Using the Olympics for Ecommerce Marketing


Adeline Gray, des États-Unis, est candidate à la médaille d'or olympique en lutte féminine aux Jeux olympiques d'été de 2016.  Les détaillants en ligne peuvent être en mesure de recevoir des recommandations d'athlètes olympiques.  <em>Photo by Tabercil, Creative Commons license.</em>

Adeline Gray of the United States is an Olympic gold medal candidate in women’s wrestling at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Online retailers may be able to receive referrals from Olympic athletes. Photo by Tabercil, Creative Commons license.

Note: Since writing this article, the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee have attempted to restrict all use of Olympic words, phrases, and emblems on social media and possibly in content. In view of this change, I no longer recommends using the Olympics in your content marketing.

The Olympics are inspiring. During the games, consumers around the world will see some of this generation’s greatest athletes compete in events ranging from swimming and hurdling to taekwondo and table tennis. Media consumption, television viewing habits and even purchasing behavior will change.

These changes in what your customers and prospects do or think could impact your business. So, with the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (Rio 2016) starting soon, consider investing some of your time and marketing efforts around the event.

The following are four possible ecommerce marketing plans that honor the Olympics and can help your business connect with Olympic fans.

Plan 1: Less than $ 500 to spend

Even small ecommerce businesses can place ads or run promotions around the Olympics. The key will be to focus on things that are inexpensive but have the potential to attract people to your site.

  • Content Marketing. At the cost of your time, your business could publish articles, social media posts and videos related to the Olympics. Your content should be editorial in nature. For example, write an article about Olympic history or how the Olympic spirit inspires your business. Do not infringe any copyrights or Olympic trademarks.
  • Athlete approval. Many Olympic Committees will allow third-party endorsements, which means companies like yours that are not official Olympic sponsors can still receive athlete endorsements. In some cases, it can be as simple as giving free products to an Olympic athlete in exchange for a Facebook or Instagram mention. Sending a few hundred dollars worth of articles in exchange for, perhaps, thousands of views can be worth it. Rules apply, so be sure to check. See the US Olympic Committee approval guidelines.

Plan 2: $ 500 to $ 1,500 to spend

With a little more money to spend, you can take the options in Plan 1 up a notch.

For example, for content marketing, you can create a humorous video parody. An online fishing product retailer could describe what the Olympics would look like if fishermen hosted them. Events can include sturgeon fighting, high speed fly tying, and kayak fishing.

  • YouTube advertising. Your business could promote their Olympic parody video as an advertisement on YouTube. “In the past 12 months alone, YouTube viewing time for sports such as track and field, gymnastics, swimming and volleyball has exceeded the total viewing time by 30 times for all estimated content ever released. on ESPN, and those numbers will undoubtedly increase as games take center stage, ”wrote Kate Stanford, director of marketing for YouTube advertisers at Google.

Stanford certainly has a vested interest in getting you advertising on YouTube, but they’re also probably right that fans are turning to YouTube to watch Olympics-related videos during the games.

Plan 3: $ 1,500 to $ 5,000

You could make a bigger investment in athlete approval. For example, a site that sells clothing to young women might seek approval from someone like Adeline Gray, a three-time world champion in women’s freestyle wrestling and possibly a gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics. She is a pioneer in female sport.

The clothing retailer could supply Gray with products and appear in online advertisements or in a content marketing profile. There are restrictions and even blackout dates. Specifically, advertisements featuring the endorsement of an Olympic athlete cannot be shown during the Olympics. But it would be a powerful marketing opportunity.

  • Online advertising. Armed with your athlete’s approval, place digital ads online before and after games. During the games, place advertisements featuring your products on sites that are likely to attract Olympic fans.

Plan 4: $ 5,000 to $ 20,000

With an investment of $ 5,000 to $ 20,000, you could run a social media contest and send two buyers to the games for a weekend of fun.

The online contest, promoted with online ads and a YouTube ad, could attract tens of thousands of people to your online store. Make subscription to your mailing list a condition of entry and collect likes and follows on social networks. These new email subscribers can impact your business and sales for years to come.

You would have expenses associated with promotion and travel. A pair of plane tickets from Portland, Oregon, for example, to Rio de Janeiro from August 11-14 will cost around $ 3,200. The hotel room for three nights will range from around $ 600 at the two-star Mundo Novo to around $ 3,000 for better accommodations.

You could send the winning pair to women’s handball on Friday morning ($ 40); afternoon trampoline gymnastics ($ 40); and the swim finals ($ 150 in inexpensive seats). Saturday could include the Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus Finals ($ 150) and the Greco-Roman Wrestling Finals ($ 40).

  • Email advertising. Once you’ve added several thousand people to your email list, send out some thoughtful, Olympic-inspired marketing messages that drive sales. You might be surprised how quickly you will get your investment back.


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