The Power Shift towards Consumers: What This Means for Olympic Fans

How the power of technology is impacting the Olympics and its fans.

Olympics and Social Media [image source:], crowd ink, crowdink,,
Olympics and Social Media [image source:]

The Rio Olympics 2016 is now officially halfway over sitting at number 31 in the Olympiad period. There have been a number of first, second, and third place wins across all Olympic teams in the world this past week, including 22 gold medals for Australia, 46 medals for China, and 74 medals for the US. Swimming, diving, marathon, rowing, and shooting are some of the many Olympic categories where these medals were rewarded to team players and individuals.

According to the Global Web Index, the Rio Olympics is expected to reach a total of 3.6 billion viewers worldwide. There is also talk about these Olympics Games of being the most watched Olympics in history. This means that brands, official sponsors, and partners for the Olympics are now keeping a close eye for further opportunities to be connected with the biggest sporting event in the world as well as gaining more traffic and attention towards Olympic fans in order to create a bigger impact on their business.

Australian advertisers and businesses including Qantas, Woolworths, and Harvey Norman, have signed on with Seven Network − the official broadcasting platform for the Olympics − for the next Olympic Games, and are hoping their sponsorship has made an impact.

With the vast amount of technology readily available nowadays, marketers have made a shift from telling consumers “what they want” to now giving them a new direction to “determine what they want when they want it.” So the question that lies here is what does this new power shift towards consumers look like for Olympic fans?

Of the 3.6 billion people expected to watch the Rio Olympics on television, 3.06 billion of these people will also be holding and using a mobile or electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet. The significantly increased use of these electronic devices means that there is greater chance for the Olympic fans to watch and engage with the Olympics using their mobile devices rather than on television.

Telstra has partnered with Channel Seven Network to give Telstra customer’s free access and coverage to the Olympics through the Olympics on 7 app which can be watched accordingly. Channel Seven Network has also teamed up with Samsung to produce 100 hours of virtual reality content, which will also be available on 7Olympics Facebook page. The live and on-demand content will be available to watch on selected Samsung Galaxy Smartphones.

Another power shift towards consumers that we have seen for the Rio Olympics is the use of social media platforms. It has allowed direct connections between fans, the participants, and sponsoring brands and businesses. This further allows Olympics fans to be able support their teams on social media before, during, and after the sporting events take place.

Rio Olympics sponsor Optus created an online, crowdsourcing campaign #FanUpAus to allow fans to send messages to the Australian participants of the Rio games in order to show their love and support.

According to a report published by Stanford Graduate School of Business, “30 per cent of fans who use social media to connect with a sponsor later make a purchase because of the brand’s association with their team.”

With the Olympic Games being the most watched and celebrated sporting event, as well as the development of mobile technology and social media, there’s no doubt that current and future Olympic sponsors and brands need to be on the ball with their delivery of advertising to the fans and consumers. This will give them plenty of time to plan and prepare for the next Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

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Angela Hryc is a 24 four year old writer and editor who loves everything to do with fashion and the colour purple. Her career goal is to work as a Fashion Editor for Vogue Australia and one day establish her own bag and accessories label. Angela is currently in the process of starting up her own fashion and lifestyle blog, HrycFashion where she plans to share her stories and express her thoughts and views on the world of fashion. In her spare time, you will find Angela reading fashion magazines and books, listening to music and watching her favourite movies.