Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Olympics' Seeks Social Media Gold

We've seen the success social media has wrought for major sports here in the states and abroad. The NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, plus the impact social media has had for Cricket and Soccer fans around the globe has produced increased exposure and increased revenue. So it makes sense that many are expecting similar social media success from the forthcoming summer Olympics.

Advertisers are already jumping in with both feet, organizing massive social media marketing campaigns to take full advantage of what they expect will be massive online chatter about individual events.

NBC is planning to go one step further and fully embrace the Internet by offering live streaming of all 302 Olympic events, then re-airing the most popular events during their nightly television Olympic coverage. NBC has said their experience has shown that live-streaming some popular events then re-airing them later helps build buzz for the television broadcast.

To be clear, we are talking about big-money, comprehensive social media advertising campaigns. The UK already has a 90% social media marketing usage rate among businesses, so you can bet with the summer Olympics being based there those businesses already have at least some of their campaigns in place and active. But international advertising players are also jumping in, wielding multi-million dollar budgets.

It is safe to say that a fair percentage of the money being spent now on social media marketing would have been spent on television advertising in the past, but it remains to be seen what, if any, impact that will have. Especially since the television networks are likely waging their own social media marketing campaigns (and in the case of NBC at least) using the Olympics to build their own brand awareness.

Interestingly, I think this is the first time advertisers and the mediums they traditionally used to advertise with are campaigning against each other for the hearts and minds of consumers around the world.

My question: What sort of impact will all this attention have on the Olympics itself?

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