Sunday, December 6, 2009

Olympics Use 'Best' Social Media To Reach Younger Demos

Mediapost: In advance of the Vancouver Winter Games, Olympic organizers have launched a global social-media promotion looking to build interest among a younger set. In conjunction with YouTube, participants are encouraged to upload videos to the site showing themselves one-upping well-known Olympians.

There is one ingredient missing, failing to read the Olympic Charter
The Olympics is a great event. The ideas behind it, the bringing together of the best of the best and the patriotism it inspires, is a brilliant way of creating a global community.

However, over the last decade, the IOC has been left behind as technology and media solutions have advanced. I believe this is due to the belief of IOC officials that people believe in the Olympic movement as they do. That it is impossible that the Olympic movement can fail in bringing people together.

The other component that has kept the Olympics in the dark ages is the stranglehold on the brand and the conviction that this branding cannot leave traditional media or be exposed outside of licensed arrangements.

Now, there has been a minute step forward. Creating this social media campaign was part of a resolution that "the Olympic Movement should actively engage the next generation of Olympic fans through digital media", but one component seems to be missing, using the IOC charter to help shape and formulate social media strategies which meet an organisation's objectives.

The charter basically states that the Olympic marketing programme has become the driving force behind the promotion, financial security and stability of the Olympic Movement. But creating a social media campaign just to target youth is a bit sightless. Youth aren’t the only people who use technology or the internet. What about everyone else? And what about creating marketing efforts which reach across the globe? There are global athletes, but where is the global media placement? This seems to be so US centric.

As a fan of the Olympics, and yes, even a volunteer in 2000 (see pic below, put that in your pipe and smoke it), it has saddened me that the IOC has failed to create something more than just an event in a chosen city every 2nd and 4th year. They have failed to use the tools at hand to create something which brings people together from across the globe, WHILST generating returns to keep the movement going. Social media is not just a marketing campaign and for something like the Olympics, it needs to be utilised as a business solution. It is my belief that the Olympic movement possesses the assets to be the leader in global multimedia monetisation. It’s a complete mismatch against basic and now expected consumer need- i.e. viewers having the opportunity to access Olympic events when they want, how they want.

Timo Lumme, Director of IOC Television and Marketing, you know what I'm talking about! We spoke briefly after the 'jing, but then you were always too too busy after that....Give me a call buddy. We’ll go skiing in St Moritz and talk it over. Bring Jacques Rogge while you're at it.

Juan and me. Talking Olympics and digital.