Sports have the unique ability to unite and inspire people from every city and every nation across the world. At a time when we need unity and hope more than ever, brands are in a unique position to deliver messages that showcase unity, triumph and victory with the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo now less than a year away.
We spoke with Jill Cain, Insights and Sponsorship Director at 9NEWS in Denver to discuss how brands can use Olympic marketing and advertising to make a big impact alongside the most-anticipated Olympics of all time.
Studies show that the three biggest events in sports with the most consumer interest are the Super Bowl, the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. In fact, the 2016 Rio Summer Games were viewed in 78% of U.S. households, with 198 million TV-only viewers and 50 million streaming viewers. Those numbers are only expected to increase as we approach the Games in Tokyo.
“The upcoming Olympic games are forecasted to be the most viewed event of all time,” Cain said. “Scale like this is unique in today’s fragmented media landscape. In addition to the scale of the events, both have the ability to create a positive oasis which is increasingly needed in today’s world.”
Making Meaningful Connections
Studies have shown that Olympic audiences want a brand’s story to create an emotional connection. They value human stories over a product, and want to see content that includes messages of positivity, unity, sportsmanship, equality, diversity and the quest for greatness as they relate to Olympic values.
While likeability is important, empathy also generates recall. Successful Olympic campaigns effectively link creative execution with the brand, evoke a strong emotional response and create digital and social engagement. Great examples of these include the most effective ad of the 2020 Super Bowl, Google’s Loretta ad.
What makes these ads so effective? According to Cain, “It’s much easier to engage viewers if you are authentic and relatable.” She adds that one of the best ways to be relatable is to use storytelling. “Storytelling via marketing during these high profile athletic events helps to align your brand’s values alongside that of the event and therefore make a stronger connection with the viewer.”
Having a Big Impact
Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to remember an Olympic advertiser’s brand and message. Why? Because they have a lasting impact on extremely large audiences across the country. They also deliver a high ROI on such a large investment.
According to Phoenix Brand Effect, 88% of viewers believe that companies provide a public service by supporting athletes, while 85% of viewers would feel a sense of pride if their company supported the Olympics. “Investing in these types of events that bring the world together elevates the brand,” said Cain.
What is Your Game Plan for the Tokyo Games?
At a time when sports audiences are craving more from their favorite athletes, brands have a unique opportunity to use their platform, voice, and creative to deliver powerful messaging that inspires the masses.
Share your Olympic goals with us in the form below and a member of TEGNA’s Power of Inspiration team will help you launch a gold medal campaign of your own.