Your Clients Can Increase Revenue by Targeting Olympic Fans

BY Kathy Crosett
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What’s one of the best kept secrets of February 2022? The U.S. and scores of other nations currently have thousands of athletes competing in the Beijing Winter Games. It’s tough to capture attention when consumers are distracted by the ongoing pandemic and outraged by the political stance of the Chinese government. Despite the controversy, our athletes have trained to represent our country, they have a fanbase, and your clients can increase revenue by targeting Olympic fans.

Targeting Olympic Fans

This year, large advertisers are “focusing on the athletes competing on the global stage…considered the safest strategy for brands,” according to a Reuters report. They realized these Olympics will be like any other in recent memory. No fans will be in the stands, the host country is not inviting visitors to explore the region, and many nations are engaged in a diplomatic boycott. The situation poses a huge challenge for marketers who typically invest significant advertising dollars in branding campaigns. For example, NBCUniversal raked in over $1.2 billion in last summer's Olympic event in Tokyo.

This may also be the year that more consumers enjoy watching their favorite athletes on streaming TV, specifically through Peacock TV. Overall, 74% of U.S. adults expect to watch some Olympic programming via live TV, reports Morning Consult. Around 60% of consumers under age 45 will check in on the games on live TV. And 44% of 35-​to-​44 year-​olds will watch via a streaming service. There may be nothing like watching a champion ski jump on a large TV, but 27% of consumers ages 18 to 44 will tune into the action on a mobile device. 79% of consumers who are ages 45 to 64, and 88% of those over age 65 will watch the Olympics on traditional TV, ensuring a good audience for advertising who want to tout their support.

The Winter Olympics Audience

How large is the audience for the Winter Olympics? Morning Consult data shows about 16% of all adults appreciate watching competitions on the ski slopes and ice rinks. That number compares to 24% who enjoy Summer Olympics. The age group most like to prefer the Winter Olympics is baby boomers, at 18%. These fans likely have fond memories of the “Miracle on Ice” when the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, NY in 1980 and marked a moment of national pride.

Analysts point out that it’s “difficult to create the buzz” for the games until individual athletes or the U.S. teams have a few standout moments during the competition. We no longer have Bode Miller or Evan Lysacek to cheer on. However, athletes that may attract attention include Shaun White and Chloe Kim on snowboards, Mikaela Shiffrin on skis, and Nation Chen on skates. And don’t forget Jessie Diggins on cross-​country skis.

Olympic Sports Fans 

The AudienceSCAN profile on Olympic Sports Fans, available from AdMall by SalesFuel, reveals that these consumers respond to both traditional TV ads (34.1%) and streaming TV ads (25.7%). These consumers are far more likely than average to enjoy watching figure skating and NHL hockey. This year, they’re shopping for automotive aftermarket parts, a used car and plan to hire a service to paint their homes.

Remind your clients that the right kind of ad campaigns can build awareness of their products and services, along with increasing respect for athletes who strive to be the best in their sport. Marketers that are seeking to improve positive messaging during this time of conflict can improve their reputations by supporting U.S. athletes and targeting Olympic fans.

Photo by Mati Mango from Pexels