Olympics to embrace digital

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Olympics to embrace digital
Olympics to embrace digital

In a world where consumers are making more decisions about how they consume content, the Olympics — with its large viewership and significant sponsorships — offers marketers an opportunity to test new digital strategies.

AT&T's deal with NBC Universal last week to provide live coverage of the Sum­mer Games over PC, mobile phone and TV is one example of how the growth of digital media offers marketers — whether official sponsors or not — new ways to tie into this year's Olympics.

“No content is more compelling than the Olympic Games,” said Jason Simpson, AT&T's director of Olympic integration. AT&T, an official sponsor of the US Olym­pic Team, has “created unique opportu­nities to connect fans with Team USA [revolving] around digital,” he said.

The reason for the focus on digital is simple: “Consumers want that choice,” said Simpson. He added that NBC will have more than 3,600 hours of program­ming from Beijing and AT&T “needs to put it into the hands of consumers in use­ful ways.”

Beginning August 8, AT&T Mobile TV customers will be able to watch NBC cov­erage of the Olympics around the clock, including live footage. Wireless subscrib­ers can also access results and sign up to receive breaking news alerts.

AT&TU-verse TV customers will be able to access NBC Olympic on-demand content as well as a new on-screen fea­ture offering the latest headlines and live programming. AT&T High Speed Internet customers will be able to access on-demand content, more than 20 live feeds and download interactive widgets from NBCOlympics.com.

In another example, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) and widget solutions provider NewsGator Technolo­gies Inc. have developed a new market­ing opportunity around the Olympics for online news sites.

NewsGator has designed a portfolio of widgets around Olympic news and event coverage provided by AFP. A space at the bottom of each widget is available for display ads, with Advertising.com acting as the ad network partner. NewsGator is offering the widgets free to media sites. Jeff Nolan, VP of widget and consumer services at NewsGator, said this makes AFP's premium content available to blogs and the Web sites of newspapers in smaller markets that previously may not have been able to afford it. The wid­gets will generate revenue for these sites through the advertising.

“This is an opportunity for marketers who don't have the budget to be an Olym­pic sponsor,” Nolan said. “We've carved out a position that allows us to do what we're doing without licensing the Olympic trademark from the International Olym­pic Committee.”

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