July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
Even before the Games start, the London Olympics is being called the first digital Olympics thanks to NBC’s plan to stream every event live online.
Comcast, which owns NBC, also plans to take advantage by housing every event on its video-on-demand service. It launched Summer Olympics programming June 15 — with athlete profiles and highlights from previous Games — and has logged about 3.5 million views, according to Matt Strauss, Comcast’s senior vice president of digital and emerging platforms.“In the few weeks that we’ve launched this content, it’s already generated more usage than the entire Vancouver Games combined,” he said. “We feel like we’re on the right trajectory, just based on the demand we’re seeing on the pre-Games content.”
Comcast’s on-demand library will grow to more than 1,100 titles during the Olympics, with plans to have every medal event ready for on-demand viewing by 6 a.m. the following morning. Comcast will use NBC’s Olympics commentator Bob Costas to host a short video each morning as a barker to promote the highlights.
“With technology the way it is, we can’t approach the Olympics like we have in the past,” Strauss said. “That’s why it starts with making everything available. Then it builds from there.”
Strauss says Comcast’s on-demand strategy represents more than just a niche play. It logs about 400 million video views each month and around 75 percent of Comcast’s customers use on-demand.
“That’s at a critical mass and continues to grow for us,” he said. “On demand for us is at a point where it is way past any novelty curve. It is integrated in how people watch TV.”
Comcast is looking to link live linear TV with broadband, mobile and on-demand content. The Olympics are a big enough event to really drive that strategy.
“We’re now at a point where the audience is large enough that we want to start bringing these things together,” Strauss said. “That was kind of the sensibility of how we approached the Olympics. We’re now in a world where everything has to be available on demand. We can essentially offer unlimited amounts of live feeds.”
July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
The company has been working for years to develop a system that allows its subscribers to have a seamless approval process that allows them to watch NBC’s Olympic coverage on their computers, tablets or mobile devices. The effort to develop a seamless process is more crucial this year since NBC plans to stream every Olympic event live on its website.
Signs are promising, at least for Comcast’s systems.
In the week leading up to the opening ceremony, Comcast was reporting a 90 percent success rate for authenticating its subscribers. That means that 90 percent of its subscribers who tried to authenticate (around 100,000 total) were successful, as of last week. Only 10 percent of the Comcast subscribers who tried to authenticate were not able to do it.
“That’s the highest we’ve ever seen with authentication,” said Matt Strauss, Comcast’s senior vice president of digital and emerging platforms.
Comcast’s 90 percent success rate for the Olympics so far is significantly higher than the cable’s operator’s previous authentication efforts around big events, such as Turner’s “March Madness on Demand.” It’s also higher than success rates around other authenticated streams, like WatchESPN and HBO Go.
Comcast’s early results are important for the entire cable industry, which has been trying to figure out how to keep control of its programming as it migrates online. Early authentication results from other cable operators are not known.
The cable industry’s early authentication efforts have been confusing and cumbersome. Many systems require consumers to take several steps and share personal information for verification. But Comcast has changed the process to the point that some of its subscribers are unaware that they’ve even been authenticated. Up to 75 percent of its authenticated subscribers completed the process in-home, where Comcast recognizes IP addresses. An action as simple as clicking on an Olympic link via NBCSports.com or Xfinity.com, after logging into a Comcast email account, can lead to authentication.
For Comcast, most problems have come from subscribers trying to log in from work. NBC Sports is allowing a one-time four-hour pass to people who have problems logging in.
Comcast’s challenge will be twofold. Not only will it be to keep the success rate high as the Olympics draw closer and more consumers try to watch the Olympics online or via mobile devices. But the country’s biggest cable operator also needs to ensure that other cable and satellite operators are prepared to deal with the crush of people who will be trying to access Olympic video online over the next two weeks.
Each cable and satellite operator uses its own authentication system, and many do not have the experience Comcast has in testing such systems.
