Digital Marketing: 2016 Summer Sporting Spectaculars

As the Olympic opening ceremony draws near, it won’t just be athletes vying in competition. Over the 17 days of the Olympic Games, marketers around the world will attempt to capture consumer attention. As major sporting and cultural events become richer because of digital, these moments are becoming more personalised. Marketers can capitalise by immersing in the culture around the games, finding fans even when they’re not tuning into sports-related content, and building a feedback loop to understand and optimize your campaigns in real-time.
Sport Digital Marketing Update from
According to Krista DiBiccari Google’s focus on what it has marketed to advertisers as “micro-moments” — targeting consumers with mobile ads based on mobile searches for products, information or research — could prove to be the key for digital marketers. Especially for those intent on piggybacking on the Olympics for success with ad campaigns this summer.”Successful digital marketing during the Olympics will consist of bidding for desktop and mobile searches, based on spectacular wins, come-from-behind victories, nail-biting finishes, and even heartbreaking Olympic athlete mistakes.”
Many ad and marketing industry stories in the past five years have highlighted the social media control rooms aka “war rooms” of large brands or media companies. According to DiBiccari, successful digital marketers during the Olympics will have control rooms ready to make ad buys based on the rising/viral news stories from that day’s competition. She states the key to maximizing the efficiency of these Olympic ad buys given the viral nature of news stories is constantly monitoring the effectiveness of the ad buys, as well as the volume of searches for specific news stories. Successful digital marketers will stop a campaign once the search volume slows, capitalising on the next Olympic news meme/story.
When the Wimbledon Championships started on June 27th, tennis fans were able to find content from and engage with the tournament on more digital channels than ever before. The aim, according to Alexandra Willis, head of Comms, Content and Digital at the All English Lawn Tennis Club, was to bring the Championship to a much wider audience than ever before.
“We realised we didn’t want to get 10 years down the line and people don’t watch TV anymore and therefore nobody is interacting or watching Wimbledon. We have to bring in the younger demographic now so we don’t have a problem further down the line.”

  • For this year’s tournament, Wimbledon is adding a Snapchat-inspired ‘Create your own story’ element to its app allowing users to share personalised photo-based videos of their experience to social media.
  • With Wi-Fi still a challenge at the Wimbledon grounds, a new ‘Plan Your Visit’ feature on the app will identify first time visitors as opposed to regular ticket holders. This allows Wimbledon to serve up personalised content and tips, and to track the consumer journey regardless of whether a user is connected to the internet at the grounds.
  • It will also work with Apple TV for the first time – on an app that will encompass both live matches and radio (Wimbledon saw its radio listeners rise by 2 million to 16 million listeners in 2015) – and has announced a partnership with UEFA, as the two aim to mutually attract viewers to both Euro 2016 and Wimbledon 2016.
  • To increase contextual relevance on its social media channels and during matches, Wimbledon will also be using IBM’s Cognitive Command Centre for the first time. The technology utilises IBM’s Watson AI to understand global social media feeds to automatically understand, reason and learn the most relevant and emerging topics of conversation as they break and their relevance to tennis.
  • Last year, visits to the Wimbledon mobile website were up 125{4d2303c3d7018ed3e1a955ec2105d2bcecc5b881e14ee890535c5ae577f46e7a} to 5.6 million, while ‘likes’ on its Facebook page grew 55{4d2303c3d7018ed3e1a955ec2105d2bcecc5b881e14ee890535c5ae577f46e7a} to 3.3 million and ‘followers’ rose 74{4d2303c3d7018ed3e1a955ec2105d2bcecc5b881e14ee890535c5ae577f46e7a} to 2.2 million on Twitter. It has also benefited from the move towards airing live footage on social media, with its Facebook video views up 1,120{4d2303c3d7018ed3e1a955ec2105d2bcecc5b881e14ee890535c5ae577f46e7a} in 2015. It is subsequently adopting a “never say never” approach to broadcasting full matches directly to the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Known for tradition and their rich history, both the Olympic Games in Rio and the Wimbledon Championships are embracing the digital marketing wave to reach audiences and facilitate quality marketing messages in exciting new ways.

The founder of Attwood Digital, Mark is a digital marketing veteran having been working online since before the dotcom boom. He created the world's first online skip hire service in 2003, has created multiple online courses, lectured on digital marketing and even written a book on the subject. He is also an ICO advisor and crypto-enthusiast.
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