The Olympics Has Failed to Enter the Digital Arena

The Olympics Has Failed to Enter the Digital Arena

As the 2016 Olympics have come to a close, it’s easier for us to look at this year’s big event with some retrospect, and perhaps a little 20/20 hindsight. In the lead up to the Rio Olympics, many of the biggest concerns were the risks of the Zika virus, the economic troubles of Rio, and perhaps some late-finished buildings. However, one major issue with the Olympics hasn’t really come to light until its closing – the Olympics is still living in the 20th Century, and hasn’t moved onto the digital arena like it should have.

With the majority of the world’s population making the seamless shift into the digital arena, it came as a major road block to many that our biggest sporting event hadn’t followed us. With restrictions on content leaders to use footage, or create GIF’s, as well as regional blocks to prevent people in other countries accessing content, the Olympics became one big race for those of us outside the US to enjoy what should’ve been the biggest event of the year.

Ever-increasingly people are starting to ditch their television sets, and are accessing and engaging with media online, via tablets, smartphones, and laptops, and that’s something that the International Olympic Committee failed to recognise, something which left this year’s Summer Olympics with a 17% ratings drop. Unsurprisingly, NBC CEO Steve Burke blamed millennials, and their penchant for existing solely within their social media bubbles on Facebook and Snapchat.

But it’s crunch-time, and the Olympics and NBC can no longer ignore millennials, and hope that they can ignore digital channels while their ratings drop. If they hope to succeed moving forward it’s time to move the viewing online. With virtual reality, 360˚ videos, and various live-streaming apps, not the least of which being Facebook Live, there is no longer any reason why the Olympics could not flourish online, and capture the attention of millennials within those bubbles they exist.

At Firefly we’re always dedicated to trying the next biggest thing, and we know that any event, big or small, needs to be engaged with as much online as it is offline. Although it’s too late for the Rio Olympics, there’s a lot that businesses can learn from its shortcomings, and use it to their advantage for future campaigns and events. Incorporating hashtags, digital video platforms such as, Youtube Live, and Facebook Live, as well as creating a plethora of content to be shared across platforms and websites, such as GIF’s, graphics, photos, shareable e-books, and other content to be engaged with can take your campaign to the next level.

Many businesses, brands, and events are finding it hard to move their model into the 21st Century, and there’s a common misconception that many traditions and brands simply can’t make that shift. But just like Instagram made vinyl cool again (yes, you heard correct, in fact sales are at their highest since 1988, with a 30% increase), other internet platforms and digital technologies can do the same for many other businesses. Don’t be like the Rio Olympics, come talk to us at Firefly and we can have a chat about how we can bring your campaign to the forefront of the digital arena.

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