Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

The 2012 London Olympics: Innovations in ICT and Social Media Marketing

Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

The 2012 London Olympics: Innovations in ICT and Social Media Marketing

Article excerpt


Today, sport consumers at live events, especially in the US, expect a 'tailored mix of physical and digital experiences across their phones, digital screens, kiosks, and concession stands' (Stanton, 2015, p. 1). Teams, leagues, federations, and key brands worldwide are now implementing the digital technology and social media marketing processes and partnerships necessary to deliver state-of-the-art digitally-centric sport events (Stanton, 2015). The genesis of this state-of-the-art model was the technology and marketing innovations and partnerships developed, implemented, and managed during the 2012 London Olympics.

The 2012 London Olympics was not just the first Summer Olympics since social media, multimedia mobile phones, and smart phone apps had become the ubiquitous means that over a billion people use to find and share information, opinion, photos and video globally - and instantly. It was also the first Summer Olympics since the rise in use of Open Data Platforms and Apps Competitions to tap the innovation of thousands of people to create better ways to access information. (Stanton, 2015, p. 1)

Innovation is important to the advancement of every realm of society, and a study of innovation requires a historical perspective (Bruland & Mowery, 2004). This paper, therefore, is a systematic review of literature related to key innovations in: (1) information and communication technology (ICT); and (2) integrated social media marketing (SMM) related to a case study of the 2012 London Olympics.

A case study approach is warranted when '1) a large variety of factors and relationships are included, 2) no basic laws exist to determine which factors and relationships are important, and 3) the factors and relationships can be directly observed' (Fidel, 1983, p. 273; Neale, Thapa, & Boyce, 2006; Yin, 2004). The theoretical framework for this paper includes four sections: (1) diffusion of innovations; (2) social media; (3) relationship marketing; and (4) social media marketing.

Theoretical framework

Diffusion of innovations

Rogers (1976, p. 292) provides four elements that make up diffusion: innovation, communication channels, time, and social system. With the inclusion of these elements, diffusion is defined as a process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. Rogers considers communication to be a process whereby social system members share information in order to reach a mutual understanding and that diffusion itself is a special form of communication about a new idea. Rogers (1976) defined innovation 'as an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as "new" by an individual or other unit of adoption'. He considers technology to be 'a design for instrumental action that reduces the uncertainty in the cause effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome' (Rogers, 2003, p. 13).

One of the most relevant elements of Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory for this paper is the element of communication channels. Rogers (2003, p. 19) considers diffusion to be a social process that 'involves interpersonal communication relationships' . He implies that mass media channels provide the fastest and most efficient manner in which to inform potential adopters of an innovation. Rogers (2003, p. 19) also considers mass media channels as 'all those means of transmitting messages that involve a mass medium, such as radio, television, newspaper, and so on, which enable a source of one or a few individuals to reach an audience of many'.

With respect to innovation in the information and communication technology sector (ICT), Bauer and Shim (2012, p. 2) argue that it takes place at multiple layers and that regulation has a significant impact on the speed with which 'this innovation potential is brought to the market. ' Also, according to Bauer and Shim (2012), the telecommunication sector provides a 'platform technology' for a wide range of manufacturing and service industries. …

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