BLOG POST BY: The Goat Agency
June 12, 2024

How Brands Can Maximize Their Impact at the 2024 Olympics Using Influencer Marketing

Over the years, the Olympics has grown exponentially within the social landscape, and is now a prime opportunity for brands and influencers to get involved. Historically, brands have relied heavily on traditional advertising methods like TV to reach their target audiences. Now with the rise of social media, their landscape has shifted. Influencers, with their engaging and relatable content, have become key players in engaging audiences on a personal level.

The Olympics provide a unique blend of sports, culture, and global unity, making it an ideal stage for influencer marketing. Brands can tap into the emotional and inspirational aspects of the Games, creating campaigns that resonate deeply with those in attendance, and watching on from the sidelines of social media.

The evolution of this marketing approach has seen brands move from generic endorsements to more nuanced and targeted influencer partnerships, ensuring a more meaningful connection with their audience.


The Evolution of Influencer Marketing in Sports

The Unique Opportunity of the Paris 2024 Olympics for Brands

Strategies for Effective Influencer Marketing at the Olympics

Best Olympic Influencer Marketing Campaigns (Past & Present)

Concluding thoughts – Influencer Marketing at the Olympics

An Athlete Beginning A Race. Athletes Are Commonly Used As Influencers For Brands During Events Such As The Olympics.

The Evolution of Influencer Marketing in Sports

Influencer marketing in sports has transitioned from traditional celebrity endorsements to strategic partnerships with a diverse range of influencers. Initially dominated by high-profile athletes, particularly during global events like the Olympics, the landscape now also includes influencers from verticals like fashion, lifestyle, gaming, and of course sport. These influencers connect with audiences through content that resonates, content that is often tailored towards the preferences of that audience. This shift in narrative has allowed brands to engage on a more personal level with their audiences, moving beyond generic endorsements to create more nuanced and impactful campaigns.

Today, the focus is on storytelling and genuine connections. Influencers share their personal journeys and experiences, making their content more relatable and inspiring. This narrative-driven approach not only humanizes brands but also builds deeper trust and engagement with consumers. As technology continues to evolve, incorporating elements like augmented reality and virtual reality will further enhance immersive experiences, bringing fans closer to the action during global events like the Olympics, and strengthening their connection to both the brand and the influencer.

The Unique Opportunity of the Paris 2024 Olympics for Brands

The Paris 2024 Olympics present a unique opportunity for brands to engage with a global audience through influencer marketing. As the world gathers to celebrate athletic prowess and unity, brands can leverage the heightened attention and emotional engagement surrounding the event. The Olympics is not just a sports event; it is a cultural phenomenon that brings people together on a truly global scale.With Paris as the host city, there is an additional layer of allure due to its rich history, iconic landmarks, and status as a fashion and cultural capital. Brands can create compelling narratives that blend the Olympic spirit with the charm of Paris, making their campaigns more captivating and memorable.

The rise of digital platforms means that brands can engage with audiences in real-time, creating interactive and immersive experiences. By collaborating with influencers who have a genuine connection to the Olympic values and the host city, brands can ensure their campaigns resonate on a deeper level. Highlighting just how much opportunity there is through social and influencers, TikTok even released advice for brands (although now seemingly taken down…) on how to capitalize on the Paris Olympic Games, citing the incredible 6.9 billion views Olympic related content achieved during the rescheduled games in Tokyo in 2021 as proof that Paris 2024 should be seen as a massive opportunity​.

An Image Of The Eiffel Tower In Paris - The Host City Of The 2024 Olympics.

Strategies for Effective Influencer Marketing at the Olympics

Implementing an effective influencer marketing strategy during the Olympics requires careful planning and execution. It involves more than just partnering with popular figures. These activations require a nuanced approach that aligns with the spirit of the Games and leverages the unique opportunities presented by this global event. By focusing on engagement, and strategic use of multiple platforms, brands can create memorable campaigns that resonate with audiences worldwide.

