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IOC-Driven Social Media Will Invade Summer Olympics

April 18, 2012


Finally recognizing the power of social media, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched a digital platform aimed at connecting fans with athletes scheduled to participate at the upcoming London games.

The Olympics Athletes Hub isn't all that innovative of a Web site; it basically aggregates (acceptable) social media posts from athletes. But it’s a nice first step in what the IOC calls the "first social media Olympics."

Fans can visit the site both before and during the Olympic games to find real-time status updates from their favorite basketball players, swimmers and track stars – no matter what country they call their home.

So far, more than 1,000 current and former Olympians have signed up for the service, basically integrating their Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook pages with the new site.

The most followed athletes already signed up include some of the top names in professional sports: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dwayne Wade.

Olympic racers Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt round out the top 10 most popular athletes to jump on board.

In addition to the social media aggregation, the Hub will post training videos, candid photos, real-time results and exclusive chat sessions from various athletes, according to Mashable.

"Another interesting thing that might come out of the hub is that Olympic Athletes will be able to connect not only with their fans but with each other before, during and after the Games are over, if they so desire," IOC social media head Alex Huot told Mashable in an email. "If we take a step back we have a pretty cool scenario of fans connecting with athletes, athletes connecting with athletes and the IOC becomes a platform of sorts connecting everybody together."

The final layer of the Hub will be a "gamification" element, where fans are rewarded with points and virtual prizes for their activity. Heavy participation will unlock additional content and give fans a chance to win real-world prizes.

Edited by Braden Becker