As an early supporter of TV Everywhere, the concept of streaming channels to more than one device, Comcast has been one of the earliest cable operators to test different authentication systems. Much of Strauss’ job for the past several months has been to share best practices that he’s learned with other cable operators, programmers and even some competitors.
“I’ve personally gotten on the phone with certain distributors — ones that you wouldn’t expect me to get on the phone with — to share some of what we’ve learned in an effort to have them take on some of those tactics themselves,” he said. “We’re not doing a victory lap if Comcast is at 90 percent and another distributor is at 20 percent.”
Speaking from Comcast Labs on the 35th floor of Comcast Center in Philadelphia last week, Strauss talked about the amount of time and effort the cable operator has been throwing behind authenticating NBC’s online coverage of the Olympics.
Strauss’ team of about 100 executives has been solely focused on working out authentication kinks for at least the past nine months. Comcast executives are in the middle of a “road show” to 22 call centers across the country to train technicians. Comcast plans to fully staff those call centers throughout the Games.
“We’re doing a full-court press to figure out all the different touch points in advance,” he said. “We have escalation plans in place with NBC and Adobe [which provides the Flash player to view video] if there’s issues to get them resolved. If there’s an issue with the authentication, we’ve got plans in place to get an answer within five minutes.”
While each operator and each programmer have their own process, what’s unique about the Olympics’ authentication process is the fact that Comcast and NBC’s sports media competitors seem to be rooting for the effort to be successful. It’s not often that ESPN and Turner will pull for an NBC Sports initiative to succeed. But the Olympics’ online success could mean a quicker adoption for TV Everywhere.
“Just like everyone else in the marketplace benefited from the big events that are on ESPN, we think we’re going to benefit more so from a big event that is fully authenticated, as opposed to one that creates confusion in the marketplace,” said Sean Bratches, ESPN’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Matt Hong, Turner Sports senior vice president and general manager of operations, agreed.
“Turner, ESPN, NBC and the [cable and satellite operators] are aligned on the strategy, which is a great thing to see,” he said. “We’re pushing for many of the same things.”
Comcast and NBC executives believe the London Games will be a defining moment for TV Everywhere. If subscribers have problems viewing a big event like the Olympics online, it could delay the process from taking hold.
“I think the London Olympics will be a watershed moment for TV Everywhere and verification — and a moment when multichannel distributors demonstrate their commitment to TV Everywhere by standing behind their promise to make that process as easy as possible,” said NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel.
July 23, 2012 11:46 AM
It is as certain as the sun rising: If this is an Olympic year, there’s a Subway Olympic marketing effort in the works.
We were certain that when the brand signed Apolo Anton Ohno early last year it wasn’t just so that he could run the New York City Marathon, which Subway also sponsors. Sure enough, once we dug through the restaurant chain’s current love affair with the avocado, it turns out Ohno will be featured on point-of-sale material in Subway’s 25,000 U.S. stores during the London Games and on TV ads that will run during Subway’s heavy NBC Olympic buy.
Winter Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno will co-star with avocados in some of Subway's summer advertising.
Ohno will continue Subway’s relentless sales push for sandwiches with avocados.
Other Subway endorsers to get some airtime include gold-medal gymnast Nastia Liukin, who did not qualify for this year’s U.S. Olympic team. Blake Griffin, off the USA Basketball squad after knee surgery, will also appear in some ads. Even new Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will be featured in his first TV ads for Subway.
“There are very few places left where you can reach a large and diverse media audience, but the Olympics are one of the best and one of the only places to get that, especially in the summer,” said Subway CMO Tony Pace, adding that Subway has been working with all of its Olympic-tied “famous fans” for some time and continues to feature them within an “official training restaurant” platform.
Any love letters yet from McDonald’s, which wasn’t thrilled with Subway’s use of Phelps during the Winter Olympics?
“There’s always some arm twisting, but we are sticking to long-term themes with our athletes,” Pace said. “We’ve always abided by the rules and we both know that the preponderance of Olympic revenue comes from broadcast rights. Obviously, we are a big supporter of NBC and the Games in that regard.”
