7 sponsorship epic fails

Have you ever seen sponsorship epic fails? If not, here is a list of 7 epic fail sponsorship that will entertain you for a while. Some you may just laugh at and some may make you want to watch out what sort of sponsorship deals you are going to be making – for future reference. Never a mistake, always a lesson – a list of very good ones! 


In 1981, American Airlines had a promotion for rich people where they pay $250,000, they will never have to buy any American Airline ticket again for a lifetime. If they can afford just $150,000 more to the price they are already paying, they can also take a buddy with them at no extra cost for their buddy for a lifetime also. They are allowed to change buddies, of course. The deal behind this is free flights any time, all the time, forever. People worked hard to have enough money to be able to buy the unlimited flight ticket forever for them and their friend for a lifetime but they also have to make that money back. Smart customers of AA took it to their advantage to sell the ‘buddy’ ticket to people as AA did not think through the terms and conditions about this very carefully and later on realised that they were losing money rather than profiting. They later hired a fraud investigator to hassle existing customers looking for reasons to revoke their tickets.


A pool party alone is brilliant but think about a pool party sponsored by Jagermeister! Do you know what Jagermeister think would make this party even cooler? A pool with a mist coming off it like in a music video! For the party, a bunch of nitrogen was dumped into the pool but little did they realise that if pool chlorine and liquid nitrogen combine, the result will be toxic gas. About eight people were hospitalised and one person had to stay in the hospital for 18 days.


Guns N’ Roses announced about their album Chinese Democracy in 1994. By 2008 it still wasn’t released yet! Dr Pepper made it their mission to bring this up and announce that if Guns N’ Roses release their album by the end of 2008, every American would get a free can of Dr Pepper. Rose actually took revenge – within the 8 months of the announcement from Dr Pepper, the album was released. Of course, this means that Dr Pepper has to give away many cans of Dr Pepper, unprepared, with no existing way for people to claim their free can of Dr Pepper as they did not expect Rose to drop the long-awaited album. As they were unable to give every single American their free can, Guns N’ Roses sued Dr Pepper for lying to people.


Large companies like Domino’s pay a lot for their company to be advertised on TV. Large companies usually advertise during the peak times where a lot of people will be watching TV at the time and the show that is advertising in between. Their advertisement was played before and after each break. But do you know what followed their ad? A government warning about the fat content of pizza. Bad timing for Domino’s.


McDonald’s has been a long existing sponsor for the Olympics for many years however in their latest contract, it has ended three years early because Olympic recently claimed that it should be promoting healthy food and healthy lifestyle rather than providing McDonald’s all around the stadium. Having McDonald’s known as a fast food restaurant around a sports stadium is very contradicting for the purpose of the Olympics. After the realisation, the contract ended three years early with a confidential amount of agreement.


Many TV personalities have a large number of following on social media and it will be within many company’s interests to ask the person to promote their company on the social media account that the person owns. Of course, some dollars will be involved. All it takes is for a marketing department of the company to send the person the information they would like to be posted, send the dollars over, and the picture will be on their social media account in no time. A quick and easy lifetime advertisement as it must stay on their account forever. Rules are rules though, Naomi Campbell did exactly what the rule says but also accidentally copied in the email that told her to write exactly what they say rather than making it sound like it’s her opinion.


Saving the best for last. The most talk about Instagram account of 2015 where an Instagram model of 580,000 followers changed all of her image captions to the reality of behind the pictures even though she was paid by many sponsors to post and promote their products. Take a look at the best picks of her change of caption above.

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Articles: Cracked, Racked, Elite Daily, and Real Business.
Images: AA: Business Time, Jagermeister: Business Insider, Guns N’ Roses: Certified Blogaholic, Domino’s: Mirror, McDonald: AdvertisingAge, Naomi: Evoke,