NBCU Goes for Gold With Olympics Push

One year from the opening ceremonies, NBCUniversal has begun a big push for the Rio Olympics.

On Wednesday at 8 p.m., 18 NBCU networks will simultaneously air a 60-second Olympic promo. Promos will also be streamed on more than 50 NBCU websites, which will also host banner ads and produce Olympic editorial content.

NBC’s Today and Nightly News shows will also feature live reports from Rio.

This week, the Olympics news has been a mixed bag. An Associated Press report charged that the water in which boaters and swimmers will compete in Rio is polluted with viruses from human waste. And the International Olympic Committee named Beijing as the host of the 2022 games.

The Olympics represent a huge investment for NBCU and parent company Comcast. The games have been one of the most-watched events—these days with a combination of coverage across broadcast TV, cable networks and streaming video—and NBCU is taking no chances with its prized property.

“This will be the most extensive one-year-out marketing effort ever for an Olympic Games,” said John Miller, chief marketing officer of NBC Sports Group and chair of NBCUniversal Marketing Council. “We will use NBCUniversal’s far-reaching media platforms on August 5 to light the torch for our 2016 Olympic marketing efforts. Although the Games are a year off, this is a fun way to begin the process of raising awareness for what promises to be a spectacular Olympics in one of the world’s most spectacular cities.”

Other aspects of the Olympic promotional push include:

  • Social media, including accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which will be using the hashtag #RoadToRio.
  • E-Blasts are being sent to broadcast and cable affiliates, advertisers and consumers.
  • Promo material and premiums—beach balls—have been sent to NBC affiliates, who will air promos and air news segments. NBCU’s theme parks in Los Angeles and Orlando will run the 60-second promo on large screens in their CityWalk facilities.
  • With Golf returning to the Olympics, Golf Channel’s Morning Drive will feature players talking about their Olympic aspirations. The networks will also air an Olympic promo highlighting golf.
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.