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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?