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You may be hearing about all the controversy – Zika outbreak, polluted waters, doping scandals, body parts floating to shore… With all the negative news, you may be thinking, how can the Olympics possibly be viewed as a success this year? Yet, as the 2016 Olympic Games open in Rio this Friday night – from a media standpoint – it’s still a strong television event especially in a market like Kansas City.

In fact, Kansas City consistently tunes in to watch the international games. When the Summer games were in London in 2012, KC ranked #2 among ALL metered markets for primetime viewing! (In 2014, the Sochi Winter Games put us at #5.) Of course, Opening and Closing Ceremonies draw some of the largest numbers, followed by the splashiest primetime events, and even the events featuring local athletes captivate viewers as well.

So how can brands jump on the train without being an official major sponsor of the games?

Well, as an advertising agency that has worked with clients sponsoring the Olympics on a local level, we can tell you that it’s no walk in the park. No detail is too small for the IOC to oversee, and reject, from a creative standpoint. Obviously (because of trademarks and intellectual property rights), using the term “Olympics” or the iconic rings in any advertising is restricted to official (national) sponsors only.

We’ve found historically, though, that using any imagery that remotely hearkens to the actual games and events themselves will also be rejected for being too encroaching on the brand itself. It poses a challenge, but that challenge is assuredly offset by the volume of viewers and interest in the 16-day event. It’s a premium event that has great brand association and is family-friendly viewing.

And, we can probably all agree, it’s a nice break from all the political coverage.

For you numbers people out there, here are some stats about the 2016 Olympics, from Media Life Magazine:

  • 40.7 million – viewers who watched the 2012 opening ceremonies, the biggest ever for the Summer Games
  • 9.96 million – tweets sent during opening ceremonies in 2012, more than the entire 2008 Games
  • 0 – minutes of this year’s opening ceremonies that will air live; NBC has decided, to much derision, to tape-delay them
  • 70 – percentage of Americans who watched at least some coverage of the 2012 Games
  • 31.1 million – average viewers who watched the 2012 Games in primetime, more than any Summer Games since 1976, despite the fact that nearly everything was taped
  • $1 billion – advertising sold by NBC across its broadcast and cable networks
  • $1.23 billion – amount paid by NBC to air the Games
  • $120 million – amount NBCU made on the 2012 Games
  • $11.5 billion – paid by Rio to host and get ready for the Olympics
  • 500,000 – anticipated visitors to Brazil for the Games

And for our Kansas City home-base crowd, here is a list of local Kansas City athletes, as compiled by the Kansas City Star (7/30/2016).

  • JACK SOCK, Blue Valley North, tennis. Competition is Aug. 6-14 at Barra Tennis Center. He’s expected to compete in singles and doubles.
  • LYDIA PATERSON, Piper High/KCK, shooting/air rifle. Her entire competition is Aug. 7.
  • ZACH GARRETT, Wellington, Mo., archery. Competition is Aug. 6-12, with team events on Aug. 6 that could result in a medal.
  • J’DEN COX, Mizzou/Columbia, wrestling. Entire competition on Aug. 20.
  • AMY CRAGG, Leavenworth, marathon. Aug. 14.
  • MASON FINLEY, from KC and attended KU for a time, discus. Qualifying is Aug. 12; if he advances, finals are Aug. 13.
  • COURTNEY FRERICHS, UMKC’S first Olympian, from Nixa, Mo., steeplechase. Prelims are Aug. 13, finals are Aug. 15.
  • BECKY SAUERBRUNN, FCKC/women’s soccer. Team USA opened on Aug. 3 vs. New Zealand, group play goes through Aug. 9, semifinals are Aug. 16 (though only one of the two is in Rio) and final is Aug. 19.


InQuest Marketing

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