Archive | July, 2012

Amped Up

6 Jul

Thanks to the official London 2012 Facebook page, I am charged up and ready for the Olympics to start! Too bad I still have to wait 21 days…

The Facebook page is doing a great job at trying to engage fans in the excitement embodied by the Olympic opening ceremonies. Their media team is clearly working hard on finding ways to help this year’s Olympic Games measure up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

They are also harnessing support of world famous bands to help champion their cause. Personally, I think this is a great tactic. Not all people who tune into the Olympics are die-hard sports fans. Some just tune in because they know a lot of their friends will be talking about it.

Earning the support of bands like Muse, who wrote “Survival” just for the games, opens doors to Olympic moments that untraditional fans may have not otherwise had. It also spices things up for those of us that are already passionate about athletics.

One thing that is surprising to me, however, are the lack of comments generated by users on the posts, pictures, and videos shared by the page. Maybe the numbers will grow as we get closer to the games, or maybe links to individual athlete stories will gain more attention once people see them actually compete…

The answer is unclear, but I hope whoever is planning the social media strategy finds a way to increase engagement because 3-4 comments or “likes” on such a huge international event is kind of depressing. I get more comments when I let my friends know what I had for dinner.

As we’ve seen, over the past few weeks, athletes, fans, and Olympic organizers are all a part of the changing media landscape. This year’s games will determine many of the procedures for major upcoming events, regarding social media use.

The scope of practice in marketing, public relations, advertising, and customer service has evolved drastically over a short period of time. It will be interesting to see how they continue to change in the future.

Side Note:

My time for blogging about social media, public relations, and the Olympics has come to a pause. For the next few weeks, I will be focusing my online efforts elsewhere. If you’re interested in kicking your lazy habits, and getting into shape, check out my fitness blog at under ““I’m too lazy!” and other excuses I tell myself.”

Until next time…

Greatest Tool Creates Greatest Fear for Olympics Organizers

5 Jul

In in article recently posted on “everythingpr” page, Mihaela Lica Butler writes about imposed sponsor restrictions being foreseen as a possible problem during this year’s Olympic Games in London.

She addressed a post on that spoke to unauthorized product promotion at the recently held Euro Cup 2012 by Danish footballer (soccer player) Nicklas Bendtner. The Rueters article also discusses a similar “stunt” by British sprinter Linford Christie. While Bendtner was accused of prominently putting his Paddy Power-sponsored underpants on display after a goal against Portugal, Christie was seen sporting a pair of leaping cat emblem contact lenses of sponsor brand Puma in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Puma Lenses

Ad ambushing is becoming a great concern for Olympic organizers. Olympic sponsors pour millions of dollars, culminating into billions in revenue for game production, into legally sound advertisements during the games, so it is understandable that feathers would be ruffled over the free publicity some of the non-participating brands are trying to “sneak in” through loopholes and other organized stunts.

In the world’s first so-called “social media olympics”, expectations that fans will be closer to athletes and participants will have new channels to communicate with their followers is seen as both a great step forward in relationship management, and another consideration loss-prevention and legal teams will have to think about.

There are two ways this could turn out for the future of public relations. The team handling Olympic advertisements, sponsors and social media, will either come up with a solution for prevention that is carried out well, and can be used as a good example for public relations practitioners in the future, or, as with the case of Bendtner, it can essentially “blow up” in their faces, resulting in a “what-not-to-do” example.

Fans supported the Danish player to such an extent that his fine was covered by Paddy Power for a mere €100,000. That’s not a lot when compared to the “free” attention the brand gained, while competitors spent much more on legitimate ad space.

Paddy Power