The time has come once again! I’m sure you join me in my excitement for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. This year, there’s just as much buzz as ever, from the recent controversy over the Olympic uniforms designed by iconic designer Ralph Lauren being made in China, to the great anticipation for greater coverage and the first “Social Games”. Here is your all access pass to all things Olympics and social, let the games begin!
What an exciting time! Being a former competitive swimmer myself, and a huge tennis fan, I’m thrilled I’ll get more access to my favorite races and follow my favorite athlete’s experiences (go Ryan Lochte!) with the first “Social Games”. So how much with social media impact our experience with the Games?
First, let’s discuss where social has been and is today. Mashable notes the following fun facts:
2008: 100 million users globally (surpassing Myspace!)
2012: 900 million users globally
2008: 6 million users, 300,000 tweets sent
2012: 500 million users, 400 million tweets sent each day!
2008: users uploaded 10 hours of video per minute
2012: 800 million unique visitors per month, watching over 3 billion hours of video and uploading 72 hours of new video content per minute!
That’s without counting Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Google+, which have all launched in the last several years and didn’t even exist in 2008!
More than ever, we, the fans, can get even closer to all the Olympics action. We can feel even closer to our favorite athletes and know what they are thinking pre-race, and replay our favorite races whenever we want! We are no longer stuck hoping to catch one race on the TV.
Here’s how you can get even closer to all the Olympic action:
“Like” the London 2012 fan page – for general Olympics news, like a sneak peak into the athlete’s village! (www.facebook.com/London2012)
“Like” US Olympics Team on Facebook – to get closer to the US athletes (over 2 million fans!) (www.facebook.com/USOlympic)
or “Like” all your favorite athletes to get closer to the action
Follow the action on @London2012 (www.twitter.com/London2012)
US Olympics team – @USOlympics (www.twitter.com/USOlympics)
and of course, follow all your favorite athletes!
Search “Olympics 2012” or “London 2012” to watch everything from the Olympic Trials races to the official Olympics song. In 11 countries, YouTube is streaming live coverage in HD (not in the US).
Or, visit iTunes and download your favorite Olympics app, from NBC to the BBC, etc.
What’s interesting is the controversy over the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for athletes and participants. Seems like the IOC is a little conflicted on just how “social” they want the games to be. The prevalence of social media is a benefit to the IOC and its sponsors in that fans can engage and interact with the games more than ever. One the flip side, because social media is so interactive, and anyone can create content, the IOC seems concerned the lines will blur between athlete’s and corporate sponsor promotion. Many athletes have argued that its important for them to promote their sponsorships in order to make a living and continue to train as professional athletes.
Whether you watch the Olympics online, follow the latest updates on Twitter or get your coverage on Facebook, social media is enabling us to be closer to the action. How will you be using social media to enhance your Olympics 2012 experience? I’ll leave you with a great info graphic on how mobile and social will dominate how viewers interact with the Olympics. ( http://mashable.com/2012/07/12/2012-olympics-mobile-social/)
Go Team USA!