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Align your Brand with the Olympics through the Active Outdoor Network

Posted on June 20, 2014

The 2014 winter Olympic Games in Sochi are fast approaching. Public excitement for this event is already at a high, thanks to some fantastic athletes. In this post, I’m going to examine some nuggets from the lastWinterOlympics, explore more about the consumers this sporting event reaches and talk about how brands can connect with this consumer well before the torch is lit.

Vancouver to Sochi

2010’s Winter Games in Vancouver saw an estimated 2.3 million attendees, and Sochi looks to top that number. For all of us chanting for Team USA, it is an exciting time. Eyes will be on athletes like alpine racer Lindsey Vonn, snowboarding king Shaun White, and skier Ted Ligety.

The athletes of Team USA will fly into Sochi with the country’s hopes riding on their shoulders. White, will look to take home his third straight gold medal in the half-pipe event. Vonn, recognized by many to be the best skier in the world, recently sustained various tears in her knee ligaments while racing in the Alpine World Championships, vows to be ready for Sochi.

Who are these Consumers?

The hype and storytelling for these athletes are already beginning in the media, ensuring that millions of eyes will be fixed on the Olympic Games next year.  In short, the US is poised to have its best ever showing at theWinterOlympic Games. So who exactly are these winter sporting and skiing fans? Outside of the millions of attendees, we see viewership of the games into the hundreds of millions. London’s opening ceremony, for example, was seen by 1 billion people worldwide. What about winter sport and ski fans in general . . . How many consumers are we talking about?

  • The average number of skier visits per season since 2002 is 57.5 million, with a prediction to see this rise to 60 million this season
  • The direct spending at US resorts last season was $5.8 billion
  • These fans are not just passionate, they are also educated and affluent, with a higher number having college and postgraduate degrees and a larger number with a household income over $100,000*
  • There is a high percentage of skiers who have been skiing 10 years or more

So brands now have an opportunity to connect with an elite, dedicated and passionate group of individuals who will be locked into the Games. Their pride for their country and excitement for the games will keep them in a peak state of emotion. The brands that they will come in contact with during that time will be positively associated with this great feeling. But as many brands know, official Olympic sponsorship comes with a hefty price tag. For the Coca-Cola’s and McDonald’s of the world that is fine, but how can brands with much smaller ad budgets align with this same audience? The answer is surprisingly easy:

Invest early in US-based on-mountain ad space

  • This media network is the ONLY way to reach on-snow masses all winter long — all day, every day.
  • This network reaches and impacts 85% of on-snow consumers through a national network made up of over 125 resorts across every major ski region.

Brand Connections, Active Outdoor
The brands that come in contact with these fans now will be able to ride positive associations with products all the way to Sochi through US-based media touch points. If you ask me, these are out-of-home dollars worth spending.

The excitement and anticipation is already there. The storylines are in place. For marketers and their brands, the opportunity is clear. Reaping the benefits of this high-point of emotion by investing in active outdoor networks early is a strategy that few can argue with. Few out-of-home opportunities are this easy and exciting. By Opening Ceremony time, your brand could be jumping for joy with the rest of the athletes.

*Scarborough Sports Marketing 2010

[Lead image via Erich Spiess/Red Bull Media House]
Posted in Press