As the athletes start arriving for the London 2012 Olympics, sponsors’ activity has become more prevalent. To reflect that we’ve changed the basis for our London 2012 Social Scoreboard, starting today. The result has been some apparently dramatic changes at the top.
From 18 April, 100 days out from the Games, we started tracking the effectiveness of this activity using our PRINT™ algorithm, later creating the London 2012 Social Scoreboard to allow deeper interaction with our scores.
Up to now, the ways in which the main London 2012 Olympics partners activated their sponsorships digitally – especially via social media channels – have been patchy to say the least. Very few had online platforms dedicated to their participation in the Games. The majority had little Olympics-related content on their existing platforms. The remainder were doing nothing.
As the opening ceremony on 27 July has drawn nearer, activity amongst the sponsors has, as expected, increased. So much so that in the last few weeks almost every brand either beefed up its dedicated digital Olympics presence or turned its existing Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels over to the Games. The fact that this has happened should come as no surprise, and it was always our intention to switch the focus of our scoreboard once the sponsors changed gear.
So, as we announced last week, from today our scoreboard has entered a second phase, now including those branded Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels from each brand that feature some Olympic-related content (previously the criteria was for the channel to be predominantly Olympics-focused).
We expected some changes in position, but I’m not sure even we anticipated them to be so acute. The leaders in the preparatory phase – like P&G and Cadbury’s – are now replaced by Coca-Cola, British Airways and adidas.
In some ways, this is simply a reflection of a broader brand presence. It’s also interesting to note that the new top three on our scoreboard are the same three cited as having the most positive ‘fit’ with the Olympics in a recent Marketing/Interbrand study. This is also apparent from their positions in our ‘Highest Status’ ranking, which reflects their popularity and reach through social media, driven in part by large traditional media budgets.
However, the ‘Greatest Potential’ ranking – reflecting levels of participation and interaction – tells a slightly different story. Here British Airways and adidas retain high places, but sponsors like EDF, GE and VISA enter the positions – and both P&G and Cadbury’s re-appear, suggesting that it’s not necessarily how popular a brand is but how it engages that matters.
Let the Games commence!