Major global brands have snapped up Olympic-related online advertising and sponsorship opportunities ahead of the games’ official launch today, including Bank of America and Chevrolet.
With millions of sports fans turning to the Web for content surrounding the games, portals and publishers are keen to make sure they make the most of those eyeballs.
Yahoo, for example, is providing display advertising for three major brands across its dedicated Olympics site throughout August. Its top level Olympics homepage is sponsored by Visa, with banners and display units appearing across the page. “Olympics Round-Up” video content will be sponsored by Chevrolet, again with standard display units. Meanwhile, Super 8 Motels, perhaps a less traditional Olympics sponsor, has supported a “TorchTracker” application allowing users to follow the trail of the famous Olympic torch across China.
“With the launch of Yahoo’s Sports’ coverage of the games, advertisers have an innovative platform for either existing initiatives, or new initiatives for those who may not be connected to the Olympics but want to be,” a Yahoo spokesperson told ClickZ News.
Alongside the sponsorships mentioned above, Bank of America will also place ads across the site to coincide with its “America’s Cheer” campaign. Ads will point users to a microsite, through which fans can send messages of support to athletes using social sites including Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.
According to Yahoo, its coverage of the 2006 Winter Games attracted more unique users than any other site, with nearly 12 million visitors over the three-week event. During this summer’s events, it expects a 30 to 40 percent increase in ad sales over the 2006 Winter Games, and an 80 percent increase from the 2004 summer games in Athens.
Another major publisher, NYTimes.com, has invested heavily in Olympics-related editorial and video content, supported by advertisers such as Nielsen and, again, Bank of America.
Media measurement firm Nielsen has purchased a large portion of the inventory available across the Times’ dedicated Olympics section, including its Olympics blog, its interactive guide to the games, and its video and mobile content. Bank of America has purchased leaderboards and other ads in the section, which will run throughout the games.
“Advertisers come to us for our reach. NYTimes.com delivers advertisers a large, educated and affluent audience, in addition to international reach,” said Todd Haskell, VP advertising for The New York Times and NYTimes.com.
In addition, Nielsen has bought a single sponsorship of the Times’ latest issue of PLAY magazine, both in print and online, which is dedicated entirely to the Olympics.
Elsewhere, AOL has partnered with Samsung Mobile for its coverage of the games.
Note: The article originally said Yahoo expected to see a 30 to 40 percent increase in unique Internet users, and was intended to say an increase in ad sales.
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