July 23, 2012 11:46 AM
Commissioner Tim Finchem and Executive Vice President Ty Votaw will represent the PGA Tour this week in London, as the sport of golf prepares for its modern Olympic debut in 2016.
Votaw said he’ll be traveling with his family and will arrive in London on Thursday and stay a week for what he described as “part business, part family vacation.” He said he’s most looking forward to the Opening Ceremony, beach volleyball and tennis at Wimbledon during his stay.
More importantly, though, Votaw, a representative of the International Golf Federation, will be meeting with various IOC administrators and organizers of Rio 2016, where golf will make its comeback as an Olympic sport. Finchem and Votaw have helped spearhead the inclusion of golf, which has been missing from the Olympics since 1904.
“I will be observing the operations of the Games in preparation for the IGF’s participation in the 2016 Olympic Games,” Votaw wrote in an email. “I will be attending with my family and will use the opportunity to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience with them.”
July 23, 2012 11:45 AM
It’s an event unlike any other, the proselytizers said. Sports and culture collide in ways you can’t understand. The values of peace, sustainability and good sportsmanship are in every event. You’ll see.
But I didn’t believe them. I’m paid to be skeptical, and words like values, movement and family sounded like the language of an international cult. I’d seen the Olympics. I’d watched as NBC highlighted the tears of gymnasts and snowboarders. I wasn’t buying it.
That was four years ago, and a lot has happened since then.
I’ve seen 2,008 Chinese men rise from the floor of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing and simultaneously pound on drums. I’ve sat in Wukesong Stadium and heard Chinese fans ooh and ahh as Kobe Bryant pulled up for a jumper. I’ve watched an Australian swimmer stand on the podium and cry as her country’s flag rose to the rafters. And I’ve witnessed Shaun White celebrate a perfect run down a halfpipe by hooting and hollering with his support team.
Attending the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics definitely changed me.
I may not call the Olympics a “movement,” refer to national governing bodies as being part of an “Olympic family,” or believe the Games will lead to world peace. But I’ve joined the proselytizers on one point: The Olympics are an event unlike any other.
Completely won over by the size and scope of the Olympics and the dedication of Olympians, I’ve spent the run-up to the London Games trying to convert someone else.
This will be my colleague John Ourand’s first Olympics. Usually, he spends the early part of August every four years watching the Orioles and wondering why people care about swimming and gymnastics. I’ve spent the last few months telling him that will change. And here’s why.
Olympians aren’t your average pro athletes. I don’t mean that they make less money or don’t get arrested or are less well-known. All of which is true. What I mean is: Most Olympians spend their entire life training in one sport for one shot to compete on the world stage.
Unlike the NBA or NFL, there is no “next year” for Olympians. There is no chance to go off to a rowing competition or swim meet that the world is watching. For most of these competitors, this will be it, and because they’re acutely aware of that, it means that much more when they stand on that podium and watch their nation’s flag rise to the rafters.
All of that becomes clear the first time you watch a podium ceremony. It’s something you don’t forget.
The other thing that’s unforgettable is the scale of the Olympics. Imagine three Daytona 500s, two Nationwide Series races and a Camping World Truck race taking place simultaneously. Or a Super Bowl, World Series and NBA playoff game happening in the same city. Then add more venues and more spectators and you’re coming close to the vastness and complexity of an Olympics.
There are 32 summer sports and each one has countless events spread across a mere 17 days. There’s one day on my calendar next week, Friday, Aug. 3, when there are 24 sports that will be played that day. Twenty-four sports!
Because NBC (until this year) hasn’t made all the competition available live online, it’s been tough to understand how sprawling and complex the Olympics are unless you’re in attendance. And even when you are in attendance, it’s tough to understand.
