The Global Language Monitor (GLM) has ruled that sports giant Nike achieved the best "ambush marketing" campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympics, after it finished second in their Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) following the Games.
The index is claimed to track the "closeness" of the relationship between branded entities, in this case Rio 2016 and The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsors.
GLM have stated that TOP sponsor Samsung ended comfortably clear at the top of their index after ending on a score of 363.36.
Nike was given the second highest ranking with an index of 237.62, which led them to being the top ambushers as they are not a member of the TOP sponsorship scheme.
The higher the score on the index, the closer the brand affiliation was with Rio 2016, according to the GLM.
McDonald’s, GE and Dow were the only other TOP sponsors to feature in the top 10 in the rankings, ending third, fifth and eighth respectively.
Pepsi had the fourth highest final index of 130.40, with GLM stating they ended with 50 points more than their main global rival Coca-Cola, a TOP sponsor who ended down in 12th.
Siemens AG, Univlever, Phillips and Starbucks were also found to be other high achieving ambushers, as each finished in the top 10, while Red Bull were the final company to achieve a score of more than 100 points.
GLM have stated that newcomer Under Armour were the biggest surprise ambusher, as the sports clothing company broke into the top 15 overall, finishing ahead of six of the TOP sponsors.
Procter & Gamble were found to have run the least successful marketing campaign by a TOP sponsor, with their score of 19.25 asserted to be their worst on the index since Beijing 2008.
The company were ranked by GLM as the number one TOP sponsor at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, however.
The study is part of GLM’s ongoing research, which stretches back to the Beijing 2008 Summer Games and looks forward to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
It tracks how often brand names are linked to the Olympics in global print and electronic media, as well as social networks.
GLM also uses the "Entity Affiliation Index" to track non-branded entities, such as the Zika virus, in the same manner.
A study sent to insidethegames by the GLM in May revealed that Olympic TOP sponsors are among the worst affected by the Zika virus and a "relative decline of the Olympic brand".
It followed the publication of a similar report in March, when was it revealed Zika, which has links with microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with small heads and under-developed brains, was having a significant impact on the TOP sponsors.
The International Olympic Committee has strict regulations in place to protect its official international partners and prevent ambushing official Olympic partners and sponsors.
Among these is Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits athletes working with non-affiliated marketers during the Games.