SBD/April 10, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Samsung Unveils New Facebook App Designed To Connect Users To U.S. Olympians

Samsung yesterday unveiled its U.S. Olympic Genome Project, a Facebook app designed to allow users to discover how they are connected to Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. The company will begin promoting the app with digital advertising today. Ads feature former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, soccer player Megan Rapinoe and Paralympic cyclist Chris Waddell. Samsung also signed Dan Patrick to promote the effort. Samsung Electronics America CMO Ralph Santana said, “This is all grounded in the insight that people want to know how they’re connected to Olympians. This is a unique manifestation of what people are looking for.” By using their Facebook profile page to log into the Genome Project (, fans will be shown past and present Olympians who are connected to them based on things like a shared residence or college. For example, users who attended Brandeis Univ. would see that fencer Tim Morehouse also attended the college. Fans can also accrue points on the site by taking Olympic quizzes and then redeem those points for prizes like Samsung mobile products and chances to win trips to London. As one of the most ambitious social media undertakings during the Olympics, it is not surprising that the initiative has raised some questions in Olympic circles. Santana said most Olympic athletes will be featured on the page. The project stands to benefit most athletes by raising their profiles and building their fanbases. But several Olympic agents have raised questions about whether or not Samsung needs an athlete’s consent before showcasing them within the Genome Project. Samsung rolled a beta version of the Genome Project out at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It will have a 10-by-20 foot display promoting the Genome Project at the USOC’s 100 Days Out event in Times Square next Wednesday. The Project was developed in partnership with Team Epic.
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