By Barry Janoff
August 5, 2015: Despite reports of crime, environmental issues and other logistical challenges, NBC, in the midst of a $4.4 billion deal with the International Olympic Committee, is expecting big returns on its coverage of the 2016 Summer Games, which begin in Rio de Janeiro one year from today.
"What we've seen so far indicates that people are very excited about the Rio Games," Seth Winter, evp-sales NBC Sport, said during a media call this week in anticipation of the 2016 Games, which will run Aug. 5-21. "Sales are going very well. Our expectations are that we'll exceed London."
The 2012 Summer Games in London brought in $1.3 billion in ad revenue, the 2008 Beijing Games $821 million, according to research and marketing firm Kantar Media, New York.
The return was substantial. NBC said that more than 219 million people in the U.S. watched the London Games on TV — averaging some 31 million during prime time — that it had some two billion views on its Web sites and that there were 159 million video streams.
NBC has a deal with the IOC for exclusive U.S. rights that currently run through 2020.
The ad plate is filled with official marketing partners for both the IOC and the U.S. Olympic Committee, as well as other companies buying time on NBC and its networks.
The IOC's global partners include Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota and Visa.
Top USOC partners include 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), AT&T, BMW, BP, Chobani, Citi, Dick's Sporting Goods, The Hartford, Hilton, Kellogg's, Liberty Mutual, Nike, TD Ameritrade and United Airlines.
Taking no chances, NBC Sports today unleashed a major marketing campaign to officially start the "One Year Out" countdown. The push includes broadcast, cable, digital, regional, local, radio and theme park assets.
“This will be the most extensive one-year-out marketing effort ever for an Olympic Games,” said John Miller, CMO for the NBC Sports Group and chairman for the NBCUniversal Marketing Council. “We will use NBCUniversal’s far-reaching media platforms on August 5 to light the torch for our 2016 Olympic Games marketing efforts."
The "One Year Out" effort will be anchored by a "road block" that NBCUniversal will execute at 8 PM (ET/PT), showing a 60-second Olympic announcement across all of its 18 broadcast and cable networks. That includes NBC, Telemundo, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and USA..
On the digital side, NBCUniversal will access its more than 50 Web sites to show one-year-out promotional and editorial content, including the the 60-second Olympic promo, display banner ads and editorial content.
Social media will see one-year-out messages and content across such destinations as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags include #RoadToRio, #1YearOut and #Olympics.
"Although the Games are a year off, this is a fun way to begin the process of raising awareness for what promises to be a spectacular Olympics in one of the world’s most spectacular cities," said Miller.
In efforts both apart and in conjunction with NBC, the USOC has unveiled its own array of activations to mark the one year countdown. The push includes digital, social media, new product releases and athlete appearances on TV (including NBC's Today Show) and in person (including Yankee Stadium in New York).
“We are always exploring ways to connect with and better serve fans of Team USA, and the one year from the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games milestone is the perfect time to unveil a host of new and exciting programs,” Lisa Baird, CMO for the USOC, said in a statement. “Over the coming year, fans will have more access to the stories of America’s elite athletes, more opportunities to engage with and support Team USA, and more reason to cheer when the Rio Games open.”
During the media conference call, NBC's Winter highlighted some categories that are showing extra marketing strength at the one-year to go date, led by automotive and golf.
"What I've seen is extraordinary strength in automotive," said Winter. "It's the most significant category in the ad market place right now."
For 2016, golf and rugby both were added to the competition.
"We have more capacity in the Olympics this time because golf will have a very significant presence on our networks," said Winter. "There are certain (companies) who want to target golf . . . and we'll work with them on that."
A report last week from AP indicated that athletes who participate in Olympics Games related to outdoor water venues could face contamination from sewage. In order to combat crime and potential threats, some 85,000 people ail be involved, including military, law enforcement and security, according to officials in Brazil.
But with just a year to go, none of this has deterred NBC from proclaiming, "Get ready for Rio. The party's just a year away."
Back to Rio 2016
Back to Home Page