Brand & Communications

How to leverage #Rio2016 Olympics as a non-sponsor

posted by Maureen Adedeji 0 comments

As the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics start tonight in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, the world will witness the biggest media event this year and it is estimated that nearly 5 billion people will see the Games across the continent. Already brands and businesses have either concluded plans or still in the planning process of how they can maximise this great opportunity to increase their reach, visibility and engagement across digital platforms.

olympics details

The support of the Rio 2016 Games sponsors is essential to its success. More than just providing products and services for the event, sponsors have already invested as much as $1,000,000,000 to be associated with some of the most unforgettable moments in sporting history (Source: Official Rio 2016 Olympic Games website  and Bloomberg).

olympics sponsors

According to London 2012 Olympic Games Global Broadcast Report,

  • 74% of viewers who saw one minute of coverage went on to watch 15 minutes.
  • The average viewer watched 7.5 hours of content over the tournament.
  • 81,500 hours of content was made available online in 2012.

Therefore, it is paramount for every brand or business to position itself by ensuring your share of voice and impact during this peak viewing period is felt even as a non-sponsor; else you risk getting drowned in the noise.

While individuals, news media and official sponsors are generally free to post about the games and athletes during the Olympics, other businesses and brands are prohibited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from “creating social media posts that are Olympic themed, that feature Olympic trademarks, that contain Games imagery or congratulate Olympic performance unless you are an official sponsor as specified in the Social Media Section”.

Furthermore, the IOC owns all rights to the event, including all intellectual property and so, only RHBs (Rights Holding Broadcasters) may have the right to Broadcast and Exhibit the Olympic Games and the use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.

Are you already thinking of how you are going to get around the rule?

Don’t even go there. Don’t get yourself into trouble of legal lawsuits. Instead of that, it is best to think of how best to work within the rule.

The 2016 Olympics will be all about content and the world will turn to digital media- specifically Google and Twitter for these moments more than any other digital platform. I have come up with the following strategies to help you leverage this event for your brand success.

1- You should consider using individual brand influencers with large following to help get their messages out during the games. You can never go wrong with a creatively crafted content and the right tone of voice.

2- All the big moments are re-lived on YouTube; the winning moment & fail moments. And so, you can never go wrong by advertising through YouTube TrueView video ads (ads at the beginning of the video) or using YouTube masthead which is guaranteed to deliver up to 750,000 impressions across tablet, desktop in just one day. Please note that this could be pricey and not all brands can afford to spend as much as $5,000 per day for this.

3- Facebook, Twitter & Google targeted advertising options will help position your brand. Targeting is based on the following parameters;

  • Contextual targeting shows your ads in the right place, by matching the content of your ads to the content of websites.
  • Audience targeting show your ads to the right people, by matching your ads to those who’ve already expressed interest in what you’re selling. You can even attract new customers with similar interests and demographics.
  • Interest targeting will help you reach your target audience across the Google Display Network, Twitter & Facebook showing highly relevant messages to potential customers. You can choose from a range of interest categories, such as travel, entertainment, sports or car enthusiasts.
  • Topic targeting is an easy way to get exposure to the relevant target audience. It is capable of showing your ads to people based on the related topic or subject like sports, travel, entertainment or fitness.
  • Device targeting show your ads to the right people across all devices, based on their specific location, time of day, and device type.

It is however paramount to adhere to the brand restrictions and while you are at it, please get creative with your brand content. More so, consider using the targeting options to reserve your advertising placements around the most-watched events when your customers are watching the event live or reliving the most exciting highlights. and explore the numerous targeted advertising options 🙂

It would be a pleasure if you could discuss your digital plans with me. I would love to hear them…

Much love,

Maureen 🙂



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