Last week the IOC launched its new ‘Olympic Athlete’s Hub’. This new innovation is part of the organisations plans to make this the most social games of all time.
The concept is one that has been used by sponsors before around the Superbowl, providing a hub where you can follow the athletes latest comments on Twitter and find out other information at the same time.
This has taken it a stage further. It integrates Facebook and Twitter, encouraging you to follow any of the 1000+ athletes that are on there. What they have realised is that they need to offer more than just being a connection platform.
“We wanted to do something meaningful for both our athletes and fans,” said Alex Huot, Head of Social Media for the IOC.
So how does it work?
After signing in to the hub – by using either Facebook or Twitter – you are encouraged to start following athletes. The reason for the signing in is that the hub is actually a rewards platform as well. From the examples below you can see that there are videos from past games and tips from former Olympic champions.
To access thee videos with athletes tips you have to follow them (the ones with pictures you can see) and to view the previous games you have to follow a certain number of athletes to unlock it.
To provide extra encouragement for users to become part of this ‘Olympic community’, you are given points and badges for engaging with the content – very Foursquare-esque. These points are then collated and you are placed onto a leaderboard with a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal for the top 3.
And there is yet more to receive from it….
“We think that regular chat sessions with athletes inside the village in London will be something that our fans want to engage in,” Huot said. “Fans will also get a rare, live, behind-the-scenes look at the Games through the eyes of the athletes.”
“Social media is a catalyst for a much more personal, engaging and fun way to experience an event like the Olympic Games. Thanks to social media, London 2012 will ignite the largest online conversation the world has possibly ever seen and heard.”
It is a nice way in which to leverage social media at the games and bring fans closer to the athletes, especially those who may not be as well known. It will also be useful for the media to build up their Twitter lists for sports that may be off the beaten track for them.
So is it a good idea or a social media fail…… to sit on the fence I would say it is too early to say but I dont see enough on there to maintain interest as a platform during the games. It’s certainly worth the experiment and if it succeeds expect other governing bodies to follow.
What do you think?