Athlete

VKontakte Russia’s main social networking site

A new social media outlet has become mainstream in Russia. That being Vkontakte or VK. Vkontakte was created in 2006 by Pavel Durov. Like Facebook VK allows users to message contacts publicly or privately, create groups, public pages and events, share and tag images, audio and video, and play browser-based games. The site is translated in English, Russian and Ukrainian. VK is a very popular social network in Russia. In comparison to Facebook 8 million people visited Facebook in comparison to the 49 million people visiting VK in a month.

The 2012 olympics games were the first described as the world’s “first social games” for the fact that the athletes were so connected to their social media and sharing with the world. Primarily by Facebook and twitter. This years Olympic games were primarily shared by VK subscribers due to the location.  The official olympic page on VK has over 2 million subscribers.It is said that Russian users are number 2 in the world in using social media. Like Facebook VK allows users to message contacts publicly or privately, create groups, public pages and events, share and tag images, audio and video, and play browser-based games. The site is translated in English, Russian and Ukrainian.

I found it very interesting to find out about another areas social networking tool.vkontakte

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Olympic athletes marketing impact through social media banned 2014 Sochi games.

The first big story of the Olympics wasn’t the first gold medal winners or the underlying human rights violations but more prevalent is the hash tag #sochiproblems. As the mass majority of the worlds athletes and journalists traveled to Sochi they began to find issues as unfit amenities such as questionable toilets and yellow murky tap water in the Olympic village. The hastag quickly became popular and became a Twitter account. The account @SochiProblems has grown to 340,000 followers which makes that 120,000 more followers than the actual @Sochi2014 account.

One reason why @SochiProblems might have had such a large and quick following is because the International Olympic Committee banned on athletes and other accredited personnel from posting videos or audio of events, and competitions taking place at Olympic Venues or the Olympic Village. Also participants are allowed to post content and photos, however the IOC requires that all posts must be in first-person, diary-type format. These social media restraints are put in place for only allowing participants to communicate with friends and family and supporters, but not for commercial and advertising for possible sponsors.

The Olympics are the biggest stage for any athlete and for most, it is their time to stand out, market, and brand themselves. Social media is being used and managed to limit athletes ability to brand and sponsor themselves. We can see success in the Olympics gives participants overnight followers and in turn, future sponsors. Sage Kotesenburg is an example of having gained 43,000 followers since winning the games first gold medal in snowboarding. That’s not too bad for a kid from Park City, Utah that has been riding and snowboarding for all his life now, having the exposure and following to attract large sponsors. Also athletes that have sponsorships are not allowed to post about brands unless they have been approved by the IOC.

My opinion on the social media banned for athletes is that they should be able to further themselves, their legacy, and build their brand because there is no better time to market themselves. The social media ban was initially to limit athletes talking “smack” and for talking bad about the conditions in Sochi. However I feel with the creation and popularity of #sochiproblems the media ban was less effective and ultimately hindered athletes ability to have sponsors and market themselves.

Warm up like Beyonce !

Kate Hansen had a very specific way to get ready for the luge competition. In fact, she told NBC her ‘strictly Beyonce’ playlist helps her get fierce and stoked for competition. The 21 year old athlete from Brigham Yound University placed in the top 10 at the Sochi Olympics, so it seems like listening to Beyonce was a good way to get ready for the competition, right? But not everyone had the same opinion. After her interview on NBC and the videos of her dancing posted on Vine; it looked like her “dancing” was not the best image of an athlete in the professional sport world.

Warm up like Beyonce

The former luger Duncan Kennedy said he’d like to see a more ‘sport-specific’ warm-up from Hansen as well as the NBC commentator. And then, internet and social medias happened and people from the sport industry started to make comments about her routine but she also got support from people who disagree with the NBC comments. It became such a huge topic on the social media that she got a Facebook post from the diva herself saying “Go Kate”.

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Tweet But the young athlete did not look like she was affected by all this attention on the social media planet. She said she won’t stop dancing and she also posted an interesting tweet saying she will definitely exchange being part of the next Olympics with being a dancer on tour for one year with Beyonce.

The official NBC website even puts Kate Hansen’s warm up dance in the top moments of the Olympics. It shows how much this little video on the social media grabbed the attention of everyone.

So Kate, winning a gold medal or becoming a back up dancer for Beyonce, I think it is time to choose.

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Did Christin Cooper go too far?

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Bode Miller is a six time medal winner for the winter games in alpine skiing. After winning the Bronze medal this year in Sochi, Miller was interviewed by Christin Cooper. Cooper is an interviewer for NBC news. The interview with Cooper wasn’t like other interviews; this one was emotional and upsetting. Miller had been asked multiple questions from Cooper and brought up his brother who had passed away last year. Miller shed a few tears after talking about his brother who was thought to have had a seizure after a motorcycle accident.

There was controversy after this interview about Cooper pushing the limit with this interview and making Miller upset about his brother. Miller then tweeted “Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.” The following tweet then said “I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not her fault. #heatofthemoment.”

