Olympic rings symbolizing the event and article about the marketing strategy.

The Olympics Marketing Strategy

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were fairly unique in that they did not actually take place in 2020. When the pandemic forced the International Olympic Committee to postpone the games, they were faced with many challenges. Not the least of those challenges was maintaining awareness and enthusiasm for the rescheduled Olympic games. The result of this unprecedented obstacle was an innovative switch in the Olympics’ marketing strategy for the “2020” games.

Marketing Strategies for the Olympics

Marketing the Olympics is no easy task. It is a global event with highly localized audiences. Every participating nation has different interests to cater to. At the same time, the sense of global camaraderie surrounding the games is one of the staples of the events. When you add an unexpected and unprecedented rescheduling to the mix, the marketing challenge becomes monumental. It’s almost enough to be its own Olympic event!

Past Olympic marketing strategies have relied on third-party platforms to market the games. National broadcasters (like NBC in the U.S.) and sponsors would market the games to their audiences.

But as the Olympics sought new ways to reach their global audience in 2020, they took a more direct approach. The Olympics’ Director of Digital Engagement Christopher Carroll said of their marketing approach: “We need to think globally but act locally.”

The key to implementing this strategy has been digital content creation. The focus of the Olympics’ digital content in the buildup to the Tokyo games was people- and athlete-centric. The #StrongerTogether told the stories of Olympic athletes of past and present, from all over the globe. The newly-launched Olympic Channel allows fans to seek out content directly to suit their interests. They even hosted a mass-workout event with Olympic athletes around the globe, with the help of Youtube. There is no content more engaging online than an Olympic-level workout, after all!

In the absence of actual games, this marketing strategy instead marketed the spirit of the event. This gave fans the opportunity to stay engaged while waiting out the pandemic. But it also allowed fans an opportunity to connect in new ways that would not have been possible in years past.

Bringing the Olympics to You Via Marketing Strategy 

The Olympics have always been one of the grandest spectacles on the international stage. But with their new focus on personalized digital content, the Olympics’ marketing team has captured the spirit of the games. By emphasizing the stories and achievements of individual athletes, fans are able to connect more directly to the events. Because there are so many viewers with different interests, customizable digital content is invaluable to these events.

While this new marketing strategy was prompted by necessity, it effectively illustrates many possible marketing advantages in the digital age. Not every product being marketed is as large-scale as the Olympics. But direct-to-consumer content is an essential part of marketing in the modern world. Having a brand that is engaging and offers a personalized experience is a common goal in many industries.

Olympic Marketing Lessons Takeaways

While your business may not operate on the same scale as the Olympics, its marketing strategy can still be educational. By emphasizing direct-to-consumer digital content, the Olympics navigated an unprecedented challenge with great success. In spite of there being no games to broadcast, the Olympics turned their attention to brand awareness.

By maintaining a strong presence and brand awareness throughout the year, the Tokyo games wound up being a global success. A sustainable marketing strategy focused on growth and brand awareness can help any company grow its profile. The proliferation of digital content platforms provides brands with more opportunities than ever before to achieve these goals.


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About the Author

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva has worked in the Internet marketing industry for the last 20-years. Erica is the top-secret SEO weapon to marketing and advertising agencies in the world. She has generated over 300+ million in revenue for high-value brands such as Walmart, Pottery Barn, iRobot, Cutting Edge Firewood, Kelley Blue Book, and many more. Erica has custom-created more than 1,000 content, SEO, and marketing strategies which held the key to doubling and tripling online traffic, and marketing ROI. She has also authored a series of online publications including The Digital Branding Survival Guide, Million Dollar Marketing, 5 Steps to Increase Web Traffic by Blogging, and Repairing Your Online Reputation.

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