Impact of the Olympics

English: Shawn Johnson begins her floor routin...

English: Shawn Johnson begins her floor routine in the individual all-around women’s gymnastics competition. She went on to win silver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an avid Olympic viewer, I have found myself wanting to start-up gymnastics again, just because I’m watching the Olympics. A lot of my friends seem to have that same reaction. It makes us want to take on our old sports activities. The question is why. Why do we feel the need to get off the couch and head to the gym/court/trail/etc? What is it about the Olympics and other big sporting events that make the everyday person want to pick up their old gym shoes and join in? The answer is our motivations and needs. We see all of these dreams coming true, goals being achieved, and even when they aren’t achieved, we still think, “these athletes have accomplished so much for just being an Olympian, what am I doing with my life?”

This is the kind of reaction marketers love and why there are so many sponsors and commercials during the Olympics, or any big sporting event for that matter. Each marketing firm/brand/company running a campaign during a big sporting event is analyzing its target market’s consumer behavior to find out what is influencing it. Depending on the person, the motivation and need might be self-fulfillment, the prestige/status that being an Olympian means, or just feeling like you belong to something. Whatever your personal “need” is, these marketers are sure trying to capture it in their Olympic campaigns to get you to buy their product or service.

The NDP Group, Inc. has conducted studies on the impact big sporting events have on brand sales. Its studies have shown that the sports footwear sales have always peaked during the months of high-profile sporting events, as well as back-to-school and the holiday season.

“Event marketing is an art. Companies must select the right venue, team and/or athlete to complement their brands and relate to their target audience…The ultimate prize is the emotional association award – the needle will move when consumers connect your brand with an event, team, and athlete they are very passionate about.” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

As a former gymnast, I can honestly say that if a local gymnastics club was advertising during the Olympics I would probably be calling them up to see if I could start lessons again.  Every time I see the Shawn Johnson‘s Bounty commercial it brings me back to childhood and my gymnastics days of trying to flip and cart-wheel all over my house. Bounty is tugging right on my heart-strings and making me wish I was still using my house as my training facility. And yes I’m probably going to go out and by some Bounty now, just because I love that commercial. The Olympics especially bring such an emotional bond to it viewers that brands like Bounty can really harness that bond to make an impact in its sales. Kudos to all those brands who are doing a great job connecting with the Olympic viewing audience.

What’s your favorite Olympic commercial/campaign and why? Do you have any sports you want to get back into just from watching it in the Olympics?

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