The 2021 Tokyo Olympics – Marketing in a New World
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics have arrived, and all eyes are on it. How will the games fare while the host-country is in a state of emergency and the stadiums remain empty?
NBC is optimistic that the digital success of the 2021 Olympics will outweigh the lack of butts in seats. The station expects to sell $1.25 billion in advertisements over the course of the next two weeks, surpassing the $1 billion haul of the Rio Olympics. Additionally, they are expanding their coverage of the event tenfold. The games will be available for streaming on Peacock, where most events will be free to watch. Other network stations will be covering the highlights and replays, so there is no shortage of options to keep up with the event. Despite all this, some uncertainty remains. The advertisers who have invested so heavily in the games are waiting to see how many turn up to watch the Olympics on their devices.
The Prelude – Toyota Checks Out
Toyota is one of the biggest sponsors of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, and is one of two sponsor companies native to Japan. So it comes as a shock that the auto company has decided not to run any ads in its home country during the games. This reflects a deep concern across the nation about the games and the spread of COVID-19, as Japan reels from further outbreaks. Fans from other countries will continue to see ads from Toyota as if nothing had changed, but the decision sets a tone of uncertainty for advertisers and fans alike.
The Opening Ceremony – A Matter of Perspective
On July 23rd, NBC aired the opening ceremony to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, to record-low ratings. Down 36% from the Rio Olympics, NBC assured advertisers extra air-time to compensate for the disappointing start. While cable ratings are down, digital performance is better than ever. Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, had its strongest numbers since it launched last year. The ever-increasing power of streaming services makes it likely that this trend will persist throughout the games. How are you watching the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?
The Games – Newcomers & Trailblazers
Despite lower ratings and viewership, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has managed to maintain the international spotlight with new events and inspiring contestants. Newcomer sports – surfing and skateboarding have both managed to improve viewership during their segments, especially in the Western Hemisphere.
The international conversation regarding the Olympics also became one of kindness and understanding for the athletes who give their all during every event. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Simone Biles, who became the center of an outpouring of support and appreciation when she chose to withdraw from several gymnastics events due to mental health concerns. Her actions, among other shows of sportsmanship throughout the games, has turned the world’s attention from the pandemic and the broad implications for the Olympics to the individual experiences of the athletes and their struggles.
The Conclusion – The Worlds We Share
With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics concluding last night, it was a time for reflection on one of the most unusual games to-date. Same as the opening ceremony, there were precious few members in the audience to celebrate the athletes. The applause was not roaring as it has been in the past. However, as we learned throughout the games, it was the athletes that made it worthwhile. The pride made plain on their faces was a sight to light up the stadium. The president of the IOC stated that he was worried that the 2021 games would be “the games without a soul”, but the opposite couldn’t have been more true. The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games were all about the individual and their story and their soul. In a time of uncertainty and strife, the athletes chose to run together, share the glory and take care of themselves. The ratings for these Olympics were lower than usual, but NBC found what they needed; An Olympics that would be remembered for decades to come.