Any major sporting event these days will attract big sponsors, and the Olympics has always been an event where global giants like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Kodak, et al can flaunt their wares. With social media, you could say that brands are just using the Internet to find ever more ingenious ways to promote their brand – and that the Olympics is just a prop for that. McDonald’s clever alternate reality game is proof of that. Lenovo’s blog for schwag promotion for athletes is a more overt example. Still, we think it’s good usage of social media tools and it shows just how far the Web has come that big brands are pumping money into it as part of their Olympics marketing. What do you think of these social media marketing efforts? What others have you come across?
The Olympics are an athletic event
The Olympics should be about the athletes and the sacrifices, training and drive that has gotten them to this international level in their sports. If we wanted an Olympics of herculean marketing efforts I think we should create that separately. Having said that, I recognize that none of this could go on at all without big corporations who want to get their name attached to some of these athletes, as well as get the mindshare and marketshare of the international audience that the Olympics draws.
Social media can educate
I would like to focus on a different perspective on using social media. Social Media is a channel to provide conversation using Internet technology. I much prefer to hear about the athletes who recognize that without the sacrifice of family members, friends and co-workers, they could not afford the time nor the financial commitment it takes. I like to hear the personal stories. I like to understand how real these athletes are by having them tell their stories. This is the best use of social media, creating places where the athletes can write, share video, share pictures with family, friends and fans. Let’s create that conversation. Let’s consider this an educational experience that teaches goal setting, multicultural understanding, sportsmanship, ethics and drive.
Tracy Sachtjen shares her thoughts
I recently interviewed Tracy Sachtjen who is the 5th on the USA Women’s Curling team now in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. The entire team decided together that using social media tools like blogging, Facebook, and skype would allow them to share their training and Olympic experiences with their entire family, and their communities. Not everyone can afford to go to see an Olympic event. Even fewer will ever reach that pinnacle to compete. What better way to share the moments than to use tools that easily do so.
During the interview with Tracy, she commented on how her 9 year-old son and his 3rd/4th grade multi-age classroom had made a class project out of the Olympics. They are writing a weekly article for the local paper. They have researched the events and the different countries. They are interviewing other area Olympic athletes. Her son will be reporting live using Skype on the event he attends and different athletes he gets a chance to interview while in Vancouver. They entire town is engaged thru Tracy’s blog posts on the local online news site Lodi Valley News.
In the following video, Tracy talks about how her son and his class are using social media to enhance their educational experience.
Related articles by Zemanta
- NBC Olympics app delivers mobile Vancouver (vator.tv)
- The Winter Olympics have begun! (momblognetwork.com)
- Social media and the Olympics (vator.tv)
- Athletes confused by Olympic social media rules (cnn.com)