There were a lot of retweets and favorites when Miller posted this to Twitter. This is a perfect way that the athletes can talk back to the public by using social media in case this situation might have been misinterpreted. In this case many people thought that Cooper was in the wrong, but like Miller said it was the heat of the moment. The last tweet that was sent from Miller about the interview was, “My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasn’t trying to cause pain.”

Miller uses twitter to express his thoughts about the issue to help people understand that Cooper wasn’t in the wrong with her questioning.

 

Lolo Jones, World Class Social Media Athlete

McDonald's Cheers To Sochi Athlete Event

If there is one person you should follow during the summer or winter Olympics it is definitely the star hurdler turned bobsled competitor Lolo Jones. Jones utilizes social media better than any athlete I have seen so far and she uses it across multiple platforms.

Through the Sochi games alone Jones used Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram throughout the two weeks in Russia with her activity being lower during days she had to compete. Her social media antics are typically light hearted and fun to view and were especially refreshing to see while there were so many negative stories coming out of Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Jones not only did well with posting her on her own but she also replied to and retweeted people from back home that were wishing her luck which fans enjoy to see because it makes a world class athlete such as Jones seem more relatable and down to earth which you do not always get out of people with fame. The only way keeping an eye on her social media presence could have been more entertaining is if her team would have medalled along side the silver medal team from the United States, Elana Meyers and local Olympic athlete Lauryn Williams.

Below are some examples of her posts from Sochi that I found entertaining. I’m sure there will be more to see from her when she is not too busy training to get back in shape for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Resume Updated

https://twitter.com/lolojones/status/436616397431775233

Visualization preparation for Olympics: Bobsled Pilots vs Brakeman

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McDonald’s supporting 2014 Winter Games

Partnered with the Olympics, McDonald’s reaches millions of fans around the world with their campaign “Cheers To Sochi” this campaign was created so that supporters of the Olympics can personally send messages or “cheers” to their favorite athlete using the hashtag #CheersToSochi on twitter or by viewing www.cheerstosochi.com. Global chief brand officer of McDonald’s Corporation, Steve Easterbrook, stated “McDonald’s takes tremendous pride in our 38-year partnership of the Games, and we share in the International Olympic Committee’s passion for bringing the world together. This Olympic experience gives fans the ability to make personal connections with athletes in Sochi in a way they’ve never had before.” Current Olympic athletes support “CheersToSochi”. Patrick Kane US hockey player, Drew Doughty Canadian Hockey Player, and several other athletes encourage fans from all around the world to send #CheersToSochi as they watch the games.

McDonald’s acknowledges that activists target Olympic sponsors to voice their opinions regarding the Russian LGBT legislation. McDonald’s supports the tradition of the Olympics, all the hard working athletes who participate in the Olympics, and especially human rights. McDonald’s campaign “Cheers To Sochi” is discrimination free. McDonald’s believes that the Olympic Games should be available for everyone including spectators, officials, media and athletes.  The “Cheers to Sochi” campaign is just one way that McDonald’s will celebrate the Olympic winter games. McDonald’s strives to bring family and friends together and to do that a new playground will be donated to the city of Sochi. McDonald’s generous donations, programs, and “Cheers To Sochi” campaign truly expresses their partnership and commitment McDonald’s has with the Olympics.

Fans can visit www.cheerstosochi.com to send “cheers” or messages to athletes and teams as they get ready to compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

Tumblr User Sends “Girls” star to Sochi

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Girls star Shoshanna Shapiro’s face can be found all over Sochi! Competing in events like luge, figure skating, and ski jumping. Expect not literally, but thanks to the Tumblr Shoshi Games 2014 Girls fan’s can enjoy humorous photos of their favorite character.

Girls is an American television series that premiered on HBO in 2012. The show follows 4 girls in their 20’s living in New York City. Each girl has their own unique personality, like Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet). She’s a mathematics major at New York University. She’s a 21 year old virgin who can be described as rigid and cold…. which people are recognizing as irony with her photos on the COLD SNOWY SLOPES of Sochi!

Here is Shoshanna in action:

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(images via Tumblr)

Here’s the show creator’s take on The Shoshi Games:

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(image via Twitter)

Social media enables individuals to share their unique thoughts and creations with the possibility of going viral. Thanks to the power of sharing, retweeting, reblogging, etc. unique users are getting discovered. The Shoshi Games is comical way to connect two very different things together, a TV comedy-drama with a universal event. With the new electronic age celebrities, brands, and athletes are utilizing social media platforms as a powerful micro-blogging tool.  Lena Dunham is a prime example by giving her blessing for the Tumblr  account via Twitter.

I found these pictures hilarious and memorable. I personally love this TV series and the Shoshanna’s facial expressions are fitting not only to her character but the photo! Do you know any other TV series doing something similar?

CHECK OUT THE SHOSHI GAMES ON TUMBLER FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT: http://shoshigames.tumblr.com/

Visa Takes Gold at Sochi 2014

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Visa took home gold when it came to advertising during the Sochi Olympics.  Visa became the first sponsor to use paid search to drive visitors to its Tumblr account.  The ads have appeared on both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network.  According to YouGov BrandIndex. Visa was consistently included in Twitter’s daily “most-shared Olympic images.”  Visa had 15 images featured, which accounted for more than 50,000 retweets and 75,000 favorites.  It’s no wonder Visa took gold when it came to advertising.

