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The London 2012 Olympics are now under 100 days away, and while I’m sure some of you are probably sick of all the coverage this milestone event is receiving, the large majority of people just can’t seem to get enough, so I’m going to go ahead and write it anyway.
Those who will be particularly happy during the anticipated countdown are the games official sponsors, as news spreads of their online and social media dominance. Big brands have always seen the Olympic Games as a chance to get more consumers buying their products. This year however many of them see it as a way of attracting consumers to their online social media pages (which of course is likely to lead to even more purchases).
How Olympic Are You?
The London Games have been dubbed the “first social Olympics” as the International Olympics Committee (IOC), sponsors and athletes all compete to interact with their social communities with a variety of online campaigns.
Samsung’s U.S Olympic Genome Project for example uses an interactive game called “How Olympic Are You?” which gives people the chance to share how they are connected to the Olympics. It works by gathering information from a user’s Facebook page and finds athletes with similar tastes in music, movies.
Olympic Athletes Hub
The 100 day countdown has also seen the release of a new online hub which aims to serve as a social media platform to enhance the digital connection between fans and athletes. The Olympic Athlete’s Hub displays social media feeds of more than 1,000 current and former Olympians, posting content directly from their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as incorporating a gamification layer allowing fans to interact with the site – the more a user ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ athletes, the more points they receive, accumulating prizes.
During the Games throughout July and August, real-time updates from competitors will be incorporated into the site, which will supposedly host exclusive chat sessions with athletes.
And it appears this network may be the closest people will get to interacting with their Olympic heroes, after the announcement of strict regulations regarding social media use around the Olympic Park.
The Olympics Antisocial Policies
Yes, it appears there are a number of strict laws both athletes, as well as spectators, must stick to if heading to the games this summer. This imminent crackdown is largely due to brand-protecting acts passed in the UK for the games.
Athletes will not be allowed to tweet photos of themselves with products that aren’t official Olympics sponsors and have also been banned from sharing photos or videos from inside the Athletes’ Village. Olympic stars even received digital and social media training last year to avoid potential pitfalls.
It also looks like fans will be barred from sharing photos and videos of them enjoying themselves on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. However, it will certainly be interesting to see the ‘branding police’ going through countless social media accounts in search of illegal posts.
Rest assured, you can still expect to see your Twitter and Facebook feeds filled with Olympic related gaff over the next one hundred days, as official sponsors attempt to fill every gap to build their online following.