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How The Tokyo Olympics Showed the Power of Cultural Moments on Social Media

How Olympians became Influencers in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Zavy’s research shows that different types of content generates different levels of engagement – which has a knock-on effect on ROI. Cultural moments, believe it or not, generate 7 times more engagement than other types of content. And the higher the level of engagement with a brands content, the more ROI the brand will see on their social media spend (read more in this article on reach vs. engagement).

And what is the Olympics, if not, a most major, month long, cultural moment?  

Last week, B&T reported that the Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Team were the most engaging Australian sports team on Facebook or Instagram, for any sporting event – generating more than twenty million interactions with athletes and teams:

  • athletes gained more than 75 million followers on Instagram
  • drove more than 410 million interactions
  • and posted over 300,000 stories.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby Sevens star Ruby Tui went viral: her interview on BBC was viewed over 300,000 times on Twitter, and over 200,000 times on Youtube. A quick search on Zavy Radar shows she was mentioned in over 348 public posts across Australia and New Zealand, with a net sentiment score of 77% - an incredible testament to her warm and authentic personality.  

Now, the idea of sports people as brand ambassadors and sponsors is nothing new.

The first professional athlete to set up an endorsement deal was Honus Wagner in 1905, with Louisville Slugger (amazing name) using his signature on baseball bats sold in their stores.

But these results show that the Olympic athletes are serving as influencers and reach enhancers – but also as conduits of hyper-engaging cultural moments.  

For organisations looking to build their brand health, getting that “lightening in a jar” combination of cultural moments and influencers is the critical way to elevate influencer-marketing into something truly game-changing. It’s the intersection between cultural relevance and your business on social media. Unlocking these opportunities will ensure your organisation stays relevant in your customer's lives.

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© Zavy 2021
© Zavy 2021