From Seattle to Sochi, Sports Fans Are Super-Screening

SochiLess than a week after the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics take the world stage, where top athletes represent their respective nations in a number of challenges, all to claim titles, medals and accompanying brand sponsorships. Among the anticipated outcomes: Shaun White winning the Half-Pipe, Canada taking the Hockey gold. The games are historically one of the most popular and anticipated events on U.S. television;  2012’s Summer Games viewership nearly doubled this year’s Super Bowl’s 111 million.  Let’s take a look at some of the previous Olympics’ overall ratings (throughout the 16/17-day event):

Summer Games, London, 2012 – 220 Million*
Winter Games, Vancouver, 2010 – 190 Million*
Summer Games, Beijing, 2008 – 211 Million*
Winter Games, Torino, 2006 – 187 Million*

These numbers are a testament to national pride, and an incredible opportunity for advertisers to put their latest media strategies into play. Among these, naturally, are cross-channel campaigns.

New and exciting technologies have been released since the London games in 2012, giving ample opportunity for marketers to influence the 61% of viewers who simultaneously use their smartphones while watching TV. Or the 69% who browse the Internet (TiVo’s 2013 Social Media and Multitasking Survey). We saw multi-channel marketing in play during the recent Super Bowl, with 57% of advertisements utilizing hashtags for cross-media measurement. And it was effective, boosting campaign performance and driving ‘brand-centric’ conversations online. But there’s undoubtedly a better way to reach consumers across their devices than steering them to Twitter.

This year’s Olympics will draw hundreds of millions of digitally multitasking spectators. It will be interesting to see which advertisers will lead the cross-screen opportunists. Let the games begin!

*According to NBCU