From breaking news to social media, Yahoo! aims to dominate online coverage of the 2012 Games
The 2012 London Summer Games kick off this Friday, and like a sprinter waiting for the starting gun, Yahoo! is raring to go. The leader in online Olympic coverage since 2006, we're covering the London Games with our biggest team yet, anchored by 27 people onsite in London, a bustling news war-room in Los Angeles, and an army of contributors---all poised to provide exciting and original coverage that can't be found anywhere else to our 700 million users around the world.
To do that, says Bob Condor, editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Sports, the team follows a special mantra---seek out the special "unscripted moments" that give fans a richer appreciation of the Games and then amplify them to our massive audience across Yahoo!'s PC, mobile phone, tablet and social media channels. It's the kind of coverage that sets us apart and makes us the undisputed champion of online Olympic coverage.
"The Olympics are themost transcendent event in terms of audience appeal," says Condor. "It draws everybody from avid fans of a particular event to anybody who enjoys dramatic storylines---the agony and ecstasy---that only the Olympic Games can provide. And it gives advertisers a unique opportunity to get in front of a massive worldwide audience."
Here's a look at how we'll tell the story of the London Games.
The most online Olympics ever
The HQ for our coverage is the Yahoo! Sports London 2012 home page, where fans will find breaking news, daily recaps, videos and photos, on-the-ground reporting, and coverage of those unscripted moments and other insightful reporting by Yahoo!'s award-winning writer and bloggers---and it's all now optimized for mobile and tablet browsers, as well as PC.
Coverage will be directed through Yahoo!'s Olympics "war-room" in Los Angeles, staffed around the clock and stuffed with TV screens to watch live news feeds from around the world and a social media board to keep current with real-time conversations and what's trending. The team will mine these and other sources for even more of those unscripted moments that set Yahoo!'s coverage apart and blast them to our users faster than other media can.
Social media is a Games-changer
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, smartphones were new, tablets weren't around, and social media was small time. For these Games, Team USA … even Team Slovenia … set up mobile apps.
"The way we watch, consume and converse about the Olympics has changed," says Condor, "and so has our coverage. This is the first Games where social is a major aspect."
Yahoo! is majoring on social media for these Games---using it both as a source of fresh content and commentary, and as a way to share news and insights instantly. "As soon as an event ends, there will be instant buzz," says Condor. "The Olympians themselves will be tweeting. We'll cover what's happening on social media and amplify that to our users through live conversations across PC, mobile and social platforms."
Better storytelling, bigger audiences
At the 2010 Games in Vancouver, the Yahoo! Olympics site drew more than 32 million unique users, beating runner-up sites from NBC and ESPN, which drew 19 million uniques each. What's the secret to our success? "Great reporting and storytelling," says Condor. "Our staff has access and reporting experience that gets us stories that nobody else can."
Here are some reasons why we'll outrun the competition in quality storytelling:
- Award-winning reporters led by national columnist Dan Wetzel and Yahoo! sportswriters Martin Rogers, Pat Forde, Adrian Wojnarowski, Charles Rogers, Greg Wyshynski and Les Carpenter in London, plus expert analysis by Olympic gold-medalists Dan O'Brien (track and field), Shannon Miller (gymnastics) and Summer Sanders (swimming). Here's Dan on video with an Olympic preview.
- Close relationships with the U.S. and international Olympic committees, forged over many Games, which provides us with unique access to athletes and venues.
- Comprehensive coverage of major events leading up to London, like the world championships and Olympic Trials, gives us a head start on identifying storylines that will develop during the event.
Premium content helps advertisers win, too
In previous posts, we talked about major brands that have aligned themselves with Yahoo! pre-Olympics coverage, including Team Moms, an original video series on Olympians and their supportive moms, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, and the Elite Athlete Workout Series, sponsored by Gillette.
When the Games begin, other major brands are sponsoring Yahoo! content, including:
- London Minute: A daily video series covering the Games' "buzziest" moments, sponsored by P&G's Tide and Pantene brands
- Citi will sponsor a medal count page and module
Check out our gold-medal coverage to see why major brands and millions of users turn to Yahoo! for a premium Olympic experience that they won't find anywhere else.
[Y1]link to Dan video