I’ve explained that to John. Admittedly, it’s been a tough sell, and recent events in London haven’t helped matters. The last few weeks there were marred by a security plan that imploded right before the Games, rain that refused to stop, and a litany of complaints from Londoners about everything from transportation delays to sponsor exclusivity.
But there’s so much potential for these Games to be great. There’s so much potential for them to change the perspective of skeptics the same way Beijing changed me.
London is one of the world’s most diverse cities, filled with people who speak 300 different languages. It can literally have fans for every country that fields an Olympic team, creating an atmosphere unrivaled at recent Olympics.
And while most events will take place in the East End, the organizers have mixed the city’s most historic sites into competition. Cyclists will race past Buckingham Palace and beach volleyball players will rise for spikes behind 10 Downing Street. It will make for a dramatic juxtaposition of the historic and contemporary.
Those are the type of things that can change the mind of a skeptic. There’s no doubt that they changed me.
July 17, 2012 11:36 AM
NBC Executive Producer Jim Bell
PETER KRAMER / NBC PHOTO
It was one of his last steps of preparation for the show’s 7 to 11 a.m. broadcast, a live, four-hour window of organized chaos that mirrors a sports broadcast in its length and complexity. Bell’s success in managing the show for the last seven years was a major reason NBC Sports Chair Mark Lazarus named him the new executive producer of the network’s Summer Olympics telecasts, which begin in two weeks. The 45-year-old not only grew up at NBC Sports and worked on eight Olympics, but also proved at “Today” just how adept he could be at organizing a live broadcast, keeping a large audience and making critical decisions with ease.
On a morning in late May, Bell showed just what that meant. Wearing a navy suit jacket, gray slacks and a blue shirt open at the collar, he tilted his head back and peered skyward through a pair of trendy, rectangular eyeglasses. There was no rain, so he hustled back downstairs to the control room.
UB40’s “Red, Red Wine” was playing over the control room’s speakers as he settled into a desk in the middle of the room. Everyone around him was bobbing to the music, waiting for the show to begin in a few minutes. As cameras zoomed in on “Today” show reporter Thanh Truong, he began to tug on the lapels of his suit and dance for the producers.
“All hell has broken loose,” Bell said, as laughter rippled across the control room.
Everyone was relaxed and prepared for that day’s show. Then, less than three minutes before 7 a.m., someone in the back of the room shouted that a suspect had implicated himself in the homicide of Etan Patz, the Brooklyn boy who disappeared in 1979 on his way to a school bus stop. The first five minutes of the show had to change.
As the team scrambled, Bell was calm.
“Can we get [NBC New York investigative reporter Jonathan] Dienst?” Bell asked.
“Fifteen,” someone shouted, beginning a countdown to the show.
“We can make it the second item, if that helps,” a producer said.
“Ten … nine … eight …”
“It does,” Bell said. “Put in the phoner. Put in the phoner.”
“Four … Three … Two …”
The show was live, but producers still hadn’t connected with Dienst. One producer leaned forward in her chair and pressed the phone to her ear, trying to get him. Bell barely moved. He waited for word that Dienst was on the line, then watched a split second later as “Today” news anchor Natalie Morales asked for Dienst’s report.
When the segment ended, he uncapped a plastic water bottle and drained the last third of it in one, long chug. He pitched the bottle in a trash can three feet away, leaned back in his seat and put his arms behind his head, completely relaxed.
This, after all, is how Bell has spent his mornings the last seven years. He spends days carefully planning the first four hours of NBC’s cornerstone show and often finds himself changing entire sections in response to the unexpected. His ability to do so swiftly and calmly has been part of the reason the “Today” show has dominated morning ratings.
His unflappability and ease at adjusting to the unexpected was a major reason Lazarus tapped him to succeed his mentor, Dick Ebersol, and become the first new executive producer of a Summer Olympics in two decades. He never loses composure, and this year has been no exception.
Since last August, Bell has juggled the Olympics position with his "Today" job during one of the most turbulent periods in the long-running morning show's history.
