Olympics Advertisers Fail to Go for the Gold

During the 2008 Olympics, advertisers in both the U.S. and U.K. largely failed to use paid search marketing to promote themselves online after their national teams’ won gold medals.

This bold statement came to me from Steak, a digital marketing and search agency headquartered in New York and London.

Between them, the U.S. and U.K. won 55 gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, finishing second and fourth, respectively, in that category behind leader China.

During the 2008 Olympics, advertisers in both the U.S. and U.K. largely failed to use paid search marketing to promote themselves online after their national teams’ won gold medals.

This bold statement came to me from Steak, a digital marketing and search agency headquartered in New York and London.

Between them, the U.S. and U.K. won 55 gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, finishing second and fourth, respectively, in that category behind leader China.

In the release, Steak said “analysis of search traffic showed significant spikes in interest in athletes following their gold medal win, signaling an opportunity for sponsors, news organizations and other advertisers to connect with interested consumers.

But Steak’s research shows that few seized the opportunity to use paid search to capitalize on a positive association with the Olympic stars. Search ads showed up against just 35 percent of the U.S. and U.K. gold medal winners’ names. Among others, advertisers who sponsor medalists in particular missed out on some of the highest-profile moments, Steak said.

Steak noted that search interest in U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals, skyrocketed between Aug. 10 and Aug. 17, according to its analysis of Google Trends data.

Steak’s research also shows that Phelps’ corporate sponsors, such as Speedo and PureSport performance drinks, started running paid search ads against the swimmer after well after he gained his eight medal.

Similarly, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, the popular winners of the women’s beach volleyball gold medal, failed to generate much interest from advertisers. Neither their sponsors nor the AVP or FIVB beach volleyball tours, in which both athletes compete, capitalized on their respective Olympic successes, according to Steak.
Food for thought…