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Admittedly, I am not a big sports fan. I understand the basic premise for most sports and know my way around a Super Bowl party.
All that changes, however, when you start talking about the Olympic Games. There’s something about the spirit and passion of the Games and the world’s top athletes competing on the global stage for personal honor and glory for country that makes this so compelling for even casual sports fan like me. In fact, the new Taylor 2012 Consumer Engagement Survey , which explores how fans connect with global events like the Olympic Games, reveals that 1 in 5 say they are not really into sports but they like following The Games. That may not seem like a lot, but when you have 20% of non-sports fans suddenly engaged in a major event, that presents an inviting opportunity for marketers.
Exactly how fans, casual or hardcore, follow the Games, is the real story and truly defines the opportunity for marketers of this and other global events. London 2012, which is less than six months away, has been dubbed the “Twitter Olympics”, and the explosion of digital and social media platforms and devices will create a new way to experience The Games – one centered around “sofalizing ” where people connect in person and online during televised events. The Taylor survey reveals that avid fans of the Olympic Games (those who are very in watching the Games and related coverage) will use social media not only as a medium to find and share information on the event, but as a tool to make the experience more fun and dynamic with friends and other fans.
A big part of this experience is getting to know the stories of the athletes, and our study shows that one third of avid fans say the Olympic Games are just not complete without following the athletes. More than a quarter (27%) of avid fans feel that the athletes are the best sources of Olympic Games information, and almost as many (23%) say that if you really want to know what’s going on, you have to follow the athletes. So expect every tweet, post, and picture or video upload to get considerable play across platforms.
This is just of a small taste of the insights we uncovered in our survey. We’re excited to share the findings in greater depth, so stay tuned to learn more about the evolution of fan engagement and its implications for leading marketers.