This July the Olympic games will begin in London for the town’s third hosting of the summer games (1908, 1948, and upcoming 2012). It is an event that I am crossing off calendar days in preparation for. In just a little over a month swimming, gymnastics, badminton, and water polo will all be competed – by the best athletes in the world – in a single city. What’s not to get excited about?
But it’s not just the sports that will make this upcoming worldwide event notable, it’s the technology behind it. London “Inspire a Generation” 2012, will be the first Olympic games to receive the tweeting treatment. Reporters will write live tweets so that fans, whether at work or watching the events live, can get in on the action. Tweeting fans can even hashtag their favorite athletes or country, such as #teamUSA or #MichaelPhelps. But, in case you don’t know an athlete’s name or aren’t sure what to hashtag, the athletes will be wearing them on their uniforms.
Not to be outdone, Olympic sponsors are jumping on the social media bandwagon as well. Tweet or post your favorite athletes live, and you may just get a free face painting job by Samsung; the company will digitally “paint” lucky fans’ pictures with the flag of their respective country.
Past Games, Behind the Technology Loop
Despite being just four years old, 2008’s Beijing games were ahead of the Twitter curve. While Vancouver 2010 picked up the pace a little, according to Twitter and Olympic execs, it’s got nothing on what’s to come. Out of Facebook’s 900 million users and Twitter’s 140, a majority will be watching the games and talking about them online. Many will even be viewing the events in person, then posting from their mobile devices while still in the stadiums.
As for the exact numbers these studies are predicting? They’re slated to be record setting. The current tweets-per-second record was taken during a championship soccer match between Barcelona and Chelsea. Clocking at 13,684, the number beat out the previous record, which was set by this year’s Super Bowl. Twitter UK’s head of sport and communications director of London’s organizing committee said they’re expecting that number to be shattered.
The actual numbers will have to speak for themselves, but no matter the outcome, it’s safe to say that London 2012 will be the most connected, most technology-advanced Olympic games to date.
Tune in Friday July 27th to see social media history in the making.[Yahoo! Sports]
Screen shot taken from London2012.com on 6-18-12