its brand against ambush marketing which has the potential to compromise future contracts with official partners and reduce the economic return and the effective possibility of hosting the games and to finance the Organizing Committee. This need leads to potential imbalances between public and private law, with measures aimed at protecting the specific interests of the IOC. The further criticality is given by the interference on the whole society of otherwise unnecessary legislative interventions that have social, economic and political repercussions on the host country with the IOC that requires long and anticipated planning within the bid process. Following the assignment of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, the introduction in Italy of a special law highlights the critical issues of the legislator's intervention to counter the threat of ambush marketing. The examination of the law decree n. 16 of 11 March 2020 of the Italian Republic, the documents that deal with the foundation of Italian law and the positions of scholars, aim to verify how Italy has handled the requests of the IOC. It will be concluded that this legislative intervention is characterized by minimal measures that guarantee the hosting of the Games but leave almost unchanged the need for the IOC to develop its own autonomous defense strategies. There will be food for thought to consider whether it is possible to satisfy the IOC's request in a manner consistent with legal codes or if it poses an unfair threat to other private and public interests.


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