Marketing Tips

Gold Medal Marketing: How Small Business Can Take Advantage of the Olympic Games

Whether you’ve already embraced Olympic fever or you’re still not sure how to dive in, the next two weeks offer many marketing opportunities for small business.

olympics-2016-blogphoto.jpgIt’s summertime and the heat is on!

For over 120 years, the Summer Olympic Games have played host to over 10,000 of the world’s best athletes and 306 sporting events. Unsurprisingly, people around the world hotly anticipate the games every four years, and stay glued to the television for 19 jam-packed and exciting days. 

When done well, fun and relatable content about current events leads to audience engagement and delightful customer experiences, driving word-of-mouth promotion. Whether you’ve already been talking about the Summer Olympic Games for a while, or you’re still not sure how to dive in, the remaining two weeks present many opportunities to join the conversation in real-time.

Please note: Marketers for unofficial sponsors can’t run campaigns that explicitly promote and associate a brand with the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee has many rules governing marketing and promotional usage, which can be found here.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

While your word choice may be limited, there are many ways you can create interesting and timely Olympic-themed updates and incentives for your current and prospective audiences. 

Keep your marketing strategy top of mind when determining your brand’s connection to the games, and use this framework when communicating with your customer base. According to the Global Web Index, 85% of viewers are likely to use second-screen devices while watching the competition. This gives marketers an incredible opportunity to reach customers online through the device in their hands.

The following are some audience-specific thought starters to keep your creative marketing juices flowing over the next two weeks.

Thought Starters

If you market to health and fitness enthusiasts

  • Offer a short-term competition for customers. With competition in the air, it’s a great time to create interactive games for your customers. Through contests and special offers, customers can compete for discounted products or services.

    If members attend a certain number of classes before August 25th, award them a “gold distinction,” which could be the equivalent of one free class, or a discount on apparel sold in the store. This strategy adds value for customers by helping them set fitness goals, and adds extra financial incentive to follow through on their commitments.

  • Create a theme. Cycling studios and other routine-based workouts can also host summer games themed classes. A theme will offer a change of pace and energize class participants. As a result, you may draw in new customers who hear about the new and fun workout from a friend.

  • Highlight your employees. Humanize and celebrate individual accomplishments by sharing in-depth interviews with staff members, especially female staffers. Due to an outpouring of criticism that journalists ask female celebrities, politicians and athletes about their clothing choices more often than their abilities and accomplishments, the public has demanded that journalists “Ask Her More.

    Interview your local female athletes, trainers, owners and customers. Ask questions about their dedication, determination, and ability, and how your products and/or services help them achieve their goals. Share the results online and engage your audience in a broader discussion of the topic.

If you market to children and their parents 

  • Highlight your brand’s commitment to teamwork. While individual athletic performance is celebrated in the games, so is teamwork. Use this as a jumping off point to write a blog post how your business, product or customer base exemplifies teamwork and why it’s a priority for your brand. Offer a discount on group centered activities, drawing customers to your place of business and generating more sales.

  • Create interactive experiences to teach children what it takes to achieve. Host an event in person or online, using the forum to discuss noteworthy athletic achievements and use them as an example for educating children on setting and meeting goals. Prompt children in the room to share their most proud accomplishments and capture their responses (which may be funny or emotional) on camera. Share via social media and prompt audiences submit their own user-generated videos or testimonials about what it takes to achieve, blogs or short text posts, generating positive engagement and meaningful dialogue.

    To take it a step further, you can create an achievement wall in your place of business, inviting children to submit their goals on the wall, and return for a gold star once the goal is accomplished. Children will be excited to return, encouraging parents to bring them back and potentially make an extra transaction. 

If you market products and services

  • Offer a promotional sale. Through email marketing, invite subscribers to become your brand’s MVP by clicking on a surprise offer. Once clicked, their “bib number” will be revealed, indicating the percentage off he or she will receive on a purchase made, and feature a countdown clock indicating how much time they have left. This will create a sense of urgency and generate a boost in sales.

  • Draw a connection between the characteristics of a champion and the products and services you offer.  Competitive athletes have heart, strength, and relentless grit. What players within your business make your brand a champion? Highlight examples of people and moments where passion and dedication truly shine.

    Using existing relationships, approach influencers within your business to share their passion and how they use your products. Repurpose their testimonials to use as content for a robust email marketing campaign.

With that, let the games begin! We look forward to watching all of you brand champions bring your A-game. Make us proud.


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At Pike13, we're passionate about helping fitness business owners succeed. Our innovative software solutions empower businesses of all sizes to streamline their operations and grow their customer base. Whether you're a small boutique studio or a large gym chain, our platform is designed to help you manage your business more efficiently and effectively.