Unless you’ve been hibernating, you know Olympic fever is raging in London and across the world. And unless you eschew the digital world in any and all forms, you also know you can keep in touch with the podium placements like never before.
Social media and digital coverage of the Olympics is everywhere. There are more games-related #hashtags than medals and more athletes to follow on Twitter than there are blogs devoted to the Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattison cheating scandal.
Each hour of every day brings new digital developments on the Olympic front. So while you’re following the races, hurdles, dives, and games, here’s a round-up (so far) of some of the social media and digital developments to follow.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) doesn’t play light and loose with the rules. With a hope of avoiding scandals or upsetting mega-sponsors McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, the IOC issued a four-page “Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines”.
Here’s an excerpt: “Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.”
The rules resulted in an outcry from some athletes. Many believe social media is a key tool for them to connect with fans and to support their own personal brand, which is very often sponsored. They feel the restrictions on their Internet freedom are unfair. Recently, Wired reported about a group of Olympians each tweeting: “I am honored to be an Olympian but, #rule40 #WeDemandChange.”
Wired goes on to explain the “#rule40” of the Olympic Charter they referred to says: “Except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games.”
A similar message is also found in the Social Media Guidelines document: “Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on any websites.”
Since many athletes depend on sponsors to make their living and those sponsors expect to be promoted, some Olympians are more than a little miffed about the rules. We probably haven’t heard the end of this issue…
How to Keep Track
- There’s so much going on online, it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily, the official Olympic social hub makes tracking events and athletes a little easier. The site includes feeds from “Top Followed Athletes” (currently LeBron James is winning with 17,513,602 fans), special social pages on “featured athletes” and live Q&As with athletes. The hub also includes feeds from Facebook and an easy way to find and follow specific athletes.
- If your heart is full of maple leaf, the Globe and Mail put together this list of the top 10 Canadian Olympians to follow.
- CBC has comprehensive Canadian coverage online.
- CTV posts the Olympic schedule online, streams video and integrates other engaging elements such as polls, Canadian athlete tweets and a live chat feature allowing users to comment on live events.
Who We Follow
We’re proud of all the Canadian Olympians here at T4G (well … all Olympians period), but we’re especially excited about Riley McCormick’s Diving event on August 10 & 11. T4G has a special, family connection with Riley and we wish him the best of luck. You can follow his adventures on Facebook and on Twitter.