Working the Olympic Angle
Winter sports will receive a shot in the arm this winter when NBC hosts a website that directs TV viewers to organizations and programs that provide an introduction to Olympic sports, and promotes that site during its broadcast of the Games. The concept—to tap the huge spike in interest in sports that blossoms every two years during the broadcast of the Games—is brilliant.
We say that because, in all modesty, we had the same idea a decade ago. Back in 2008, SAM attempted to organize a learn-to promotion around the 2010 Vancouver Games, and received support from more than 200 resorts for a learn-to-for-free offer. Thanks to some industry help we had an audience with Coke, Visa, and Direct TV. Alas, the effort collapsed because big sponsor money, the kind you need for TV spots, had long since been committed. They liked the idea, but we were a year too late.
The opportunity in front of us for the upcoming Olympics lies in having NBC provide the “get involved” message, without costing us a penny, and repeating the message throughout the 16 days of the Olympics. That may not be the silver bullet, but it’s still some pretty fine ammunition. The Olympics is our sports’ Super Bowl, and we should take full advantage of the gift we’re being given. The challenge is to build on it.
Beyond the Olympics, the question remains, how can the industry use new media and grassroots efforts to reach a broader audience and motivate people to explore new ways to participate in winter? The new NSAA president will have to tackle that and a host of other issues and opportunities, some of which are expressed in our News & Views section.