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How Did Consumers Follow the Winter Olympics?

More than eight in 10 internet users planned to watch the Games on TV

Farewell, Sochi! The 2014 Winter Olympics may be over, but at least consumers can rerun the Games in their minds. According to a February 2014 press release from GfK and the Associated Press, an overwhelming majority of US internet users (86%) had planned to follow the 2014 Olympics the traditional way—on TV.

Just over one-third of respondents said they would follow the Olympics coverage on the internet. Only one-fifth planned to read newspapers for the information, and just 17% said they would view the Games online. Television’s dominance suggests that, despite digital’s growing role in following popular events, consumers still prefer to actually view what’s going on—especially when it only happens once every four years.

A June 2013 study by Experian Marketing Services found that Olympic TV viewers in the US would likely notice brands’ ads while watching. More than half of respondents who planned on viewing the Winter Olympics said they noticed or engaged with products advertised on TV, and an additional 44% noticed ads, though they did not take action immediately after viewing commercials.

However, just 9% of respondents said that they were more likely to buy from companies that sponsored sporting events.

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