By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR
With today’s start of the broadcast of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, millions of people will be tied to their TV and computers screen to watch their favorite winter sports and cheer on their home country’s teams. Big sport events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl or the Olympic Games are always a crunch time for marketing and PR professionals since, according to KT Tape, 83% of viewers use social media on second-screen during the games. Procter and Gamble launched their very successful “Thank You, Mum – Pick Them Back Up” commercial for the Olympics which went viral and hit over 13 million clicks after only two days on YouTube. But the Olympic Games are also used by countries to promote themselves and their culture to the rest of the world. One example of this is Canada who launched their big #WeAreWinter campaign featuring their star athletes in several videos that followed them through the preparation to the Winter Olympics.
The rise of social media and mobile technology has enabled people from around the world to follow scores, athletes and help to handle scheduling the 98 events which take place in 15 disciplines over the next couple of weeks.
Here are five apps specifically developed for the Winter Olympics in Sochi that will greatly improve your second-screen viewing experience:
- AT&T, also official network service provider, launched the #ItsOurTime App with a record function, giving fans of the US team the opportunity to support the athletes with a loud “U-S-A” chant.
- The free Olympic Athletes Hub App makes it easy for fans to follow their favorite athletes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all combined in one App. A great solution to monitor all social engagement and happenings.
- Also worth checking out is the free 2014 Team USA Road to Sochi App. Designed for the supporters of the US team, the App puts a focus on the US athlete’s Facebook and Twitter handles and provides its users with biographical background information, photo galleries and video clips.
- A good way to stay up to date on the medal count is with the Sochi 2014 Medal Alert App. You can select your favorite sports category and the teams you’re cheering for in the preferences. The app will notify you each time a medal is awarded during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
- For Android users the official Olympic sponsor Samsung launched the WOW Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games App. It allows its users to keep track of scores, medals and event schedules. Also included in this app, and possibly one of the most valuable features for those unfamiliar with the sports they are watching, is a small tutorial for each sport detailing how it is played and scored.
Alex Huot, head of social media for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), predicted that the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver would be “the first social media Olympics”. However, the games in Vancouver were outranked by London. With 150 million tweets across 16 days and 80,000 a minute when Usain Bolt won his 200 meters title, plus 1 billion official page impressions on Facebook, the London 2012 Olympics were crowned as the “first social media Games.” We know that Sochi can’t be crowned the first social media game anymore, but world records are there to be broken as social media use has even increased since 2012.