With the athletes on Twitter, live online streaming of the games, several apps related to the games, blogs, memes and YouTube videos related to the Olympics, the 2012 Olympics were by far the most digital Olympics in the history of the world.
In fact, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) allowed the athletes to use social media as long as they did not post offensive material online. Several athletes tweeted about how they were preparing for their events, and some even congratulated others on their victories. Some even posted videos and pictures of themselves eating, sightseeing and relaxing.
The 2012 London Olympics dominated twitter trends right from the opening to the closing ceremony. Several YouTube videos relating to the Olympics were created, and the McKayla Maroney memes dominated popular sites such as 9gag and 4chan.
The best thing about social media, especially twitter, is that people can use it while watching the event. Tweeting activity was highest during different events, with fans from all over the world giving their comments and opinions about the athletes and games.
The games sponsors did not waste this golden opportunity for digital marketing. GE promoted a contest on Instagram, asking fans to upload photos from the Olympics. Visa hosted a ‘cheers’ campaign asking fans to cheer for their favorite athletes and/or country.
Several entrepreneurs and some of the established app developers also created many apps related to the Olympics, and ended up gaining large amounts of profit. The live HD streams viewed all over the world also contributed towards the Olympics related digital financial activity.
The major difference between the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the London 2012 Olympics is that athletes were actually discouraged to use social media in 2008, whereas they were encouraged to use it in 2012. The active involvement of athletes on social media, and the live streaming of the events are the two main reasons why the 2012 London event is being called the “first truly digital Olympic games”.
[Image via businessinsider]