Visa has been a sponsor of the Olympic Movement for more than 27 years, according to Kevin Burke, Visa Chief Marketing Officer.  According to Burke “For the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, we used that platform to launch and showcase our new brand repositioning, ‘Everywhere You Want to Be,'” he says. “(The Campaign) ties together our proud history with the Olympic Games to the endless possibilities our brand brings for consumers, merchants, financial institutions, governments and others — all over the world.”

Visa created Team Visa Mosaic that allowed fans to participate in congratulating Meryl Davis and Charlie White on their gold medal win.  Fans could find their avatar within the image of the congratulatory message for the Olympic stars.  Visa sent out tweets to those whose avatars were selected.  The ones selected also received digital autographs from Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

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Sarah Hendrickson received a lot of attention from Visa.  Hendrickson was the featured star of the Olympic debut of the Women’s Ski Jump.  The YouTube commercial for Visa shows Hendrickson getting ready for action to the background speech of Amelia Earhart.  The YouTube commerical gave me chills as I was watching history being made right in front of my eyes.

Visa worked well in advertising during the two week Olympic Games at Sochi.  They tried to connect people to Olympic athletes and make people feel like they were part of the Olympic experience.  They tried connecting those who had no interest in the Olympics, to follow based on eye catching pictures and ads.  I feel they knocked it out of the park and really left us with images that will last a lifetime.  Did Visa take you everywhere you wanted to be during the Olympic games?

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Shaun White. No medal, even more problems.

Shaun White lands on just more than snow at the Olympics at Sochi

Shaun White lands on just more than snow in the Olympics at Sochi

Who was the most tweeted and posted about athlete during the 2014 Sochi Olympics? Most of us would think the American hockey hero T.J. Oshie from his heroic game against the Russians. Maybe, one of the many athletes who took home a medal for the USA. None of them were as big or blew up social media as much as Shaun White the snowboarder did.

 

Shaun White was the first big controversal story of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. When he decided to drop out of the slopestyle snowboarding event because of a “wrist injury” that occurred during a training session. He told the media and his fans that he wanted to focus on the half-pipe event. An olympic event White has won the past two gold medals in. *No olympic Winter athlete has ever won three straight gold medals in one event*. White ended up placing fourth in the half-pipe and lost his chance at olympic history.

 

Instead White made history in a different way, Facebook history. White was the most mentioned/posted athlete during the olympics on Facebook. What does that truly say to us as a society? So many athletes with incredible background stories, the great games played, and records being broke during the olympics. We tend to enjoy to talk about the disappointment and agony of defeat. We are also a society that has become “what have you done lately” instead of looking at a person’s full career.

White now instead of embracing olympic history must embrace all the angry snowboarders for his decisions this past olympics. The snowboarders made their feelings very clear during the time of the announcement of dropping out of the slopestyle event. He must now face those fellow snowboarders in person and on Facebook and Twitter.

From Sochi to Stardom

Now that the 2014 Winter Olympic games are over, it is clear that Sochi not only set the stage for athletes to be watched during their events; the eyes were also now on social media.  From simple selfies, wolf hoaxes, being trapped in bathrooms, and everything in between, the social media presence was one that has never been seen before for an Olympic games.

If you were not paying particular attention to the games, you might think that “being trapped in bathrooms” was a misprint, but it definitely happened.  U.S. bobsledder Johnny Quinn was taking a shower and when the door either became locked or jammed, trapping the Olympian inside.  Quinn then “used his bobsled push training” to escape from the bathroom, destroying the door to escape.  The bobsledder took to Twitter to share his experience, saying “I knew when I posted that photo I’d probably get a couple of retweets, a couple of funny comments, but nothing to the extent of what has happened.”  The post has received tens of thousands of favorites and retweets, making Quinn an overnight viral sensation.

Ski slopestyle silver medalist Gus Kenworthy also made a splash on Twitter, with maybe the biggest “aww” moment of the Olympics, especially for dog lovers.  Kenworthy posted pictures of himself with stray dogs, with one in particular gaining attention.  The picture is of him sleeping with his medal that he earned, and one of the puppies that he is adopting, Rosa, draped on his chest.  Kenworthy as since finalized arrangements to adopt five dogs from Sochi, four puppies and their mother.  Between winning the silver medal, and all of the great publicity from his Twitter, Kenworthy had himself an Olympics to remember.

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It was not only the newcomers that added to their followers, however.  U.S. hockey player T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues, who had the big shootout performance against Russia, saw himself become an even bigger and more recognized star in the hockey world, gaining 130,000 followers since his performance.

The unique combination of social media and the Olympics this year has propelled many athletes into the worldwide spotlight, whether they won multiple medals or none at all.  This shows the great impact that social media has had on sports, and most other topics in the world.