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Volume 10 No. 22
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WOW Factor: 400K Plus Worldwide Download Samsung's Sochi Olympics App

More than 400,000 people around the world have downloaded Samsung’s Olympic WOW app for the Sochi Games. The app is the first Olympic application the longtime global Olympic sponsor has made for Android phones, and it’s attracting more than 145,000 visitors per day. Samsung spokesperson Sheri Kim said, "Our vision for the Sochi Games was to make it the most social Olympic Games. This WOW (app) was very much a part of that smart Olympic Games initiative. We wanted people to capture and share their experience through our phone and the public WOW app.” The app is the result of a year-long effort by a team of five engineers. It includes elements that have never been available in an application for an Olympics before, such as an aggregation for cheers between separate countries competing in a single sport, push notifications on medal results, rules of winter sports, and a Gametracker feature for curling and other sports.

MULTI-LINGUAL: The app was developed in seven different languages, and since the Olympics began, it’s had more than 9 million interactions. The bulk of those have taken place in the U.S., Canada and Russia.

Samsung Says WOW
Total number of WOW app downloads globally: More than 400,000
Total number of visitors per day globally: More than 145,000
Total number of transactions per day globally: More than 9 million
Country with the most downloads: 1) U.S.; 2) Canada; 3) Russia
Sport with the most cheers through WOW: 1) Snowboard; 2) Speedskating; 3) Biathlon
Samsung’s Senior Manager, New Business Development Group Shawn Sanghyo Jung said, “It was very difficult (to make it in so many languages). But Samsung is a worldwide company. We have an affiliate in every country. We asked them to review it in French and Spanish and Russian.” Samsung has made an app for every Olympics since the 2004 Athens Games, when it made an app for Palm phones. But those apps historically were only available to members of the Olympic family, such as IOC members and sports federation officials. This is the second consumer-facing app they have developed. (The first was made for Vancouver.) But it is the first they have offered in Google’s app store.

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY: Jung said, “We wanted to create a community. There was many people in the world and many people in Sochi. We wanted to communicate between Sochi people and worldwide people. They share emotion. They share information in here worldwide.”

Samsung opted to only develop the app for phones, like its own, that use Google’s Android operating system in Sochi. It is not offering it on Apple’s iOS system, but Jung said they may consider that next time. The company hasn’t committed to develop an app for the 2016 Rio Games yet, and Jung acknowledged that developing an app for 28 sports -- more than double the number that participate in a Winter Games -- would be daunting, but he still hopes they do it. He got excited at the idea of developing a Gametracker-like illustration for swimming. Jung: “We can make swimming lanes, like animation, so we can show the intermediate result in each point -- 50 meters and 100 meters. We can move the athletes at each point, like real.”