Advertising during an Olympic Year

By April 25, 2016 May 5th, 2016 Advertising

On your marks…get set…spend!

Business Insider wrote an article that NBCUniversal has sold more than $1 billion in advertising spots for the Summer Olympics-which start in August. NBCUniversal also announced it is on pace for an all-time advertising sales record. In addition to the increase in brand spending, NBCUniversal is ready to roll out a $100 million marketing campaign devoted to the 2016 Olympics.

So, why are brands devoting so much money into advertising spots before the Olympic Trials have taken place?

Four Years

Scarcity continues to play a significant role in advertising during the Summer Olympics.

The Summer Olympics, which is larger than its winter counterpart in terms of participants and viewers, takes place every four years. This four-year waiting period creates an interesting opportunity that brands must plan for. Waiting four years for a marketing opportunity that reaches billions of people is enough to start planning and spending months, or even years, in advance.

Time Zone

Business Insider also noted with Rio hosting the 2016 Olympics, Rio’s time zone is just one-hour ahead of the East Coast. With that being said, more games will be broadcast live this summer with a larger American audience than the 2012 London games-which attracted an average of 31.1 million viewers during its 16-day event.

World-Wide Viewership

The Olympics are one of, if not the only, major sporting event that assembles countries across the globe, regardless of political, financial, government and religious differences.

Approximately 206 countries are expected to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Unless a country has governmental censorship, brands will be presented with the opportunity to advertise and market their products, goods and services on a global stage. An engaged audience that dwarfs the NFL’s Super Bowl and NCAA’s Women’s and Men’s Basketball tournaments.  

In 2012, more than 4 BILLION people watched the London Olympics, and with that number projected to rise, how can you blame brands for dishing out the cash?


Photo Credit: