Streaming and social media have changed the "game" of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

August
9, 2021

8 minutes read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur because of this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.


The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable editions in history as the occurrence of COVID-19 challenged its realization and it was eventually postponed for a year.

This unprecedented event forced the stadiums to have empty stands, where more than 15,500 have gathered. Athletes from more than 200 countries, which would have been unthinkable at any other time.

Not to mention, it would be one of the most expensive of recent times and probably one of the least profitable for the host country to run.

With this scenario, it is like the most important sports fair in the world, it has been lived and highlighted the role of social networks and other digital platforms that have greatly facilitated communication between athletes and their fans from different countries.

Only in Mexico do at least 35.4% of viewers assure that the first way to find out that a Mexican athlete has won a medal will be through social networks, according to the Olympic report produced by Mitofsky, Tokyo 2020.

But what lessons have social networks and digital technologies learned from this event so far? In Perfluence, the performance influencer marketing platform, we found the following:

1. Proximity at a distance. There is no doubt that athletes have organically become big influencers, using networks like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and others to not only share their accomplishments and Olympic feel, but also to shorten the distance and to be close to their loved ones, as they could not be accompanied by their family and friends due to hygiene measures.

Some athletes even assert that these Olympics were "very stressful" and that it is not in vain to wear the mask at all times, not to have the public to motivate and support it, and to be careful not to get infected not to become infected. Unimaginable without the competition has forced them to experience the games in a completely different way.

On the part of the hosts, it was decided to place screens in the center of the stadiums where the competitions will take place so that the athletes can greet their families and feel their support after their participation through video calls and interactions through different platforms.

2. Athlete influencers. Athletes use social networks and various communication platforms to interact directly with their fans, as many athletes share stories about their diet, exercise routines, tips for staying in shape, or their own things through videos and photos. Private life that was difficult to learn before.

This can generate more organic and fun conversations that bring athletes closer to their audiences, making new generations feel more identified with them. They are also undoubtedly a channel on which sports idols often receive comments of support and admiration.

On the other hand, social networks have given athletes the opportunity to raise their voices and express their opinions on various "good and bad" events that have occurred, especially when they are involved.

Of course, these channels have proven to be the most practical and effective form of communication, promoting free expression, where the feeling of pride and community is always present and they are eagerly awaiting the victory of their country.

3. The business challenge. The sports industry at the pre-COVID-19 Olympics was almost "perfect" but given the circumstances, the change in the event format has led advertisers to a mandatory transition where they must follow hygiene recommendations.

In this way, the setting and presentation of ads has taken a 360 degree turn. Today brands don't have the usual hobby and have had to adjust their strategy to maximize return on investment. For this, many of them had to concentrate on the digital area in order to “save” the investments made and to find other ways to use them.

According to a study by Euromonitor, Voice of the Industry, Digital Consumer Survey 2021, 60% of the brands surveyed consider digital engagement to be the most important factor that had a major impact on digital retail over the last year.

While some brands cannot afford the "luxury" of hiring a gold medalist, for example, they have seen them run influencer marketing campaigns with recognized athletes to promote their products and services and get their views across multiply. and massively multiply potential customers in record time. Without a doubt, at Perfluence, we can explain how this is possible.

4. Technological progress. Television was no longer the only means by which fans could see sporting events being broadcast, and a large proportion of the viewers it attracted were now choosing the content on social networks and on mobile and website streaming platforms. Network. Even the time difference between Mexico and Japan has made these formats more convenient.

The viewership for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on television was not at all expected, but it also reflects that times have changed and new competitors have arrived, where the practicality and immediacy of following the performances and results of your favorite athletes is that what has ruled.

The number of viewers following the Tokyo Opening Ceremony via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app increased 72% compared to Rio. Even Tokyo 2020 featured 20 official social networks and digital platforms through which the public could follow the Olympics.

This means that unlike five years ago, streaming is no longer a side business that is collecting some additional viewers through websites and applications. Now he's one of the main players in broadcasting the Olympic Games.

5. Most shared Highlights . In this type of competition, moments and memories that remain for posterity cannot cease to exist and that were most shared at the sports fair, such as:

@Rommel_Pacheco is retiring from the Olympics after 25 years of experience in the sport and his trainer breaks down in tears.

Athletes Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy) and Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) decided to share the gold medal (for the first time in more than a century) and got the same number of points in the high jump.

Gymnast Simone Biles unexpectedly announced that she was giving up participation in the balance beam finals in order to resolve mental health problems. Shortcut:

The runner Sifan Hassan fell, got up and overtook 13 opponents in less than one lap in the semi-finals over 1500 meters for women.

The Mexico vs Brazil game in Tokyo 2020 was undoubtedly one of the most commentated events and sparked a number of commentary videos and memes on that game.

After a photo of diver Tom Daley weaving in the stands for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo went viral on social networks, a young Mexican woman (with the Facebook account Tiendita Sam) created a doll of the athlete and cared for thousands of users for a stir.

The Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno gave a lot to talk about for her outstanding participation in Tokyo 2020. To honor her commitment, the Japanese automobile company Toyota dedicated an anime to her on social networks.

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