Hands up who has an Olympics shaped hole in their lives right about now? Hasn’t it been amazing? I was lucky enough to go to three Olympic events and one Paralympic event and each time, was truly humbled for many reasons. I was dumbstruck by the amazing abilities of athletes from around the globe, impressed by the cheeriness and dedication of the thousands of volunteer Games Makers, amused by the enthusiasm of the countless patriotic supporters from around the globe, and delighted that this city, where I was born and bred, the very same city which was blighted by horrendous riots just a year ago has done us proud. Phew.
But as well as it being an amazing summer of sport, a fabulous showcase for our brilliant city, with a record-breaking medal haul for TeamGB, it’s also been the first truly digital Games and is already being coined ‘The first Social Media Olympics’. Big sporting events have often been the catalyst for change in broadcasting (see the blog I wrote about the Word Cup 2010 here) and London2012 is no exception.
According to The Drum, London2012 generated more than 26million social media mentions, and research from Starcom MediaVest Group, a staggering 90% of the UK population followed the Games via a combination of TV, PC, mobile, tablet and social media. Some 7.2million people harnessed their phone or tablet device to access footage. You can view the full research results here.
Shortly after the close of the Olympics on August 12th, Mashable reported that the social media ‘star’ of London2012 has been Instagram where over 100,000 photos from the Games were shared during the two week show. More than 650,000 photos were posted with the Olympics #hashtag, with 263,000 shared with the #London2012 hashtag.
Here’s a good post from Econsultancy about the legacy of the Olympic Games.
There have been lots of infographics hitting our streams on the Olympics and even though it’s American, this one from RadiumOne caught my eye as a fab illustration of how these Games have revolutionised the use of Social Media:
In addition to Social Media being heavily used during the games, email has played a pivotal role too. One of our key clients, Transport for London, should be applauded for the role they have played in keeping London moving during the Games. Doom and gloom merchants predicted that London’s Victorian transport system would fail to cope with the huge increase in numbers during the Olympics and Paralympics but quite the opposite happened – and email, as well as Twitter alerts from dedicated Twitter accounts including @GAOTG (Get Ahead of The Games) really DID keep London Moving. A daily email to all TfL subscribes and all Oyster card holders during the Games helped inform commuters and ticket holders of any transport changes, disruptions and road closures, not to mention announcements on tubes and in stations (some recorded by Boris Johnson!) meant that transport not only ran smoothly but the atmosphere and joviality was unsurpassed! Tom Edwards, the BBC’s Transport Correspondent’s recent article says it all. We think Transport for London should be very proud of their contributions to the success of The Games (and eCircle were honoured to be able to assist them!)
So, we bid a fond farewell to London 2012. But as Dr Seuss once said: “Don’t be sad it’s over. Be glad it happened.”