As a long-time fan of the Olympics (I used to throw epic Olympic Opening Watch Parties) I have always enjoyed watching what happens with the athletes during the games. Many of them training their whole life for one moment – one match – one game – one competition. Usually we get to know the athletes through their families that are in the stands, cheering them on (and usually giving us a few moments during the Games for laughter or tears). But this year, everything is different. The TV spots are different. The lack of fans and family in the stands is different. The one-on-one interviews are different.
But one thing that is different and in a good way? The engagement with athletes via social media and specifically Tik Tok. With a rare look into the preparations for the Olympics, we have gotten to know the athletes, their stories, their families, and even the athletes that just missed out on the games.
One of my favorite things that Tik Tok has provided (and the one that has taken over my personal FYP): The inside look into the Olympic Village. Obviously with the lack of fans and having sponsors consistently pushing out content, this year we are relying on the athletes to give us a chance to see the infamous cardboard beds (including the Irish gymnast testing out those cardboard beds for sturdiness), the meals that each athlete is having (including the free Coca-Cola machine), their workout routine (including the COVID-safe gym), the security and COVID testing, the gear that they are being provided by various brands, and their roommates doing TikTok dances and sharing more about each other. It’s a rare opportunity for athletes to share their voice in their own way during the Olympics which usually are led by Twitter conversations and broadcast TV.
The bigger opportunity? Brands to find the athletes that match their values and voice. Brands can see how their product or service can integrate into an athlete’s story, as well as immediately see the engagement and impressions. With the real time approach, fans are able to be right there with their favorite athletes (or new athletes they had never heard of) and get that inside look into the life of an Olympian over the 14 days of the Games.
The Olympics are just the start. Now to keep an eye open for NFL Training Camp as another opportunity for brands, teams & athletes to give us that same rare behind the scenes approach.
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