The Power of the Olympic Brand

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With the Sochi Winter Olympics in full swing, which is capturing the attention of most of the people in America and for that fact the world, I thought I would take a look at the power and strength of the Olympic brand. The Olympic brand is so strong because of its longevity, neutrality and people around the world’s love for sport! Let’s take a look at some of the numbers that support the power and reach of the Olympic brand.

It is pretty amazing that in America alone, the 2012 London Olympics brought in more than 219.4 MILLION viewers, making it the most watched event in TV history, surpassing the 2008 Beijing games (215 million viewers). According to, London 2012 had a global reach of 3.6 billion people – the highest in Olympic Games history – drawing in viewers from 220 countries and territories around the world. In contrast, the last time the Olympics were held in London was 1948, marking the first time TV coverage was available to viewers in their homes. Nearly 500,000 people tuned in within a 50-mile radius of the city. Sixty four hours of programming were made available.

In 2012, the host broadcaster, Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), produced more coverage than ever before, which was provided to the International Olympic Committee’s Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs). The RHBs in turn broadcast approximately 100,000 hours of Olympic coverage across more than 500 television channels around the world during the Games – far exceeding the 61,700 hours that were broadcast during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Digital coverage also grew considerably in the four years since Beijing, with internet, mobile and other digital platforms exceeding television coverage for the first time. In total, official broadcast partners delivered over 1.9 billion video streams globally on more than 170 websites and other digital platforms during the Games.

For the first time, the IOC also broadcast live and on-demand Olympic Games content on its YouTube channel in 64 territories in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, providing more than 2,700 hours of broadcast coverage and delivering a total of 59.5 million video streams during the Games, including 34.5 million live streams.

No wonder you have advertisers in the United States, and the entire world, who are clamoring to be included in, connected to and part of the power and reach of the Olympic games and brand. The numbers and amount of coverage is huge! In today’s digital and social media world and the rush of over 11,000 press at the Sochi games is going to be bigger than ever! The Olympic brand and reach is one of the most recognizable and powerful around the world. Let’s sit back relax and enjoy the sport and spectacle of the Olympics and their brand!

Michael Doyle is Founder and CEO of Denver's Brand Iron. This piece was originally posted to the agency's blog, Seven Secrets of a Brand Champion.


Sochi screwed the Olympic brand.

Killing stray dogs.

Arresting LGBT activists.

Costing $51 billion dollars.

Unfinished motels with toxic tap water and nonworking doors.

Sochi screwed the Olympic brand.

That being said, the world has a short memory and no one cares.

Rio 2016 here we come!

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