Marketing & the 2018 Winter Olympic Games: What to Watch For


For most athletes, earning the chance to appear in the Olympic Games would mark the pinnacle of a successful sports career. The very same can be said of professional advertisers and earning the chance to broadcast their work to billions of eyes from all around the world during the historic games.

The Olympics are one of the most popularly viewed televised events in the world, but this year’s events are getting an especially large amount of attention for their marketing trends. And since you won’t find anyone from Vimarc in a bobsled anytime soon, we decided to dig a little deeper and find out exactly why the 2018 Winter Games are making such a big impact.

We’ll start with NBC, which is about to make television history.

  • After covering the Super Bowl last Sunday, NBC Sports will now also take on the Winter Olympics, generating another roughly $1.4 billion in Ad revenues over the span of just 22 days.
  • Only one other broadcaster has ever put on the Super Bowl AND the Winter Olympics in the same year. CBS did it back in 1992, but it had two weeks between the events and those Games were a MUCH smaller production.       


What’s their plan?

  • First, NBC is listening to viewers. They’re reducing the Ad load during the opening ceremonies by 30%, in direct response to  complaints made during the Summer Games kickoff in Rio.
  • Second, NBC is acting globally. They’ll be airing LIVE, prime time coverage across all time zones for the very first time. They’re saying it’ll be the “most live” Winter Games in history.


What else is happening?

  • For the first time anywhere, the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) is providing a broad-scale 5G network for attendees at some South Korean event venues. The goal is to encourage more live commentary and contributions, reduce streaming latency, and effectively distribute more content than ever before.
  • And while they’ve got your attention, NBC plans to air approximately 7,200 Ad spots for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. They’ll come in the form of your traditional commercials of course, but you’ll also start to see some short-form content developed by partners like Snapchat, Vox, Twitter, Apple News, and BuzzFeed.
  • Intel is also partnering with NBC to give Olympic fans the ability to watch their favorite events in virtual reality. You can check it out here: 


As you can see, there’s a lot to be excited about as we kick off the 2018 Winter Olympics. It’s set up to be one of the most immersive, interactive productions the world has ever seen, allowing people to experience the Games like never before – and this is just the beginning!

Are your ads going for gold? We can help you reach the winner’s circle.

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