Earlier this month I was lucky enough to visit Rio during the first week of the Olympic Games.

I had a packed week attending the Opening Ceremony, visiting the British and German Houses, through to discussing the legacy of the Olympics with locals on Copacabana – I was able to get a sense of the social and commercial activities present during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Below are my key takeaways:

1) Social Advertising

Paid social media, across Twitter and Facebook, was prevalent with local & international brands – the likes of Bradesco bank / Coca Cola Brazil – investing in localised targeting of fans around key Olympic moments. To provide even more targeted and effective marketing activation during major sports events brands are using 4C’s Sport Sync feature which allows brands to trigger digital ads across screens based on live sports moments.

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 2) Swiss Timing

The likes of McDonalds, Coca Cola, Visa and Samsung all had a huge presence across the city and around the main sporting venues, but only OMEGA had any in-venue branding which is picked up on broadcast pictures – great exposure for the Swiss-based which celebrated its 28th time as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games. In order to do this OMEGA provided 200 kilometres of cables and optical fibre, 480 on-site professionals, 850 trained volunteers and over 450 tons of equipment allowing them to know if a swimmer or track runner pushes off too early, even by a fraction of a second.

3) Vinicius & Visa

Despite the many empty seats in the different Olympic venues, which was a shame to see, merchandise sales remained strong. The Visa Megastores within the Olympic Park and on Copacabana both had endless queues with fans keen to purchase anything from the official mascot Vinicius to fridge magnets or even your own beach volleyball kit! Equally, sales of the official Skol beer throughout Rio looked to be helped by the collectible cups marketing approach from AB InBev.

 4) Football remains number one

As a local sports marketing friend explained to me “Christianity is our religion on Sunday, on the other six days of the week it is Football”.  The women’s opening match vs. China had some of the largest Brazilian audience figures since the national team’s games at the World Cup in 2014 – a domination that only heightened in the local press and on TV as both the men’s and women’s teams progressed to the latter stages of the tournament.

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Despite both mine and the general public’s initial trepidation of Rio being the first South American country to hold the games, they surpassed the world’s expectations and delivered a show-stopping two weeks that I was very privileged to be a part of.   

4C have been following the Summer Games closely, in our Summer Games Preview Impact Report, we showed how anticipation for the Games was building on social media. In our Week 1 Impact Report, we looked into the moments, sponsors, and countries that were making a splash. Our Week 2 Impact Report focused on the impact that an official sponsorship can have for an advertiser. Finally, we created a Summer Games Wrap-Up Impact Report looking into what grabbed the world’s attention throughout the competition.

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