Yep. It’s that time again. That time we wait four long years for. The time when world records are broken, medals are won, names are revered, and whole countries celebrate. The 2012 Summer Olympics, or should I say the “first social media Olympics” or even “Socialympics” kicks off in just two weeks. With London getting ready, brands and athletes all around the world have heightened their marketing relating to the international sporting tournament.
Competitive ads and marketing is not new to the infamous competition. Brands and artists alike compete to be associated with the Olympics, whether they are sponsoring the Games or not. Each year the Olympics has its own theme song; for example the 2008 Beijing Games theme song was “Dreamer” by Chris Brown. This year, brands are making the Games even more social than before. This is the first Olympics games where social media plays such a big part of marketing campaigns. How should they do this to optimize their existing social strategies? In these next two weeks, they should go big and bring it home. Those who sponsor the Games should ramp up the partnership as time draws closer and closer to the Opening Ceremony. According to BuddyMedia their “data showed that engagement was actually highest on the day before the event.” For regulation reasons, those not affiliated, should not associate themselves or frame campaigns with the Games but rather look to merely talking and spreading ideas about the tournament. For example, tweet a question about what new world record people think will be broken first or ask people what country they think will win the most gold medals. Since marketers must comply with the Olympic Association Right (OAR) and London Olympic Association Right (LOAR) it becomes a lot harder to participate in such a grand event.
One mistake not to make is to not post about the Games at all. An international event as huge as this, you better bet everyone is talking about it, tweeting about it, facebook-ing about it, entering competitions related to it, you name it. We can probably expect hashtags to pop on the screens during rowing regattas and tennis matches, Michael Phelps instagram-ing what he eats before a competition and the London 2012 Twitter account tweeting every milestone of the 2012 Games. To get your brand out there or even just to continue awareness of your brand, engage yourself with just the mention of the Olympics. When a US athlete breaks a record, tweet about it. If you’re from another country and your country wins a gold medal, Facebook about it. Brands that use social media to their advantage and take the opportunity to engage around major cultural events will spike captivation and participation of customers for themselves.
If you are not a partner like Coca Cola who can put the London 2012 Games logo on all of their cans or Adidas who launched their own ‘London 2012 Official Sportswear’ line, social media is there for your taking. So use your social media to post about the Olympics; as Nike says, ‘just do it’. Second, use your time wisely, with a little now and a lot as the Opening Ceremony nears and breaking hard news as it happens everyday. I mean, why wouldn’t you designate some of your company or publication’s time to mention a cultural event that reaches hundreds of countries and even more athletes around the world? Don’t miss your chance to get involved!
Check out this panel about the Olympics and social media: http://chinwag.com/events/2012/02/social-media-olympics-bbc-preparing-london-2012