Advertisers Benefit from Olympic Spirit

  |  August 20, 2004   |  Comments

Viewers are reacting positively to advertisers that are involved with the games, but the feel-good vibes have not spilled over to the sponsors' Web sites.

The Olympic Games are not only good for athletes, but advertisers are benefiting as well. Dynamic Logic found that the feel-good spirit of the Olympics is overflowing to the companies and brands that are involved with sponsorship, but consumers are stopping short of visiting the sponsors' Web sites.

The positive associations seem to come from survey respondents' feelings about the Games themselves. The overwhelming majority of the 458 survey respondents said they feel that the Olympic Games are a positive event for athletes and countries around the world, and 89 percent said the Games evoke a sense of national pride.

Just under half (46 percent) of survey participants agree that companies who are Olympics sponsor are industry leaders. Roughly half (51 percent) of respondents recall seeing advertising with the tagline "official sponsors of the 2004 Olympics" and 59 percent reported that they generally notice advertising that includes the easily recognizable Olympic rings.

The North American respondents were more receptive to Olympic-associated advertising than their European counterparts, the survey found.

Responses to Olympic-Related Advertising
North Americans Europeans
Pay attention to ads with Olympic rings 66% 51%
Pay attention to ads that mention/have
association with Olympics
25% 12%
Source: Dynamic Logic

Competition seems to be the key to the warm and fuzzy feelings, as 86 percent said the games foster positive competitive spirit among athletes. The words most used to describe the event are competitive (88 percent), global (80 percent), determined (66 percent), ambitious (63 percent) and traditional (62 percent).

Consumers' positive feelings for Olympic sponsors evidently did not find their way online. Hitwise found traffic share decreases for the leading Olympic sponsors from Saturday, Aug. 7, 2004 to Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004.

Home Depot posted a 6.38 percent decrease in market share; McDonalds lost 29.63 percent of its site visitors; and traffic to Visa's Web site dropped 32.58 percent.

Olympic fever was evident, however, on sites related to the Games, where Hitwise found phenomenal traffic increases from Saturday, Aug. 7, 2004 to Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004.

Traffic Increases to Olympics-related Sites, U.S., Aug. 7 to Aug. 14
Site URL Week-over-week
Increase
Olympics.com olympics.com 4,374%
Sports Illustrated Olympics sportsillustrated.cnn.com/Olympics 3,536%
NBC Olympics nbcolympics.com 2,567%
Athens 2004 athens2004.com 2,007%
Sportsline Olympics sportsline.com/olympics 312%
Source: Hitwise

Hitwise explains that olympics.com began redirecting to athens2004.com at the start of the Athens Games. "They keep www.olympics.com separate so that whenever the new Olympics come around (winter, summer, etc.) they can redirect to the host site. www.olympics.com then hosts info about the olympics in between the events," a Hitwise spokesperson said. "We kept them separate to show the difference in brand recognition between the two."

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