From skyrocketing ticket sales to Facebook fans crawling up to 3 million, the hype surrounding the upcoming Olympic Games is impressive. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is busy at work, creating a presence on multiple social media marketing channels for Olympics enthusiasts to get more involved in this summer’s spectacular. We couldn’t help but look a little further into just how the Olympics sports marketing team is using digital media, specifically social, to connect with fans and athletes all over the world.
You can just imagine how much goes into marketing for the Olympics. In a single week, tickets went on sale to the public, the official basketball and hockey schedules were announced, and the official ticket designs were revealed. So how is the IOC sharing this information with the general public and promoting the Olympics brand? By providing platforms and social applications for both fans and athletes to connect, allowing each to inspire and encourage the other. One example is the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, a social media platform allowing fans to follow their favorite athletes on Facebook and Twitter. Recently, Foursquare was also integrated into the Hub, allowing people to check in to sports venues worldwide, including past, current and future Olympic stadiums and training centers. By actively participating in the Hub’s social community by following athletes, earning Foursquare badges and sharing social content with friends, fans can earn rewards and be entered into a contest to win a trip to the upcoming Olympic Games.
The Olympics marketing team is using social media marketing to bring the fan and athlete together, not only allowing inspiration and encouragement to be transferred from one to the other, but also making the fan feel like an actual part of the event rather than a mere spectator. This connection was intentional on the IOC’s part, giving the fan a connection and commitment to the athletes, and therefore to the Olympic brand.
Over 4 billion people are expected to watch the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a dream-come-true from a sports marketing perspective. As we see more often in the sports and entertainment industries, fans are engaging in real time through mobile phones, tablets and computers during these big events. The information they find, in turn, shapes the information they share with the world and their own social communities. By providing excellent content and finding a way to track the social platforms your fans frequent, you might just have the marketing power to connect the whole world together.