October 10, 2011
Let the Social Games begin, as hype builds for 2012 Olympics
It’s clear next year’s Summer Olympics in London will be the most tweeted, Facebooked, Foursquared and socially driven games yet, and a few projects from official sponsors have already launched. Samsung, looking to extend its involvement beyond the actual event, is launching a social media experiment: The “social genome” is designed to bring the public closer to the athletes. The genome overlays information people are sharing publicly on Facebook (hometown, interests, education) with athletes’ information, drawing connections between the two. “I fully believe everyone will be doing something social. We put a lot of thought into what we could do to leverage the power of social that’s truly differentiated,” said Samsung chief marketing officer Ralph Santana. Meanwhile, BMW’s MINI brand is encouraging people to create a “roar” in support of British athletes through Facebook (as well as through sound booths created out of new MINI London models). The cheers, along with individual messages of support, will be loaded onto MP3 players and given to athletes before the games.
“This is going to be the first big Twitter Olympics,” a professor of sports business management told the Financial Times, noting that Twitter was not officially allowed in conjunction with the Beijing games. For sponsors, one problem with the rise of social media is that it’s harder to monitor and track than traditional media, opening the door to so-called “ambushers”—companies that try to capitalize on the games without actually participating as sponsors. As the FT reports, Olympic organizers are already looking into about 50 such cases a month.
Image credit: facebook.com/MINI.uk