THE OLYMPICS: What does a 4-year pathway to Paris 2024 look like?

Tokyo 2020 should take credit for inspiring a new generation to discover sport. These games have received record-breaking streams (BBC) and left a lasting legacy as the first Olympic games without spectators.

This tweet from Adam Peaty signifies the positive impact sporting events have on viewers’ activity levels. The same professional athletes going for gold may have been inspired by the London 2012 Olympics.

Data shows 1 in 3 children are ‘not active enough’ (BBC, 2018), 37% of people in the UK never exercise or play sport (Kantar, 2018), and 80% of children are failing to meet WHO’s exercise guidelines.

It’s clear that brands need to be doing a lot more to keep their audience engaged, here are a few suggestions.

TikTok & Short videos:

Video is a marketing staple for decent engagement: Nearly 61% of companies say that video content is a major part of their marketing plan (Biteable).

TikTok has been the go-to for quick fitness challenges, TikTok fitness challenges that have gone viral include #75Hardchallenge (over 127.9M views), #Raindropchallenge (over 1.1b views), and #workoutchallenge2021 (over 13m views).

Gamification & exercise habits:

The most successful gamified fitness apps allow the user full involvement in the process and evoke an emotional connection. Apps can use peer motivation as a reward to build the community and offer sporting gratification. By adopting competition and gamification tactics, fitness tracking can become a lot more accessible and engaging.

There is a significant increase in gamification through fitness apps, in particular, fitness trackers for kids. Through Strava and Fitbit Ace 2 for kids, challenges that are more accessible and fun. Fitness apps such as ​‘Couch to 5k’ had over 2.36 million downloads over lockdown which was a 92% increase from 2019-2020.

Mass participation events:

Mass participation events have opened up a world of sport for families. Events such as Spartan offer kids races and family 5k events are widely accessible. Studies have found participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviours of those around them, this can encourage people to push themselves harder in group workouts.

Who can inspire?

Influencers:
Joe Wicks, a.k.a the Nation’s Favourite PE Teacher, receives Guinness World Record for his online fitness class with a global audience of 955,158.

Local councils:
Councils could have a huge impact on the fitness levels of the youth during big sporting events through local and national campaigns, however, there is little data showing any success of this.

Formal Sports England associations & Team GB:
These official bodies create some great campaigns but they could go further through targetting the younger generation through more accessible platforms. ‘This Is What Makes Us’ campaigns goal was to unite the nation. Best posts were added to the Fan Wall in the Athlete Village, the Team GB app, and on the website.

What the future could look like?

Planning for Paris 2024 is well underway, which brands do you expect to see there? And how will brand engagement change and progress in the interim? Get in touch to see our detailed PDF case study on what the future looks like.

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