Marketing

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.

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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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#CheersToSochi, Some People are Not “Lovin It”

There’s no doubt, we all know Russia’s views about the LGBT community, which has been clearly showcased for the 22 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This of course has spiked a heated issue within the LGBT community where many people have openly voiced boycotting the Olympics in its entirety.

But, it hasn’t stopped there. Major sponsors of the Olympics, such as McDonald’s have gotten the wrath from individuals all over. People think the corporations support Russia’s views because they have signed on to be sponsors. That is not the case! Inevitably the companies are sponsors to help their brand, marketing and revenue on an international scale…nothing more!

Focusing specifically on McDonald’s, the corporation launched #CheersSochi on Twitter for people to write their support for those competing in the Olympics. However, this idea to boost Olympians confidence has turned into a way for people to further show their outrage about McDonald’s being a sponsor of the Olympics. The hashtag was later removed and #CheersToSochi was then created for people to continue their “hate.”

McDonald’s quickly responded to peoples’ tweets and concerns on the corporations website by saying the company support human rights and believe that the Olympics should be open to everyone without discrimination. The company also supports all those competing and wanted to use Twitter to simply inspire the athletes.

That statement, however, hasn’t stopped people using #CheersToSochi to bash the company for sponsoring the Olympics, which is also known as “hashtag hijacking.” It’s clear that peoples’ goals for their tweets are to show their distaste for what Russia stands for, in hopes to shed light into the LGBT community by using the hashtag #CheersToSochi.

In my opinion, I think McDonald’s is not at fault for anything, in fact, the company has shown its support for equality and tried to help our fellow Americans in Sochi by creating the hashtag in the first place. After McDonald’s posted the statement about equality on their website, people should have understood what the company stands for and stopped tweeting their anger. Instead, support Team USA with the hashtag!

So, I leave you, the reader, with the question, do you think McDonald’s supports Russia’s views?

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images

Sochi Winter Olympics @OHT

 

@OHT is the twitter Handle for One Hour Translation, a professional translation service backed by 15,000 professional HUMAN translators! @OHT offered services for free surrounding the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The service proved to be a success. It was promoted by Mashable, SD Times, Fast Company and more. The Israeli app proved to be popular, ranking number one by the British Telegraph.

So what made @OHT so trendy during the winter Olympics? One Hour Translation offered free services to twitter users who were seeking to understand any phrase, sign, tweet, etc. that was in another language and it was simple to do and responses were fast. One Hour Translation released a statement that the services would be available for free during the winter Olympics. From athletes, reporters and visitors in Sochi, to fans at home anyone could tweet a phrase to @OHT followed by the language they would like it to be translated in to and receive a rapid response.
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With the service open to everyone from start to finish of the Winter Olympics, Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation was seeking none other than success in marketing of his brand, and why should he?

With the Olympics being an international sporting event and a global economy severely lacking in communication skills and language translation @OHT was sure to make a social media statement by offering free services.

Over all I have to say that the One Hour Translation marketing platform during the Winter Olympics was a great idea for PR, and from what I can tell proved to be successful, at least by the British Telegraph.

Did you know about the convenient handle on twitter, @OHT?

Did you use the service or did you find another service to be more useful?

Heartwarming Commercials from P&G.

17,802,181 is the number of views of heartwarming P&G commercial “Pick Them Back Up” on YouTube. This commercial shows us how athletes are doing their best to get a chance to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and moms supporting their children in every way to achieve their dreams. P&G`s new commercial strategy started in 2012 with the London summer olympic games. “Best Job” is a Emmy Award winner commercial, which also shows how moms are helping their children to achieve something great, something big by pushing their back and picking them up again and again. It`s sentimental scenes and the message “for teaching us that falling only makes us stronger” would definitely make you cry. 

With #thankyoumom and @thankyoumom P&G tweets the results of the #sochi2014 USA team, advertises their products, and communicates with it`s customers. It will help P&G to attract more and more people on the social media.

It`s not only commercials that Procter & Gamble brands supporting moms. Procter & Gamble brands opened Global Family Home (#PGFamilyHome) to support moms and families of athletes who is participating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Here is the time lapse video of #PGFamilyHome being built at Sochi. https://vine.co/v/M7hbaE7zX5A

In addition to the Family Home, P&G is giving $1,000 Visa gift cards to each of the 357 Olympic and Paralympic athletes’ moms, intended to help them travel to Sochi. Great company!

Catching peoples` hearts is the best marketing strategy!

#howmatters, Chobani Dilemma Shows How Social Media Marketing Matters

Although no one knows the exact cost, one can only imagine the hefty price tag associated with being listed as one of the United States’ 23 domestic sponsors for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. For these 23 companies, the lofty price tag is perceived to be well worth the marketing potential that accompanies the prestigious Olympic Games.

However, what if your brand discovered that your products, the focus of your campaign, were not permitted into Russia? And how would this impact your expected ROI? This marketer’s nightmare has proved to be reality for Chobani and its “Naturally Powering Team USA” campaign.

Naturally Powering Team USA

Chobani’s Olympic campaign features several of Team USA’s finest and their Chobani yogurt favorites. The campaign, which features the tagline “It’s one thing to sponsor them, it’s another to be in their fridge,” has utilized celebrity endorsement of favorite flavors and recipes to promote the natural greek yogurt.  However, after the shipment of 5,000 single-serve yogurts was banned from passing through Russian customs and left to be stored in Newark, NJ, the greek yogurt company has had to quickly restructure the focus of their campaign to maximize both awareness and profit.

Although this snag has prevented the product from powering the athletes through their competitions, Chobani has effectively utilized their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts to highlight the products’ integral role in the athletes’ training, emphasizing the hashtag #howmatters.

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The brand has capitalized on this hindrance, turning problem into opportunity, demonstrating the strength of their social media presence. With over 891,000 Facebook likes, 74,700 followers on Twitter, and 4,312 YouTube subscribers, Chobani has exhibited the power of social media as an effective supplement to traditional and digital marketing efforts.

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014 Logo

Welcome to “The Social Games from #SRUSM”

I want to welcome you to The Social Games from #SRUSM! This blog is made up of student contributors from my Social Media course at Slippery Rock University (SRU). The hashtag (#srusm) is used in my course to share and discuss topics surrounding social media. Throughout the Olympics, they will be analyzing and posting commentary surrounding the use of social media during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In combination with mainstream media, social media has become a powerful communication tool in society. The role of my Social Media course at SRU is to introduce students to how to leverage social media tools in the communication industry (i.e., marketing, PR, etc.). This blog will make the connection between the concepts taught in my course and the use of social media during the Olympics.

What Can You Expect to Read Here?
According to an article in Fast Company, the 2012 London Summer Olympics was amplified by the use of social media through the sharing of conversation and media. How will Sochi fair with social media? We have already seen the impact social media is having as the Olympics approach with reports of potential social media bans for journalists by the IOC and countries placing partial social media bans on their athletes to avoid distraction, as well as hate tweets forcing U.S. Olympian Ashley Wagner to quit Twitter.

My students will be analyzing and posting their commentary on the role of social media during the Olympics. I expect a wide-variety of topics to be discussed on this blog, including social media use by athletes/participants to how brands integrate social media and the Olympics into their marketing efforts. They will also be responsible for reading the IOC Social Media Blogging and Internet Guidelines to be well informed on Olympic policies.

As you follow the commentary on this blog, I hope you find it informative and encourage you to join in on the conversation by posting comments!