The Socialympics

in Brand Gilroy Social
by James Delves

InfographicI am sure like me you’ve been glued to the TV over the weekend watching the Olympics. Never before have I refused to leave the house because the sailing was on TV or cheered so hard after watching a 10,000 meter running race. The funny thing is that I am not alone; a massive 17 million people in the UK watched Mo and Jessica win gold on Saturday night and it’s not just the TV coverage that’s captured my attention. Twitter for instance has provided an amazing view into the lives of the athletes making the games a much more personal event.

Since the Beijing games there has been a dramatic increase in social media use worldwide. Olympic sponsors and athletes alike are using social media to share views and to promote themselves, earning the London 2012 Olympics the title of ‘Socialympics.’ The games are the most tweeted, liked and tagged in history - with over 900 million Facebook accounts and more than 500 million Twitter users. For instance when U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin (who has 210,644 Twitter followers), won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke, tweets about her went off the scale. At the peak they were being generated at a rate of 12,702 per minute.

While Micheal Phelps has used Twitter to exchange tweets with Barack Obama. "Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You've made your country proud. - bo" Phelps then replied, "Thank you Mr. President!! It's an honor representing the USA."

Brands support the games This blanket on and off-line media coverage has obviously attracted the world’s biggest brands. With companies such as McDonalds and Samsung investing over 900 million and the world watching, the pressure to deliver doesn’t just fall on the athletes but on marketing as well. So, in the battle of the brands who has taken full advantage of the most connected games in history? Well it’s still too early to say, but some early figures are out (displayed in the infographic), which bode well for McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Samsung (one of our clients) who top the list for online conversations and blog posts at the moment. 

Check back here in a couple of weeks for a full reflection on the games and potentially a gloat over our medal count.