NBCU Seeks Olympic-Sized Ideas From Social Media Platforms

Linda Yaccarino
Linda Yaccarino

NBCUniversal said it has formally asked top social media platforms for ways to increase interaction and engagement with the Olympics as the Beijing Winter Games approach.

Requests for proposals have been sent to social media platform asking for big, bold ideas for partnerships around the Olympics and the Paralympic Games.

Formal presentations will be conducted Thursday, with a decision expected to be made in the next few weeks.

NBCU said it has never conducted an RFP process on this scale with social platforms.

The company is studying how young fans interacted with the Tokyo Summer Games using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and Apple News.

The RFP process is part of NBCU’s approach to forming partnerships. 

“As consumer expectations and viewing patterns change, businesses are shifting to models built on partnership,” said Linda Yacccarino, chairman, global advertising and partnerships, at NBCU, said in a blog post.

“Audiences crave quality storytelling on every screen — making platform exclusivity impractical and even undesirable,“ Yaccarino said. ”It’s why tech giants are producing award-winning content, as content legends ramp up investments in data and rethink distribution relationships. Both sides know that to excel in one arena, you must invest in the other. So, to best serve audiences and advertisers, we need to also look outside our organizations.” 

NBCU on Thursday announced a partnership with Holler, a company that makes digital stickers that people can use when sending messages in apps like Venmo. 

The company also this year sent our requests for proposals to measurement companies, seeking updated ways to count and analyze audiences. NBCU got about 80 proposals that it is currently evaluating.

On Nov. 16, NBC will be holding It first Measurement Innovation Forum, which it said will bring together every media holding company, trade organizations and top advertisers.

NBCU also has partnerships involved in its commerce plans, most notably with PayPal.

“As we see it, a partnership company goes beyond the transactional to achieve the transformational. It has the courage to explore collaboration, even with the so-called ‘competition,’ ” Yaccarino said. ”And it can’t be an afterthought. To future-proof our companies, build trust, accelerate innovation and multiply impact, partnerships must be proactive. 

“For NBCU that’s creating engaging stories or experiences with partners like Apple News, Holler, Snap, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube, reimagining CTV with partners like Freewheel, Mediaocean or the Trade Desk, and strengthening our global offerings with more groups. Plus, it’s working with the industry to develop new measurement tools to understand impact and viewership,” she said.

“Ultimately, the shift towards partnership is about more than new capabilities or relationships — it can help our industry thrive today and create more constructive relationships for tomorrow. That’s why partnership needs to be a meaningful part of our entire industry’s transformation playbook,” Yaccarino said.

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.