There are less than 100 days until the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.  Here at Intrepid, we’re very excited to see what the Games look like in this social age.  You may have already noticed a flood of advertising with Olympic themes (especially from Procter & Gamble). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is also gearing up for the games by launching The Olympic Athletes’ Hub.

In what the committee is calling “the first social media Olympics,” the site aims to do what Olympic coverage has been doing for decades: build relationships between Olympians and their fans.  Now, instead of simply hearing the story of how a pole vaulter from Albuquerque made it to this grand stage, you are able to find that athlete via social media channels and interact directly.  Passive consumption of television (especially live events, sporting or otherwise) is a thing of the past.  The IOC has recognized this fact and created a centralized location for viewers to interact at their leisure.

The Hub, which already has over 1,000 verified Olympians, provides an aggregation of content from athletes’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Once the Games begin, users will be notified on which athletes will be competing soon and can see in real time updates from Olympic Village.  To increase incentive, users’ are granted rewards as they link their Hub accounts with Facebook and Twitter, follow more Olympians and participate on the site.  Rewards including videos and training tips from Olympic legends.

Alex Huot, Head of Social Media for the IOC, explains that there has been a “paradigm shift in the communication around the Olympic Games,” and the Hub is exemplary of how social media is changing both the user experience and branding around events.  And how the IOC has been able to keep up with the trends.  The IOC also produced this infographic (via Mashable) which shows just how far both the Olympics and media have come since the 1890s.

As a marketer, how are you leveraging this year’s Olympic Games? What kind of impact do you anticipate that social media will have in the marketing of this year’s Games? 

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