PETER KRAMER / NBC PHOTO
The responsibilities at “Today” or the Olympics alone would pack enough pressure to weigh down most TV executives, but colleagues say Bell never showed it.
“He’s a guy who’s under a tremendous amount of pressure, yet he’s extremely cool,” said Don Nash, the “Today” show’s senior broadcast producer. “It blows me away sometimes. He never gets flustered planning for the next week, planning for the next month. I’ve said to him, ‘I don’t know how you do this.’ In the office he’s extremely, extremely cool.”
NBC Olympics Coordinating Producer Molly Solomon added, “He’s not complaining about going to work at 5 a.m., and going to his second job in Connecticut hours later. You can tell he’s embracing this. It’s remarkable to watch someone work that hard.”
Solomon, like many others, has known Bell since he started at NBC more than two decades ago.
Bell landed a job with the network literally by accident. He was in Spain in 1989 taking a year off between graduation and law school when he got a call from NBC’s human resources department. Someone in the department knew his father, an attorney at GE, and wondered if Bell, a 6-foot-4 defensive lineman at Harvard, would assist NBC Olympics Chief Operating Officer Randy Falco, who had blown out his knee playing basketball, during a trip to Barcelona.
After the trip, Falco offered Bell a job as a production assistant in NBC’s Olympics profiles unit. Bell spent the next two years going to Cuba, Africa and other far-flung locales gathering material for athlete features aired during the Barcelona Olympics. He then spent more than a decade producing NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball games. He also climbed the Olympic production ladder from co-producer of daytime in 1996 to producer of CNBC’s coverage in 2000 to coordinating producer of afternoon and late-night coverage in 2004.
When “Today” show ratings began to slip in 2005, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker turned to the then-37-year-old Bell to take over as executive producer. Zucker wanted someone from outside the news division, and both Falco and Ebersol recommended Bell. He became the third person to take the helm at “Today” in four years and he took over at a time when its lead over “Good Morning America” had shriveled to 45,000 viewers a day.
Bell threw himself into the job, pulling up tapes of the show stretching back 10 years and looking for ways to improve it. He ultimately decided the show had become too scripted and encouraged its hosts, then Matt Lauer and Katie Couric, to talk to each other more, and he extended that when the show brought on Meredith Vieira as its new anchor in 2006. The move helped widen the show’s lead over “Good Morning, America” and extend its run as the No. 1-rated morning show for seven more years with 5.4 million viewers.
“He changed the fortunes of the ‘Today’ show by coming in when he did,” said Brian Stelter, a New York Times reporter who is writing a book about morning news shows called “Top of the Morning.” “With morning shows what’s most important is the anchors, and it’s about producing to their strengths. Jim was successful in forming and strengthening his relationship with the anchors. He had, and has, a knack for talent.”
When Ebersol resigned from NBC last year, Lazarus wanted to hire someone within the company as executive producer for the London Games. Bringing in an outsider would have been too disruptive to the team of Olympics producers already in place, and it didn’t make much sense because many of the feature segments had already been produced.
Lazarus chose Bell after a corporate event to celebrate NBC’s success in extending its Olympic rights through 2020. During the event, he caught a glimpse of Bell celebrating the rights deal with Solomon and Peter Diamond, Olympics senior vice president. Lazarus was impressed by the genuine happiness they shared. He also believed Bell’s experience at the “Today” show, which draws a female-heavy audience much like the Olympics, equipped him with the skills necessary to oversee the London Games.
“It’s like an air traffic controller,” Lazarus said. “The ‘Today’ show is very similar to the Olympics. Planes are flying everywhere, and you have to decide what lands and when.”
Lazarus was concerned Bell might have trouble juggling his “Today” show responsibilities with the Olympics, but Bell said it hasn’t been an issue largely because of his familiarity with NBC’s Olympics team.
