This paper explores the little-known “waste” function lurking beneath the more glamorous veneer of the “brand” function buttressed by contemporary trade mark law. The speaker argues that global anti-ambush law represents paradigmatic legal measures that nurture the brand-qua-waste function through regulating the distribution of the so-called “honorific waste” associated with mega sporting events. His analysis will focus on the recalibrated Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter as a case study to show how Thorstein Veblen’s “canon of conspicuous waste” may help to shed new light on the evolving functions of trade marks in sports marketing and advertising.