Mix Up Your Team Selection

Selecting the right influencers is crucial to the success of an Olympic campaign. It’s essential to choose influencers who genuinely embody the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect. Look for influencers with a strong connection to sports or the Olympic movement. These could include athletes, fitness influencers, or even travel content creators who can provide unique insights into the host city. Brands should look to diversify their influencer selection where possible, not just in terms of demographics, but the niches they represent too. Consider the sheer amount of people watching, and how best to represent their needs. How can you create an experience for the beauty enthusiasts, the sneakerheads, the gamers, and all the other communities out there, while still flying the Olympic flag. Creators can help you bridge that gap.

Be Present Beyond the Moments of Victory

Real-time engagement can significantly enhance the relevance and immediacy of your campaign. Use live updates, interactive polls, and instant reactions to Olympic events to keep your audience engaged. Live streaming and real-time Q&A sessions with influencers can also create a more dynamic and interactive experience. This approach ensures that your content remains fresh and engaging throughout the duration of the Games, keeping your audience constantly involved. Make it your duty to be present at all-times, not just when there’s a triumph or iconic moment. Look at engaging and interacting with your community during the breaks in play, so that when the moment arises your audience turns to you to celebrate.

Leverage Multiple Social Platforms

A multi-platform approach is essential to reach a diverse audience. Each social media platform has its unique strengths: Instagram is perfect for visual storytelling, TikTok excels with short, engaging videos, and Twitter is ideal for real-time updates and interactions. By utilizing a variety of platforms, brands can ensure they are reaching their target audience wherever they are most active, thereby maximizing engagement and impact.

UGC is Your New Best Friend

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool to amplify your campaign’s reach and engagement. Encourage your audience to share their own Olympic experiences using a branded hashtag. This could be anything from watching the Games at home to attending events in person. UGC not only increases brand visibility but also builds a community around your campaign. It gives followers a chance to participate in the Olympic spirit, making them feel more connected to both the event and your brand. People love content from other people because of its realness, they feel closer to the action. Get people on the ground and behind the scenes at different Olympic events to carry and spread your brand message throughout the tournament.

Check The Rules

It’s important for brands to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the guidelines set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), particularly Rule 40. This rule restricts non-official sponsors from using certain terms like “Olympics” and “Olympians” and prohibits ambush marketing during a designated blackout period around the Games. Non-sponsors can face significant penalties for non-compliance, including disciplinary action against athletes involved so it’s worth doing your homework. 

Best Olympic Influencer Marketing Campaigns (Past & Present) 

The Olympics has served as a stage for some of the most creative and impactful influencer marketing campaigns. Brands leverage the excitement and global reach of the Games to craft engaging stories and drive remarkable engagement. Here are some standout examples from past and present Olympics, showcasing what made them successful and influential in the world of marketing.

Reese’s – Paris 2024 

For the Paris 2024 Olympics, Reese’s has launched the “Legend vs. Newcomer” campaign, showcasing the brand’s new Reese’s Medals. This campaign leverages the influence of both seasoned athletes and rising stars to create engaging content. Featuring U.S. Olympic soccer gold medalist Alex Morgan and Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long alongside Olympic hopefuls Sophia Smith and Haven Shepherd, the campaign taps into their substantial social media followings.

The influencers share behind-the-scenes content and participate in interactive challenges on Instagram, encouraging fans to engage with their posts and guess facts about the athletes. This strategy not only promotes Reese’s Medals but also builds a deeper connection with the audience through authentic and relatable stories.

Powerade – Paris 2024

Powerade’s campaign for the Paris 2024 Olympics, titled “Pause is Power,” features the influential Simone Biles and focuses on the importance of mental health for athletes. By partnering with Biles, who has been vocal about her own mental health journey (especially during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics), Powerade delivers a message that resonates on a personal and impactful level.

Leveraging Biles’ massive social media presence, the campaign includes real-time interactions where she shares her story and engages with followers. This authentic content fosters a deeper connection with the audience, making the campaign relatable and inspiring. Powerade further enhances its message through experiential activations at the Olympic Village, providing spaces for athletes to focus on mental and physical recovery, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to supporting athletes holistically. 

