There’s no question that the Olympics is the most recognized, long-standing brand in the sports world. Just days into the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Olympic fever is in high gear as people from all walks of life are talking about everything from gymnastics to rugby. Olympic sponsors are among those hoping to reap the benefits of this excitement especially since some sponsorship levels exceed $200 million for the privilege of capitalizing on the Olympic brand.
As a small business owner, you can still find a way to take advantage of the 2016 Olympics while staying within your budget. Just be creative and tap into the hype by targeting brand influencers. Your influencers are people who believe in your company and will continue talking about your products and services long after Rio 2016’s closing ceremonies.
Before you embark on your marketing campaign, be aware that the International Olympic Committee forbids use of the Olympics’ trademarked words or phrases. These forbidden words and phrases include “Go for the gold,” “Let the games begin” and “Team USA” as well as certain references to the games such as “Road to Rio” and even “Savannahlympics.” It can be a slippery slope, because although the Olympic Committee needs to raise money to put on the Games, some have questioned if there are limitations on freedom of speech, intellectual property and trademark laws.
You may think that a small business in Savannah doesn’t have to worry about getting caught using these forbidden words and phrases, but think again because with the World Wide Web, bots can track improper use of trademarked material.
Now that you understand some of the ground rules, how do you market your business?
If you have a medical practice, for example, you could have a hashtag for “Ouch” and the name of your business to take advantage of a trending injury that occurred. A social media post such as: “#OuchSavannahSportsDoctor: Did you hear that crack when the French gymnast fell? Ouch! He is in for a long recovery” could help start a conversation with your followers.
There are plenty of other sporting events presenting opportunities for social tie-ins, too. While not an Olympic hashtag example, one of the most successful sporting tweets is Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” that went viral during the 2013 Super Bowl. Oreo’s tweet found a way to work without violating Super Bowl sponsorship protocol.
After the Olympics, you can capitalize on other favorite seasonal events such as college football season and the Savannah Food & Wine Festival. The only challenge you will have is deciding which favorite to try first!
This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, Director of Public Relations and Client Development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, with Robmark Web providing website design, development and SEO. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-921-1040.