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How Consumers and Marketers Will Approach the London Olympics

TV remains the preferred choice for viewing the major sporting event, but online and mobile are catching up as key delivery channels

More than 4 billion people are expected to watch the London Olympics—and more than a billion people will view events, get updates and check results on digital devices, including PCs, mobile phones and tablets, according to a new report by eMarketer.

The report, "The London Olympics: Marketers in the Starting Blocks,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, exploring the prospects for brands aiming to make the most of the London 2012 opportunity, including:

  • How large is the digital audience for Olympic content?
  • How will consumers use mobile and other platforms to experience the games?
  • How are brands using social media to augment other marketing approaches?
  • What place will athletes have in the digital marketing mix?
  • How much games-related marketing will be truly innovative?
  • Not least: Will the UK’s communications infrastructure take the weight, given unprecedented levels of usage?

“Like media owners and consumers, marketers too are poised to make a quantum leap for London 2012, using digital platforms as never before to inform and engage audiences,” says eMarketer in the new report, “The London Olympics: Marketers in the Starting Blocks.”

The big question is how much viewing and information-gathering will take place on digital platforms. Research from Deloitte indicates that between 15% and 26% of internet users in France, Germany, the UK and US will watch at least some of the games on a PC or tablet—and in Germany, nearly half will watch via the mobile web.

Key Takeaways from “The London Olympics: Marketers in the Starting Blocks”:

  • Advertisers and content providers, such as NBCUniversal and the BBC, are spending billions and investing enormous resources in digital content and promotion of the Summer Olympics.
  • Smartphone penetration has skyrocketed since the last Summer Olympics in 2008. From checking results to watching highlights to commenting on events via social networks, people will increasingly be turning to their mobile devices for coverage of the games.
  • The Olympics will provide brands looking to break new ground in digital marketing and engagement with ample opportunity to take advantage of real-time reactions to event results and the online conversations surrounding them.
  • The UK’s telecoms networks are at risk of suffering a crisis. With millions of UK citizens taxing the system and millions more in town for the games, marketers should be aware that data problems may ensue.

With weeks to go before the games, it’s too soon to know which advertisers will score big wins, which social campaigns will catch fire, and which mobile strategies will capture the public imagination. But the outlook for digital marketing during London 2012 highlights trends relevant to brand owners everywhere, especially those who rely on event sponsorship or tie-ins to generate impact.

About eMarketer
eMarketer publishes data, analysis and insights on digital marketing, media and commerce. We do this by gathering information from many sources, filtering it, and putting it into perspective. For more than a decade, leading companies have trusted this approach, and have relied on eMarketer to help them make better business decisions.
www.eMarketer.com

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