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Volume 26 No. 227
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NBC Turns Standard Olympic Promo Shoot Into Unique Marketing Tool

The year before every Olympics since the '08 Beijing Games, NBC Sports has brought the top stars of Team USA to West Hollywood for a comprehensive promotional shoot that lasts nearly a week. For the first time this year, the network is making the event itself a marketing and communications tool, organizing formal behind-the-scenes tours for journalists, advertisers, NBC execs and employees and USOPC sponsors and donors. "What we’re realizing is the Olympics are 365 days a year, and telling these athletes' stories and making sure we're making these consumer connections, that can and should be happening every single day,” said NBC Sports CMO & Exec VP/Content Strategy Jenny Storms. "There’s no reason to be holding on to something to unveil it during the Games. We want to make sure people have the access and see what we’re doing now." Yesterday began the process of 110 athletes cycling through 16 different stages, which will continue through Saturday. The primary purpose is to gather as much photography, video and social media content as possible before the Olympic year training starts in earnest for the athletes. Viewers will see the content created across the full range of NBCUniversal properties, athletes' social media sites and other channels.

INSIDE LOOK: Journalists yesterday were given formal visits, and throughout the week other groups will also receive tours, watching athletes pose in various shots, conduct interviews with Mike Tirico and shoot their own social media posts. It is a sea change from the early days of the "WeHo shoot," where outsiders may have received one-off tours but there was no formal outreach. The studio was decorated with NBC’s Tokyo '20 branding during tours yesterday. Storms said, "When you have been doing this work for so long, sometimes you forget how special what we do is to outsiders. So part of this effort is to share that with others."