Magazine article Marketing

A Marketing Promotion in Association with Yomego: Olympic Sponsors Make the Running in Social Media

Magazine article Marketing

A Marketing Promotion in Association with Yomego: Olympic Sponsors Make the Running in Social Media

Article excerpt

The Social Monitor

With London 2012 looming, sponsor brands are aiming to engage with consumers on a more intimate level. In the first of a series of reports, Marketing examines brands' social-media strategies in detail

London 2012 is just nine months away. Sponsors are inevitably looking to capitalise on their involvement with next summer's biggest marketing opportunity, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in social media.

The last Games, in Beijing, seem a lifetime away in terms of social potential. In 2008, Facebook had a mere 100m users, those people on Twitter were producing a total of just 1m tweets a day, and the iPhone was relatively new.

Since then, social media has become almost omnipresent and London is set to be the first social Games with millions of people engaging with the world's biggest sporting event.

Social-media agency Yomego has assessed whether top-tier sponsors are making the most of this opportunity. Using its Social Media Reputation (SMR) index, Yomego examined the social footprint of Adidas, BMW, British Airways, BP, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB (see box, right).

The research looked at the brands over a three-month window in the context of social conversations around the Olympics, and scored them on reach, satisfaction and recency, to give an overall Social Media Reputation score (see box, right, for definitions).

Against a backdrop of conversations around the Olympics just starting to heat up, Adidas is the brand that comes top of the sponsors, just pipping BMW.

The sports brand is the official sportswear partner of London 2012 and Team GB. It has said that it will use the Games to try to overtake Nike as the leading UK sportswear brand. It is playing its cards close to its chest, hardly surprising given that Nike's Olympic SMR, at 44.1, is better than that of EDF and British Airways, even though it is not a sponsor.

As well as access to athletes, Adidas has used its urban credentials to push initiatives such as its AdiZones fitness facilities and its links to the world of music. Its YouTube channel recently featured triple jumper Phillips Idowu and rapper Snoop Dogg taking on the Team GB basketball players.

Satisfaction is high, with the majority of discussion on Twitter and a quarter of Adidas conversations on credible news sites, which boosts its SMR.

As a sports brand, Adidas and the Olympics are a snug fit. Association is not as easy for all sponsors. Banking may lack Adidas' cool credentials, but Lloyds TSB sees London 2012 as a way to emphasise localism.

Gordon Lott, head of London 2012 partnership and group sponsorship at Lloyds Banking Group, says: 'Community is at the heart of our London 2012 partnership, and we continue to use our social-media platforms to bring the Games closer to our customers and give them the chance to get involved.'

Lloyds has used Twitter as the main platform to promote its Torch Relay nomination process and to share related stories and photographs.

Its 'Local heroes' programme funds emerging sports stars and has a powerful social presence. Over the next year, the brand hopes to capitalise on its involvement with exclusive content.

BT is also taking a grass-roots approach, emphasising communication with the BT Storytellers campaign, which has recruited 100 people to record their stories of London 2012.

Suzi Williams, BT group marketing and brand director, says the initiative brings together contributors who post material on several channels including Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blogs.

'Effectively, this is a socialising of our London 2012 sponsorship, enabling the BT Storytellers to reach out with their personal stories, both to their network of friends and way beyond,' she adds.

When compared with its overall social ranking, BT has a higher SMR in relation to the Olympics, testament to a ramping-up of its involvement in recent months. …

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