Today begins the highly anticipated 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Although it won’t air in the U.S. for several hours still, more than 60,000 people were present at the main stadium in London to watch the opening ceremony — a three-hour production created by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle — and there were more than a billion audience members who watched the live TV and Internet broadcasts.
Despite the anticipation surrounding today’s events, the media has been more focused on aspects of the Olympics outside the sports or the famous athletes participating. Much like major televised sporting events such as the World Cup or the Superbowl, a great deal of the conversation so far has revolved around the commercials aired during the time leading up to and throughout today. The event was called a “multi-million pound marketing bonanza” by UK journalist Meg Carter – a statement supported by the extravagant campaigns of major global brands.
For instance, as a few of the 11 official partners to the London Olympics 2012, Visa, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s have spent roughly $100 million on their campaigns. Add to that the fact that these Games are being dubbed the very first “social media Olympics” and you can begin to imagine the scale of these campaigns beyond the sheer finances. Preparation for the 2012 Summer Games included not only the standard promoted Tweets and Facebook ads, but also a new approach to an advertiser’s mobile marketing strategy.
Through the efforts of these businesses, there are several mobile apps available for anyone remotely interested in the Games: The PlayUp app allows users to get real-time news feeds from the Olympics streaming to their devices, connect with friends, and find news pertaining to the user’s country’s team based on location; Reuters Olympics London 2012 is an app featuring photographs from the iconic moments that will inevitably take place; NBC Olympics offers more than standard coverage of the Games, allowing users to track teams, individuals, and medals won; OPlanner is the only one of these apps that is not free, but for only $0.99 users can access the most comprehensive 2012 Olympics application offering a schedule of events that can be searched by sport, time, and athlete’s gender.
Over the next two weeks as the world is watching the events of “London 2012,” you can turn to the resources offered through Best of the Web to avoid missing any monumental moments. Find information about the businesses making this year’s games tick, and what it takes to organize and host Olympic events from reliable sites listed in the UK Directory. Users can also subscribe, through the directory, to blogs and news feeds dedicated to covering every aspect of the Games from the sports themselves to interviews with champion athletes and even the attractions taking place outside the main stadium.