Three in four Americans will watch the upcoming Summer Olympics, with the vast majority (88%) watching these games on TV, according to Mindshare North America. Around one in four (23%) say that they will watch the events live on PC/desktop and 43% of Olympics viewers would watch the Olympics on a virtual reality headset if they owned one.
"One of the most important facets here is the real-time nature of this event — for example, one of our data points shows that 71% of Olympics viewers prefer to watch live. And that’s a trend that tends to extend to live sports overall," says Adam Gerhart, U.S. CEO, Mindshare. "With the right planning process in place, brands have an opportunity to leverage the real-time components of the Olympics; to adapt their strategies as needed to become part of this moment in culture."
Viewers like to give their full attention to these athletic events. More than half (56%) of Olympics viewers say that when watching an Olympic event on TV, they give it their full attention (they don’t use their phones). That said, 40% say that if they miss an event, the first place they look for results is on social media.
In addition, 70% of female viewers plan to watch the Olympics with family or friends, compared to 64% of male viewers. And 25% of Olympics viewers plan to watch while at work. Most (51%) watch the Olympics to see a specific sport, while 29% watch because of a "patriotic duty to cheer for their country." This pride is particularly strong among those with annual household incomes of $75,000 or higher (34%).
Young viewers in particular are open to brands providing content in order to enhance their experience. More than half of Millennial viewers (56%) say they would like to see brands provide behind-the-scenes content on athletes and team during the Olympics. In addition, 45% would like to see brands provide access to tips and advice from Olympic athletes on their sport.
"And because it can’t be said enough: agile planning always starts with data and insights," says Gerhart. "That’s one of the reasons we’re constantly driving research on media habits and consumer motivations. You have to know your audience -- are they on their phones during these kinds of events? What kinds of content are they seeking out? How do we give them something of value?"
And after watching the Olympics, 43% of overall viewers think that they will want to exercise more, as opposed to only 18% who think that they’ll consider booking a trip to Rio — something to examine for post-Olympics marketing, says Mindshare.
Mindshare NA surveyed 1,034 adults nationwide through its online research platform The Pool.