“What some people would do in a day or couple of days we can accomplish in hours,” Bell said of the Olympics team. “We have common history. We have stories. We’ve been to dinners and seen each other’s children born. That trust and relationship and confidence we have in each other leads to the efficiency in this pre-Olympic phase that allows us to accomplish a lot.”
In addition to delegating to the Olympics team already in place, Bell met with Ebersol almost weekly for lunch. He considers himself one of Ebersol’s protégés and is deeply influenced by the former NBC Sports and Olympics chairman’s approach to storytelling. He said Ebersol had been invaluable in offering recommendations such as where to program certain sports during an Olympics taped for prime time.
When pressed for specifics, Bell grinned.
“When in doubt, go with diving,” he joked.
Bell will manage more live programming than his predecessor ever did. NBC will show every event live and deliver a total of 5,500 hours to Olympic viewers. The schedule for what events will air online and on TV is largely set by Diamond, but decisions Bell makes during the Games to pull an event for that night’s prime-time broadcast will have a domino effect that requires a reshuffling of that day’s plan.
But most people tuning in to the Olympics this summer won’t be able to tell that a different executive producer is behind the broadcast. Bell’s plan for the Games is very similar to Ebersol’s. Athlete stories will drive the production, features will skew toward the sentimental, and prime-time broadcasts will emphasize swimming, gymnastics and track and field.
Watching Bell work at the “Today” show this spring underscored just how true that would be. He spent most of the morning responding to email, checking Twitter, jumping in and out of websites like TMZ and Cooks Illustrated. But around 8:20, he put on his headset and focused on the monitors.
“Quiet,” he said to his team in the control room. “Stop talking.”
A feature began to play about a man who was raising awareness of breast cancer by posing for self-portraits in nothing but a pink tutu. The story has what could be described as a trademark NBC Olympics feel: It was sentimental, courageous and inspirational. The image of a chubby man stripping down to his underwear and slipping on a pink tutu wasn’t all that different from the story of a blind Mongolian marathoner whom Bell watched cross the finish line at the Barcelona Games.
As Morales narrated the man’s story and talked about his wife’s battle with breast cancer, the music of Sigur Rós, an Icelandic band, crescendoed in the background. Bell asked his colleagues what the song was and then bought it on his laptop.
“Can we get that on the way out?” he asked.
As the segment came to an end and images of the man in a tutu flashed on the screen, a producer plugged the music from Bell’s laptop into the broadcast. The swelling music complemented the images and gave the final moments of the segment depth before it faded to black.
“Nice,” Bell said.
Two hours after the tutu segment, the “Today” show staff gathered in Bell’s office to talk about the next day’s show. Nash, the show’s senior broadcast producer, went around the room of 19 people asking what items they had for the next day’s show.
Only one person wasn’t there — Bell. He had another job to do.
Staff writer John Ourand contributed to this report.
July 17, 2012 11:35 AM
“It’s always been very hard to market an Olympic athlete outside of their home country. … It’s very difficult to take an athlete to another market, to work with the media there and try to generate enough exposure and follow up. Everyone watches the Olympics and you see these athletes, but then if they disappear for four years, there’s not much of a platform there. It just takes a lot of time. You can do it, but it’s always been a struggle.
“One of the things I find very encouraging going into London is the global activation. Now, Visa and Head & Shoulders and others are marketing these athletes in other countries that are really important markets for the athletes. It’s quite a difference when you’re receiving for approval marketing materials from Pakistan. That’s a significant development, and it’s going to present a huge opportunity for these athletes to become global icons.”
Where are you staying: Hilton near Covent Garden. I wanted to stay somewhere that allowed me to travel above ground while I’m there.
When do you leave for London: July 25
How many people from your division will go: 8
Do you have a favorite restuarant in London: I lived there when I was 21 … off of Baker Street. There’s a pub called The Globe, and it’s one of the few places that I could afford to eat back then.
Is your family coming over: My wife is planning to come over for four or five days. I am scheming to bring my two boys around that same time.
July 17, 2012 11:35 AM
Gymnast Shawn Johnson
The company this month is rolling out an Olympic-themed marketing effort that is designed to appeal to moms who are shopping, watching TV, surfing the Web and visiting big events. It’s all part of a concerted effort to use one of the company’s key marketing platforms, the Olympics, to connect with one of its biggest consumer groups.
“Moms in the U.S. are decision-makers, and we want to continue to push the way our company promotes healthy, active living, and we want to continue to do that through mom,” said Sharon Byers, Coca-Cola North America’s senior vice president of sports and entertainment marketing partnerships.
Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long
Coca-Cola North America signed eight U.S. athletes (see chart) who form the backbone of its marketing in the U.S. The athletes are featured on limited-edition eight-pack cans, and the company developed five advertisements showcasing the athletes that will air on NBC throughout the Games. The spots were developed by Ogilvy & Mather, Wieden & Kennedy and Leo Burnett.
The packaging and advertising will be complemented by a digital initiative in which moms can use Coke Rewards points to enter a sweepstakes for the chance to have Olympic hurdler David Oliver visit their child’s school. The online campaign is designed to encourage families to be active.
Finally, the company has given its mobile sampling unit, known as the Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper, a renovation to include Olympic elements such as a photo station that allows visitors to take pictures in front of London backdrops and video screens with Olympics images. The 50-by-70-foot vehicle will visit 80 events such as last week’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and this week’s BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament. The company estimates that it will host approximately 400,000 consumers over the next month and a half.
Byers credited the multidimensional campaign, which includes retail, television, online and experiential elements, with helping Coke get more marquee retail space with both national and local outlets. It has Olympic displays in market now with 130 different customers, which is far more than the 27 unique customer programs developed for the 2008 Beijing Games.
Hurdler David Oliver
The domestic campaign complements the marketing program Coke developed called “Move to the Beat.” The global campaign is built around British music producer Mark Ronson, who has worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse. Ronson recorded the sounds of athletes competing and made a song out of it. Coke features the song-making process in a commercial campaign and directs consumers to a website where they can make songs of their own using sounds Ronson recorded.
Both Coke’s global “Move to the Beat” ads and Coca-Cola North America’s ads featuring athletes will air on NBC throughout the London Games.
July 17, 2012 11:32 AM
NBC Olympics has partnered with Adobe to launch two apps that will live stream all Olympic events to authenticated iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android users.
“It’s really mind-blowing that we have come this far in 10 or 12 years,” said NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel said. “What I personally marvel at, having lived through the evolution of Olympic media, is that 12 years ago when we went to multichannel from single channel, the dream was always to make the Olympics accessible on digital devices. Here we are now with a tablet and smartphone that contains essentially every frame of Olympic competition. It is mind-boggling.”NBC Olympics Live Extra will live stream more than 3,500 hours from all 32 sports and all medal events. A second app, NBC Olympics, will have highlights, live results and serve as a second-screen for Olympic viewers.
“I have no doubt that it will intensify the conversation around the Olympics and the sharing of content and, ultimately, the viewing on television in prime time,” Zenkel said.
Meanwhile, NBC has gone live with its media site, NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com, for the London Olympics. The site has access to press releases, bios, photos and schedules. After the Olympics, it will remain live as a site for press covering NBC Sports.
July 16, 2012 10:01 AM
NBC Olympics and Facebook will announce a partnership later this morning that will promote the Olympics on TV via Facebook while at the same time send Olympic TV viewers to Facebook to discuss the Games. NBC Olympics has set up its own page on the social networking site which will carry exclusive content including highlights. Facebook and NBC will produce social media segments that will be carried on NBC’s various TV and digital platforms. Facebook also has committed to launch “Talk Meter,” which occasionally will alert TV viewers to the stories and results that many fans are discussing on the social media site.
Facebook users can also let their Facebook friends know when they are reading NBC Olympic-related stories or watching NBC Olympic-related video.