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SBD/July 26, 2012/Olympics
Olympics Has First Social Media Casualty As Greek Triple Jumper Gets Kicked Off Team For Tweet
Published July 26, 2012
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SOCIAL GAMES: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Emily Steel notes there is a “new wave of athletic endorsements, where a star’s presence on Twitter, Facebook and the like factors into which athletes marketers choose to sponsor.” Several of those relationships “are taking centre stage” during the London Games. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt “recently posted a photo of a refrigerator filled with Gatorade sports drink to his 620,000 Twitter followers,” while U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps “mentions Visa, Head & Shoulders shampoo, and Hilton Hotels amid the training updates he shares with his 5.4m Facebook fans.” CAA Global Dir of Sports Endorsements Lowell Taub said, “With almost every single deal that my group puts together, sponsors ask, ‘Can you tell me about the athlete’s social media footprint, how many Twitter followers do they have? How many Facebook fans? Will they do some tweets for the campaign?'” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/26).
POTENTIAL THREAT? In London, Chris Parsons writes high-profile Olympic athletes “are sparking potential terror alerts by posting pictures of their official Olympic Village passes on Twitter.” Several competitors have “caused security headaches by tweeting high resolution images of their LOCOG accreditation,” and that has “raised fears that the barcodes -- which do not feature infra-red or microchip technology -- could be duplicated by fraudsters.” Threat management firm IPC believes the photos could be a “golden ticket” into Olympic venues for terrorists. Experts said that organized crime gangs and ticket touts “could also gain access to venues by duplicating the official LOCOG lanyards from Twitter.” U.S. women’s soccer MF Carli Lloyd “was among the first” to tweet her accreditation for the Olympic Village. IPC Head Will Geddes said, “What you've got here is a really stupid situation were athletes have been given important security documents and have [compromised] those documents by showing the information contained to all and sundry” (London DAILY MAIL, 7/26).
MOOD LIGHTING: In Newark, Dave D’Alessandro notes international design firm Sosolimited will “interpret the entire country’s mood about the upcoming Games by reading all their Twitter feeds, and then project their findings onto the most visible place in the city -- in the lights of the London Eye.” In other words, they have turned “the giant wheel into a national mood ring.” Sosolimited co-Founder John Rothenberg said, “The idea is to watch the energy of the nation, in real time.” The company has been working on this “since July 19th in conjunction with EDF Energy -- the French company that operates the lighting on the wheel.” Rothenberg said that the “happy mood (yellow) spiked the day Brit Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/26).