Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 2012 Social Media Games

As the Summer 2012 Olympics quickly approach (commence dramatic countdown ) we’ve decided to highlight some of the marketing efforts surrounding the games. This year’s major marketing contender: all things social media. Every sponsor, company and even the International Olympic Committee are vying to build the best social media campaign to engage Olympic fans across the globe. Here are just a few:
Samsung Olympic Facebook app “How Olympic are you?” connects fans to current and past athletes by cross referencing their Facebook profile with those of athletes.  Everyone wants to feel like they have connections. It definitely adds relevancy to the games, but has sparked a bit of controversy with the athletes according to Bloomberg.  

Click the image to explore the app

BP teamed up with Universal Sports to create an all in one social spot with seamlessly embedded Twitter feeds for fans, sponsors, and athletes, as well as the opportunity for fans to tweet encouragement or “cheer on” team USA directly from their page. They are also holding a “Day in the Life” Web series to let fans get to know each athlete.  The videos showcase the athletes as very relatable to the average person with a hearty sprinkling of inspiration.

Click the image to go to the full site
The International Olympic Committee set up The Olympic Athletes Hub which creates profiles of athletes of all of their Social Media activity plus the sport events they compete in. It’s really convenient to be able to browse various athletes by team or sport and follow them on Twitter directly from the site. I may have spent a little too long browsing Rafael Nadal’s page...
Click the image to go to the full site

The main result of this new social aspect to the Olympics is that fans are now able to connect with and get to know more athletes on a more personal basis than simply the ones highlighted on TV. These all inclusive hubs attempt to tell the whole story. No longer will fans only get a glimpse of an athlete’s personality through a brief interview or feature spot. Through Twitter, fans can be updated with athletes every thought and interact with them and other fans. They can watch videos of the athletes, learn about their lives, and in turn, feel much more connected to that athlete.   
The idea is that this stronger personal connection between fans and athletes will keep viewers engaged. Think about it. It’s fun to watch any great sports game, but if you personally know someone in the game, it is an exciting, heart wrenching, exhilarating experience because you are so much more emotionally invested. We will have to see which of the many social efforts will succeed. Which, if any do you see yourself using?

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