@powerade Stop scrolling ✋ and take a pause with the one and only @Simone Biles 🤸‍♀️ #QuickPoweradePause #pauseispower ♬ original sound – Powerade

Coca-Cola – Rio 2016 

Coca-Cola’s #ThatsGold campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympics was a masterclass in leveraging influencer marketing to create a global impact. The campaign celebrated everyday “gold moments,” featuring athletes and global influencers like Nathan Adrian, Michelle Jenneke, Nastia Liukin, and Cody and Alli Simpson. These athletes shared personal stories and moments on social media using the hashtag #ThatsGold, encouraging fans worldwide to share their own golden moments and creating a community-driven narrative. The campaign’s reach was then further broadened by the influencers producing engaging content and interacting with their followers.

In addition to influencer and social media marketing, the campaign included TV commercials, out-of-home advertising, and interactive experiences at the Coca-Cola Olympic Station in Rio. This blend of physical and digital engagement fostered a deeper connection with audiences and amplified the campaign’s message globally.

Adidas – Paris 2024

Adidas’ campaign for the Paris 2024 Olympics is a prime example of effective influencer marketing. The brand has introduced new team kits designed with adaptive elements to ensure comfort for all athletes, including those with disabilities. This inclusivity is a key selling point of the campaign.

To amplify its reach, Adidas partners with high-profile athletes like Tom Daley (also an Adidas Ambassador Athlete), who share their Olympic journey and experiences with the new kits on platforms like Instagram. Daley’s posts provide followers with a personal and behind-the-scenes look at his preparations and competitions, showcasing the functionality and design of the apparel. This strategy not only highlights the product but also creates an engaging narrative that resonates with a wide audience.

The campaign blends national pride with innovative design, featuring elements from the athletes’ home countries, creating a cohesive yet diverse visual identity. This combination of high-performance gear and strategic influencer partnerships allows Adidas to connect with a global audience, celebrating the Olympic spirit in a modern, inclusive way​.

United Airlines – Rio 2016

United Airlines’ “Team Behind the Team” campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympics was a stellar example of effective influencer marketing. As a long-standing partner of Team USA, United Airlines aimed to highlight its role in supporting the athletes’ journey to the Games and beyond.

The campaign featured a mix of organic, paid, and influencer content across multiple platforms, including short-form videos celebrating Team USA’s send-off to Rio, their accomplishments, and their return on Facebook; encouraging fans on Twitter to post pictures showing their support for Team USA, with United donating miles to Olympic hopefuls for each use of #UABatonDonation; and live stories and posts covering Team USA’s journey on Instagram.

Omega – Tokyo 2020

Omega’s campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was a masterclass in blending brand heritage with influencer marketing. As the official timekeeper for the Olympics, Omega used this opportunity to emphasize precision and excellence, qualities integral to both the Games and their products.

A key element of Omega’s strategy was their collaboration with prominent athletes, particularly swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time. Phelps shared his experiences and highlighted Omega’s Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020 watch on his social media platforms. This not only showcased the product but also engaged his extensive follower base, driving significant buzz around the campaign.

The campaign was further amplified through digital and social media channels, ensuring a broad reach and high engagement. The use of real-time updates and stories by influencers and athletes created a dynamic and interactive experience for the audience, reinforcing Omega’s association with the spirit and excitement of the Olympics

Concluding thoughts – Influencer Marketing at the Olympics

The Paris 2024 Olympics present a unique and powerful opportunity for brands to leverage influencer marketing to engage with a global audience. By choosing the right influencers, creating authentic and engaging content, leveraging multiple social platforms, and incorporating user-generated content, brands can craft impactful campaigns that resonate deeply with audiences. The key to success lies in blending the excitement of the Games with strategic, authentic influencer partnerships, ensuring that the brand message is both memorable and effective.

To maximize your brand’s potential through influencer marketing, partnering with an experienced agency can make all the difference. The Goat Agency offers comprehensive influencer marketing services to help you create impactful and authentic campaigns that connect with your audience. Contact us today to elevate your brand’s presence and reach new heights in the world of influencer marketing

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Written by: The Goat Agency