As the sun sets on the Rio Olympics there is a sense of a job well done as Team GB comes home with a record haul of 67 medals. For the athletes, this was at least four years in the making and let’s not overlook the long planning schedules for many of the sponsoring brands too.
Now back on home soil, there are two scheduled celebratory parades planned for October, but rather than drawing a line under proceedings once those are complete, there is a huge potential for athletes, governing bodies and brands to make commercial successes if they can expose the opportunities.
Immediate beneficial objectives that can be met include:
- increasing profile and marketability of the athlete;
- raising awareness and interest for the respective sports bodies; and
- generating value and return on investment for the brands that sponsored the athletes and sports.
In all instances, to set targets and know what direction to take you must first take stock and measure where you are now. Simply using social media to count names and brand mentions is not good enough because there is a necessity to understand the context in which they are discussed and create a clear picture of the people who are having those conversations. What do people say about the athletes, how are they aligned with their sports and are their sponsored brands mentioned alongside them?
Building a large faceless following is just a vanity project if it offers no insight or value. While social listening allows you to collect data, you should use qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyse your findings to reveal audience profiles and explain what initiates and drives the topics of discussion. To help understand attitudes and behaviour, examine what emotions resonate with the audience – knowing where there are strong feelings can influence how best to effectively communicate, interact and subsequently engage. Social intelligence and insight not only allows you to be proactive but also take the initiative in discussions with existing and potential commercial partners looking to engage with similar target audiences.
The public’s awareness has been raised and their attention peaked. Time should be prioritised on knowing what interest should be sustained and how to initiate and drive strategic calls-to-action. The Olympians are a unique group who have the capability to inspire and be influencers on and off the track (or field/velodrome/pool /sea/etc). The winning Team incorporates athlete, sporting governing bodies and sponsors alike who can all benefit from insights to collectively embrace their achievements, evaluate and monetise their successes.
To help understand attitudes and behaviour, examine what emotions resonate with the audience