The company has supported the event since 1896, but began highlighting the Games online in 2000 at Sydney. This year, the company added a blogger to bring Olympic fans a unique perspective and to add a marketing twist for the company.
Tom Hoehn, who is spearheading Kodak's brand communications and new media efforts from Beijing, says other sites focus on countries and medal tallies, but Kodak turns the lens on the human experience to provide an in-depth look into life at the Games.
Kodak's blogger and photographer Jenny Cisney relies on a regular PC laptop. She says it's "super easy" to download the hundreds of pictures from a Kodak digital camera and then upload daily to 1000words.kodak.com. She relies on auto settings like "sport" and "close-up" mode, and did not need any training to use the cameras.
Former Sports Illustrated contract photographer Richard Mackson, a veteran of 12 Olympics, is currently covering the Games for Kodak. He shares his photos, observations and inspirations daily on PluggedIn.Kodak.com.
There are no plans to use the photos in marketing or advertising campaigns, but pictures and blog posts drive awareness to other Kodak online activities, such as an exclusive Kodak Olympic pin promotion that consumers can find in the online store.
Each day, Kodak selects one photo based on artistic merit and passion. Many colorful pictures showcase the national spirit of countries worldwide, but only one becomes "The Olympic Picture of the Day." It gets distributed through dozens of media outlets, such as kodak.com's home page, Kodak's Times Square display, large prints at Kodak facilities worldwide, posters and postcards for various partners in Beijing.
Since the start of the Games, Kodak's Web site--including the blog-- has experienced a spike in traffic, but Hoehn says becoming the eyes and ears of Olympic fans really means "connecting with our customers in a unique way and demonstrating our innovative products and services."
This year, Kodak stepped in to assist the 1,220 accredited photographers at the Kodak Image Center in the heart of the Main Press Center, as well as print accreditation badges for athletes, coaches, and staff--hundreds of thousands of them. The support helps bring the Olympic Games to the world while showcasing Kodak products and services.