Would Team USA’s Marketers Earn a Medal? Not Likely

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If you believe in miracles, then over the next three weeks leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Team USA will turnaround its weak marketing efforts and prove that not only does the U.S. have the best athletes in the world, but they have the smartest marketers as well. Right now, I’m not so sure. Here are some of my observations:, as well as the medal (if any) ‘grade’ they would earn:

1. US Olympic Team Facebook Page – Lets start with a positive. More than 89,000 people have joined this fan page dedicated to the U.S. team. Would like to see this number higher, especially since there is so much time to actually build this page up leading to the event, but overall I’d call this a success. Grade: Silver medal

2. @NBCOlympics on Twitter – While I’m predominantly discussing Team USA’s efforts, I thought I had to include one of the elements that NBC (official network of the Olympics) is including in its efforts to promote the Games. With more than 35,000 followers, Twitter’s community is ‘following’ this handle’s updates and interested in hearing more. However, the NBC execs (or interns) that are in charge of its Twitter efforts clearly do not want to interact with anyone. They are using this page specifically to promote news and updates, which isn’t a bad thing, but a little interaction cowith fans would be nice. Also, why not mention this handle in advertisements? Seems like a no-brainer, but maybe if NBC had better execution of its tactics than maybe it wouldn’t stand to lose $250 million covering the Olympics? Grade: In contention for a medal.

3. @USOlympic on Twitter – Now, if you thought NBC could be doing better on Twitter, then wait until you checkout what Team USA is doing. With less than 4,600 followers, the USOC has failed at its attempt to involve the Twittersphere in its attempt to generate buzz.  Yes, they are responding to a few of their followers, but far and away I don’t think people know that this handle even exists. Grade: Wouldn’t qualify for medal rounds.

4. U.S. Olympic Blogs – This is a disaster. A majority of the individual sports blogs have not been updated since November. Not much more to say other than what a poor, disappointing effort this has been. Grade: Wouldn’t qualify for Olympics.

These are just four channels that I’ve looked into, but what do YOU think about Team USA/USOC’s PR efforts?

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2 comments on “Would Team USA’s Marketers Earn a Medal? Not Likely

  1. I’m going to make the argument that the U.S. just cannot get behind Winter Sports. Do we really dominate in anything? Snowboarding, speedskating, figure skating, meh. All those sports dont translate to the average american.

    Now the Summer Olympics, that’s the stuff that gets Joe Blow American going. Joe love his boxing, basketball, track and field, swimming, wrestling, weightlifting. All these sports tap into the average American’s psyche of power sports.

    I’ve never thrown a Javelin, but i would sure love to see how far i could hurl a huge sharp stick. But you wont catch me laying head first going 90 mph down a tunnel made of ice.

    So the question is, do we put money and time behind an event that Americans dont give a crap about, or stick with what they know.

    • Good points. I’d just like to see a little more “smart” execution. We’ve seen some effort being put into blogs, Facebook, etc. but it seems like everything has been done without much strategy. Would love to see how things improve, or dont improve, come 2014

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